Mother speaks out about experience with CPS following scathing report

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Amber Musgrove and her two daughters have been dealing with Children’s Protective Services in Michigan for a while now.

“They’ve been in and out of our home for 10 years,” Musgrove said. 

Throughout that time, Musgrove has noticed some issues with how things are done by CPS. 

“There’s no consistency, none of them do the same thing, none of them follow the same protocol none of them document the same,” Musgrove said. 

If these issues look familiar, it’s because several of them were highlighted in a recent report, released by the Michigan Office of the Auditor General. 

For the most part, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services agreed with the findings of that report, but they weren’t on board with everything. 

For instance, one of the findings says CPS failed to monitor families participation in post-investigative services for nearly 22,000 investigations. 

It’s something Musgrove says happened to her when a CPS investigation into the father of her daughters found adequate evidence to suggest child abuse or neglect on his part. 

“He was supposed to do like parenting classes and do workbooks but they were never completed, CPS never followed up with that,” Musgrove said. 

A reason for that might be the state interprets the law a little differently. 

In it’s response to the audit report, the department argued the law, “does not require ongoing Child Protective Services intervention in response to a Category III disposition.”

That’s the same category a CPS investigator determined in the case Musgrove showed to 6 News. She says, overall, the findings in the report are alarming, but not surprising, and she’s hoping by sharing her experience it will only continue to raise awareness about the things that need to improve. 

“Kids slip through the cracks because of lack of consistency or whatever goes on there,” Musgrove said. “They obviously don’t follow what their supposed to and whatever their regulations are and I can attest to that.”

6 News reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services for comment, and they responded with this statement: 

“Our focus is to use the audit findings as a learning opportunity to make further improvements and fix shortcomings with Children’s Protective Services investigations.
 
MDHHS agrees with the Office of Auditor General that CPS can and must improve in many areas that impact timely and quality investigations. We have already taken many actions to improve investigations for the good of children and families, and we will continue to do so. While I will refer you to our department’s written responses in the audit to address your questions about the two findings, I again emphasize that we are focusing on improving CPS.”

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