Skip to main content


Program Improvement Plan (PIP) & Child and Family Services Review (CFSR)

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) determines whether states are in substantial conformity with federal requirements. The ACF measures compliance by conducting Federal Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) across the country.

Michigan's onsite CFSR was conducted in September 2002. The findings highlighted areas where Michigan was successful and those areas where improvements are needed in our child welfare system. It is important to note that the CFSR process looks broadly at the child welfare system and includes such components as access to medical and mental health services and educational services.

Michigan's Program Improvement Plan (PIP) was approved on May 24, 2004. Implementation of the strategies in the PIP is a joint effort between state, federal, and private agency partners.

Michigan's progress in achieving the goals contained within the PIP must be provided to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on a quarterly basis. The DHHS staff will conduct a follow-up review in approximately 2-years.

In order to adequately address the mandates of the CFSR process, a Child Welfare Quality Assurance unit (CWQA) has been developed within central office in the Child and Family Services Administration. The responsibilities of the unit are to develop and implement the PIP in collaboration with other state partners and stakeholders, to conduct the onsite reviews on a quarterly basis and to provide feedback to Field Operations and Child and Family Services on needed policy and practice modifications. Additionally, the staff of the unit will be available to local office for technical assistance and training in areas where conformance to the federal requirements is problematic.

The CWQA is staffed with the former CPS Peer Review team members and two previous child welfare training supervisors. Other staff from central office, zones and field operations have been trained to serve as CFS reviewers on a rotational basis.

Five counties have been selected for on-site reviews. We began the review with Jackson County. Jackson county served as a pilot county and they were reviewed by the CWQA unit and other supervisors from around the state. Reviews will be conducted quarterly until August 2006. The following counties will be reviewed once: Genesee, Macomb, Oakland and Saginaw. Wayne County will be reviewed three times within the next two years because Wayne County represents the largest child welfare population served. Although only the following counties have been selected for an on-site review over the coming 2-years, the expectation is that all counties will adhere to the action items outlined in the PIP.

During our quarterly review cycles, we will achieve the following goals:

  • Provide training for volunteers of the CFSR review teams
  • Begin reading a minimum of 15 cases at the pilot site and determine the actual number of cases that will be read each quarter upon completion of the pilot (we are committed to reviewing a minimum of 30 cases per quarter, or 120 annually.) As this process continues capacity, this number will increase.
  • Establish a format for training and technical assistance to the counties that have been reviewed that includes the following:
  • Provide the results of their CFS review
  • Meet with the managers and staff to discuss areas that were either high or low for the purpose of reinforcing best practice and for providing technical assistance in the areas where improvement is needed
  • Coordinate with the county in the areas they need additional training to ensure compliance
  • Assist in implementation of strategies included in the PIP
  • Determine the procedures, if any, to monitor performance in those counties that had been reviewed separately from the on-going CFSR process.
  • Implement a data-reporting format that synthesizes the data from the on-site reviews into a user-friendly report.
The CFSR process will provide us with the ability to review and sustain the improvements we are making as a result of our PIP goals. The CFSR Outcomes and the best practice component will increase compliance to our overall PIP strategies. The PIP is a long-term commitment on the part of Michigan to institute a Child Welfare Quality Assurance Process that is sustainable over a number of years.

Additionally, private agencies, the court, community partners and stakeholders awareness of and compliance with the federal outcomes will make them a full partner in the provision of services and the systemic reform that Michigan strives to make as a result of the CFSR process.

The interface between Field Services, the Program Office Policy staff and the Child Welfare Quality Assurance Unit, will be continuous to assure the strategies articulated in the PIP are implemented and assessed properly.