Children's Protective Services is making changes to its investigation protocol after state audit, released last month, unveiled multiple serious issues and errors in CPS investigations between 2014 and 2016.
Stacie Bladen is the deputy director for programs and policies in child welfare at the agency. She said CPS has about 1500 staff in the field. And for the most part, Bladen thinks they're very committed to their work.
“The audit findings are really an indictment not of their commitment or their ability to perform but more an indictment of systemic issues that we really need to fix,” Bladen said.
Bladen said CPS is taking the results of the audit very seriously, and they’re using this moment as an opportunity to make much-needed improvements to their processes.
She and other CPS officials appeared in from of the state's House Oversight Committee last week. They told the Committee that new protocol will also walk staff step-by-step through the investigation process so no steps are left out.
Bladen told Michigan Radio that the new protocol will also add more points of supervisory control into the process.
“And what we also did with that protocol is work in frequent supervisor controls, so that our supervisors are not just reviewing an investigation after it's completed, but they're in there at various intervals throughout the investigation.”
Bladen said CPS has been working with state officials on the new protocol for about a month now. She expects to have a new finalized process in December.