Governor Rick Snyder appointed Orlene Hawks, Director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman, as the leader of a team that will conduct an operational review and improvement process of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Protective Services program. The announcement comes after an audit by the state Auditor General found numerous deficiencies in the operation of the program. Following the release of the audit, Governor Snyder tasked senior adviser Rich Baird to review the audit and pull together resources to address issues found within the audit.
The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman is an independent oversight state agency that ensures greater accountability and transparency in the state’s child welfare system. It investigates complaints about children involved with Michigan’s child welfare system and incidents of child deaths due to neglect or abuse issues. Ms. Hawks is taking a leave of absence from that office to work in the Executive Office and lead the new team. In addition to herself and Mr. Baird, the “CPS Operation Excellence Team” will include:
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