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State of Mich. launches pilot program to protect kids
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The State of Michigan is working to protect the lives of at-risk children.
This week, the Department of Human Services launched the Protect MI-Family Program.
The pilot program launched in Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Macomb Counties.
It is geared toward strengthening Michigan families by keeping them together.
The program is backed by the federal government and officially launched Wednesday in Kalamazoo County.
It's geared toward kids between zero and five years old, who have been determined as high-risk by Child Protective Services.
To qualify, families must live in one of the three pilot counties.
It's all an effort to keep kids out of foster care.
The program will meet with the families selected at least twice a week to start, offering long-term support.
"Instead of removing a child from a home, what this program does is it really puts services into the home intensively so we can build the protective factor with the family and have a support they can lean on," said Mary Muliett, from Lutheran Social Services of Southwest Michigan.
300 families will take part in this first year, including 100 in Kalamazoo County, with services lasting about 15 months.
The pilot program is expected to last five years.