Report knocks how Michigan responds to some reports of abuse

DETROIT (AP) – An independent team monitoring Michigan’s child welfare system is criticizing how the state has responded to some allegations of abuse.

A judge received the latest report Thursday. The state is under court oversight while it tries to improve foster care, child welfare and other programs for kids.

The state has reached many milestones since a lawsuit was filed in 2006, but the case still isn’t over and has cost taxpayers more than $10 million.

Monitors say the Department of Health and Human Services sometimes doesn’t formally investigate abuse of foster kids unless there’s an obvious physical injury. The examples included a boy who was kicked in the scrotum.

Human Services spokesman Bob Wheaton said the state is “diligent” about investigating abuse allegations that meet certain criteria.

Attorney Sara Bartosz of the group Children’s Rights says the findings are “deeply disturbing.”

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