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Child protective services investigations down in Branch County, officials say it's good news for kids

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Local officials say there are some encouraging numbers from the Department of Human Services that may be a sign of better days to come for kids in Branch County. County Board of Commissioners Chairman Don Vrablic is the Board’s liaison with the DHS and revealed that the number of completed child protective services investigations for the county were down 20 from the month before.                                                                                                         

Vrablic says he also learned the state is getting ready to scale back a bit in the size of its workforce. For 2013 between the Branch County and Hillsdale County offices, they have 117 employees but for 2014, the plan is to lower that to 101. And out of those 16 positions, 11 are in Branch County. He says they’re not really sure if the staff reductions are a result of fewer cases but they will continue to monitor that situation.

In addition, Vrablic says Branch County is financially starting to hold its own regarding child foster care issues and those amounts have declined over the last 3 months. The county’s child care fund currently has a $22,000 surplus in reimbursements.