DHS recommends Omarion Humphrey's foster agency lose its license - WNEM TV 5

DHS recommends Omarion Humphrey's foster agency lose its license

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Chief Rick Freeman was heartbroken when 9-year-old Omarion Humphrey was found in Lake Callis.  

"I heard about it and expected something to come down soon," Freeman said.

The Davison Township police chief led efforts to find the boy with autism to no avail.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a 44-page report.

In that report, the state agency overseeing foster programs recommended the agency that placed Omarion with his foster family lose its license.

One of the mistakes the report details was the use of Hollywood movies to teach autistic families how to care for autistic children.

Alternatives for Children released a statement in response to the report:

"We are exercising our appeal rights and attempting to work cooperatively with the Division Of Child Welfare Licensing. We feel that it is not appropriate or useful to air our difference in the public forum that can be created by the press or social media."

Although several months have passed since Omarion's death, Freeman is still amazed and grateful by a community of strangers who exhausted all they could, hoping for a better ending to the drama that played out before their very eyes.

"It was amazing," Freeman said. "However people care and they showed it here and we still do care. That’s why any news is bringing us all closure."

Bob Ennis was one of the founders of the agency now known as Alternatives for Children. 

"Back in 1983, my partner and I started that," Ennis said. "It was an Ennis Center for Children and when we broke off, it became Alternatives. This hurts in the worst way." 

Ennis, for years, has been a champion for protecting children in the foster care system. 

"I'm torn," Ennis said. "This hurts so many people and it hurts the business of caring for children." 

Ennis said he believes something needs to change and do so quickly. For him, there is no justification for an agency to have placed Omarion with a family without adequate training. But he also blames the state.

"The industry needs change and the state must pick up its policies to avoid something like this happening again, making it more difficult to serve," Ennis said.

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