(NewsGlobal.com)- Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services closed a Detroit-based adoption agency, claiming its worsening financial situation will hurt the quality of care the children in its services receive.
Homes for Black Children, which was founded in 1969 by the United Way to decrease the number of black children in the foster system, has faced declines in its external funding since 2017. Since its founding, the agency has provided adoption services to over 2,000 children. The Department of Health and Human Services revoked the agency’s license last Friday.
According to the department’s Public Information Officer Bob Wheaton, the adoption agency’s “significant financial instability” over the past four years “threatens its ability to manage the cases of vulnerable children.”
Wheaton said the agency’s failure to promptly pay its foster parents “could affect the financial support they need to provide for the children in their care.” Likewise, agency employees haven’t been receiving their paychecks on time.
Wheaton added that while the state appreciates the support from “community members,” the department’s thorough investigation into the agency left it no choice but to revoke its license under Public Act 116 “to protect children.”
The adoption agency’s cases will be transferred to other agencies which are prepared to handle them, Wheaton said.
Homes for Black Children argued that closure would be unnecessary and the agency’s finances have improved significantly after its overhaul of operations.
HBC President and CEO Jacquelynn Moffett said the agency had run a net profit of $70,000 last year but that had not been enough to convince the state to keep HBC open.
Recently, Michigan’s Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have increased state funding to adoption agencies. The legislation would have provided $25.5 million to organizations like Homes for Black Children.
Homes for Black Children previously received nearly half a million dollars annually in financial aid from the United Way. But that figure dropped tenfold in recent years.