LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan State House of Representatives passed a bipartisan package of bills Tuesday that will work to improve the state’s foster care and adoption systems.

A child going through the foster care and adoption system has survived significant trauma. Trauma is complex and requires a unique approach when working with children and their families. The lawyer-guardian ad litem’s responsibility is to represent the child’s best interests. Receiving trauma-informed training will help them become a better advocate for the child they are representing.”

State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia)

The bill packages would, if signed into law:

  • Define certain nonparent adults as relatives under the Juvenile Code, the Child Care Licensing Act, the Probate Code and the Guardianship Assistance Act. (HBs 597460736074 and 6075)
  • Provide a credit against the individual and corporate income tax for qualified taxpayers that provide paid adoption leave to their employees. (HB 6070)
  • Provide that a qualified residential treatment program is a residential use of property under Michigan zoning law. (HB 5981)
  • Require the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to do all of the following:
    • Issue extended (three-year) foster family home and foster family group home licenses under certain conditions. (HB 5980)
    • Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment regarding the use of residential treatment. (HB 5977)
    • Implement requirements concerning family finding and engagement services. (HB 5978)
    • Submit a cost savings report to the legislature. (HB 5976)
  • This information is courtesy of State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky.