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Office of the Auditor General testifies on CPS audit

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Ben Thorp
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The office of the Auditor General testified Thursday in front of a House oversight committee on its audit of the state’s Child Protective Services.

The audit was released earlier this month. It found a pattern of failures to meet state requirements, including that CPS had not conducted criminal history background checks in more than 50% of cases.

Leah Decker is an audit supervisor for the office of the auditor general. She testified that in two investigations required court petitions had not been submitted after a CPS worker concluded a caretaker was committing sexual abuse.

Representative Steven Johnson (R-Wayland) responded to the finding during the commitee, wondering if the investigator who failed to submit the petitions was fired or still remained with the department.

Decker responded that she was not aware of staffing changes at the department. She also said supervisors reviewed and approved all of the investigations the audit found to be deficient.

“We found that CPS supervisors often did not identify deficiencies and often approved investigations with existing deficiencies,” she said.

Representative Joseph Graves (R-Argentine Township) chairs the committee. He said next week CPS will be asked to testify.

“I just want to be able to understand what they are doing, why this happened, and what can be done to make this go forward. I’m not looking to punish anybody,” he said.

Graves said the committee is working with the governor’s office to identify changes that can be made, both internally or through legislation, to make sure children are protected.

The state health department said it takes the audit seriously.