Understanding Michigan's Waiver Project

In September 2012, Michigan was one of nine states approved to conduct a child welfare waiver demonstration starting in 2013 under the authority of Section 1130 of the Social Security Act. Protect MiFamily, will provide prevention and preservation services to families with very young children determined by Children’s Protective Services (CPS) to be at high or intensive risk for maltreatment. MDHHS will contract with private agencies to conduct assessments of the families’ strengths and needs, coordinate timely referrals to evidence-based community services and engage families in their own homes to build strengths and reduce risk. Michigan currently offers prevention programs and family preservation services, but none contain the combination of interventions or resemble the characteristics of the Protect MiFamily waiver project. The waiver was designed to create an environment that promotes optimal child and family development and reduces child abuse and neglect. In order to do so, the Waiver project will:

  • Build family strengths using the Protective Factors framework.
  • Rely on the use of evidence-based programs and interventions whenever feasible.
  • Target early screening for domestic violence, substance abuse and mental illness with immediate link to supportive community services and treatment.
  • Provide early childhood trauma screening and evidence-based intervention to address history of trauma and promote healthy child development.
  • Provide fifteen months of family support with variable intensity of engagement based on family needs, strengths and progress.
  • Offer concrete assistance to assist families with immediate needs.
  • Administer pay for performance contracts with private agency providers.

Target Population
Protect MiFamily's target population consists of families with:

  • An investigation by CPS and assigned either a Category II disposition or a Category IV disposition with “high/intensive” risk.
  • At least one child age 0-5 resides in the home.

Demonstration Sites
Protect MiFamily will be implemented in Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Macomb counties. These counties were selected based on their numbers of Category II and IV cases, high rates of maltreatment recurrence, availability of community support services, upward trend in foster care population for children 0-5, and strong agency leadership and interagency collaboration.

Time Period
The project was implemented in all three demonstration sites on August 1, 2013, and will end July 2018.