MTPR

Child and Family Services Division

Statewide Growth In Child Protective Custody Orders Brings New Challenges
Bree Zender

Filings for child protective custody cases in Missoula County are at an all-time high.

The local county attorney’s office last year filed 195 new cases. That’s an almost four-fold increase from just 2011.

Missoula Deputy County Attorney Jessica Finley says many of these cases are fueled by drugs.

Fourteen Montana children, whose cases had been reported to the state’s child protective services, died last year. Drug or alcohol use was identified in 9 of the 14 cases reviewed by the Montana Department of Justice.

State Attorney General Tim Fox says the state must learn how to better protect its most vulnerable children.

Montana Capitol, Helena.
Mike Albans

As Montana lawmakers look to find ways to trim state spending amid a budget shortfall, officials who oversee the state’s foster care system say they need more money to keep up with their rising workload.

Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services expects the number of kids in foster care to continue growing in coming years, to the point where they’re asking lawmakers to add more than $16 million to their $76 million budget.

Rep. Kim Dudik, D - Missoula
Mike Albans

A new bill would give Montana’s Child and Family Services Division more time to informally resolve child abuse cases before they are referred to the courts.

If passed, the bill would provide additional funding  for a child abuse pilot project passed by the legislature in 2015.

Statewide Growth In Child Protective Custody Orders Brings New Challenges
Bree Zender

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock blames the state’s failing child and family services system on the state legislature. Today the Republican chairman of the interim committee on child and family services shot back.

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