MTPR

Child and Family Services Division

Montana Child and Family Services sign in Helena, MT.
Bree Zender

State health officials say Montana needs to continue a boost in funding to deal with the heavy caseload in the foster child system.

The increasing number of children entering Montana’s foster care system is stabilizing after a spike in recent years, according to the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Department of Justice review suggests the state could prevent child deaths with public campaigns about reporting child abuse and safe sleep practices for newborns.

The Office of Child and Family Services ombudsman reviewed the deaths of 12 children last year whose cases had been reported to Child and Family Services within a year of their deaths.

The rising number of children entering Montana’s foster care system appears to be slowing after years of sharp increases that burdened the state justice system and the caseload of health department workers.

According to the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the increase in the number of kids in foster care is stabilizing after doubling over the last decade.

Sheila Hogan is director of Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services.
State of Montana

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The head of the state health department says child protection workers in Billings are facing "crisis level caseloads" leading the Division of Child and Family Services to decide to close its Livingston office and move that office's caseworker jobs to Billings.

Montana Child and Family Services sign in Helena, MT.
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.

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