Michigan nonprofit social services agencies say they are making progress with a pilot program designed to keep children in their homes and out of a strained state child-welfare system.
The prevention program has been assisting families in the Detroit, Pontiac, Flint and Grand Rapids areas since last October.
The state Department of Human Services works with private agencies
and targets families that aren't in imminent danger of breaking apart but could if help isn't provided.
The three-month, in-home program emerged from a yearlong effort involving DHS and community workers, lawmakers and families.
Former DHS director Ismael Ahmed says helping families deal with their problems is better for children and cheaper than going into state care.
Officials say very few of the 2,500 cases have been referred back to the state.