Essential family services in Michigan like adoption and juvenile justice facilities are facing a critical labor shortage.

While the labor shortage has been a chronic problem for Michigan’s nonprofit, accredited child welfare agencies, COVID-19 has made it much worse.

As a member of the Association of Accredited Child Welfare Agencies, I speak from experience when I tell you we are constantly seeking to hire qualified workers.

Unfortunately, a major roadblock to filling our open positions is the fact the state dictates and caps the cost of care in terms of reimbursement for direct care services.

A similar cap doesn’t exist for state-run facilities, which means while we can afford to start hiring at $10-$12 an hour, the state of Michigan hires workers with similar qualifications for its state-run facilities starting at $18-20 an hour.