Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice to address MS Safe Child Conference on Friday

JACKSON — Maura D. Corrigan, former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and former Director of the Michigan Department of Human Services, will share her learned insights Friday with Mississippi judges, lawmakers and child welfare advocates.

The 2nd Annual Justice Jess Dickinson’s Safe Child Conference will be held Friday, March 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carroll Gartin Justice Building, first floor Conference Room.

Corrigan vacated her position on the Michigan Supreme Court to accept a gubernatorial appointment to head Michigan’s Department of Human Services at a critical time when that state’s child welfare/foster care system was under a federal court order to improve its services. The scenario was much like Mississippi’s current situation involving the newly created Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services. Corrigan has been meeting this week with MDCPS leadership, including Commissioner David A. Chandler, to discuss ways for improving delivery of child protection services in Mississippi.

In December 2015, Governor Phil Bryant tapped Chandler, then a Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, to oversee reform of Mississippi’s foster care system. In May 2016, Bryant signed Senate Bill 2179 establishing MDCPS as an independent agency and dramatically increasing its budget. The change enabled MDCPS to begin enhancing its infrastructure and increasing the number of social workers employed to meet the needs of children and families across the state.