News & Features

Agencies at Odds Over Release of Caseworker Policy Violation

Montana Child Protection Alliance argues releasing the reports will create more accountability

MISSOULA — Two state agencies are at odds over whether investigations that find child and family services caseworkers failed to follow policies and procedures should be made public.

If the Child and Family Services Ombudsman’s office investigates a complaint and determines caseworkers didn’t follow policy, a “findings report” is sent to the director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The ombudsman’s office argues the reports should be made public after all identifying information is removed. The health department argues case records are confidential.

The Missoulian reports the agencies plan to ask a judge to decide.

The Montana Child Protection Alliance was created to help families navigate the child welfare system. The alliance argues releasing the reports will create more accountability for caseworkers and the state agency.