November 20, 2020

Mich. Child Welfare System Struggles with Oversight, Data

GL Solutions regulatory news
Mich. Child Welfare System Struggles with Oversight, Data

Court monitors on Nov. 10 told a U.S. district judge that poor oversight, along with data tracking issues, still endanger Michigan’s foster children, according to the Lansing State Journal. In 2008, Michigan settled a class action suit filed on behalf of children in state custody by Children’s Rights, a child advocacy group. Since that time, the state’s child welfare system has been under federal court oversight. Court monitors pointed to the death of teenager Cornelius Frederick, who died on April 29 at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo when staff pinned him to the floor. Investigations of the facility by the Department of Health and Human Services showed on average an allegation of abuse or neglect every 10 days at that facility for two consecutive years.

N.D. Allows COVID-Positive Health Professionals to Work

Faced with a severe staffing shortage, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced on Nov. 9 that asymptomatic health care workers infected with COVID could continue to work. They may work only in COVID units, however. North Dakota’s approach follows the Centers for Disease Control’s “crisis capacity strategies,” which permit COVID-positive health care personnel to return to work if there are persistent staffing shortages, according to NBC News.

N.H. Child Agencies struggle to Quarantine Sick Kids

New Hampshire institutions have found it difficult to find places to quarantine children infected with the coronavirus, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. About 30 children in residential facilities around the state have contracted COVID, the Office of the Child Advocate reported in an annual report released in early November. The state’s residential facilities don’t have enough space to quarantine children, leading facilities to close their doors to visitors. This can slow down the process for placing children with families, however. The Office of the Child Advocate oversees the Division for Children Youth and Families.

Conn. Doc Accused of Ordering Pricey COVID Tests

A doctor chosen by the city of Bedford, Conn. to run its COVID testing site has been accused of running unnecessary and expensive tests, according to The New York Times. More than 10 patients contend that Greenwich internist Steven Murphy used public testing sites to order unnecessary tests with little oversight from town officials. A woman whose family was tested received a $6,800 bill for four tests, according to the Times.

W.Va. Wins $256K Judgement against Unlicensed Contractor

West Virginia’s attorney general won a $256,000 court judgement against an unlicensed contractor who provided shoddy work or none at all to unsuspecting clients, according to WSAZ. The attorney general’s office sued Benjamin Burns in Kanawha Circuit Court in May 2019 following numerous complaints. Burns has never held a contracting, plumbing or electrical license with the West Virginia Division of Labor. He has been prohibited from doing any future home improvement work.

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