MICHIGAN — A Michigan nonprofit is under investigation by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
The state health department confirmed the information with FOX 17 on Friday afternoon.
MDHHS says it is presently unable to comment on the specifics of the investigation as outlined by Michigan’s Child Protection Law.
MDHHS declined an interview but provided the following statement to Fox 17:
"The department takes very seriously its responsibility to protect all children from abuse and neglect and has contacted the appropriate federal officials for their review. We are prohibited from disclosing specifics about a CPS investigation under the Michigan Child Protection Law, DHS-Pub-0003, Child Protection Law (michigan.gov), and by federal statute, 42 USC 671(a)(8)."
Fox 17 also reached out to Samaritas, which has branches all over the state. They did not comment on any allegations nor did they state which branch is being investigated. However, they provided this statement:
“For decades, Samaritas’ New Americans program has provided aid to thousands of refugees from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America. Through this program, we have supported unaccompanied Afghan refugee minors that have come into our care, providing these youths with the necessary emotional, social, physical and spiritual resources they need. Our qualified team has worked tirelessly to provide children in traumatic situations with the best quality care available, and we will continue to support all refugees that we are honored to serve.
"We cannot provide information on any ongoing investigations, but what we can say is that Samaritas remains committed to providing a safe and secure environment for the vulnerable populations in its care. To that end, we follow robust safety protocols, including conducting thorough background checks on all employees, initiating assignment procedures to ensure all aspects of care are covered and installing security cameras in our facilities. Additionally, given the extreme trauma this population has faced, we scheduled more qualified team members than was required to make sure these children had the resources they needed.”
FOX 17 will report any and all future updates as investigations unfold.