Mismanagement alleged throughout Montana’s Child and Family Services

Montana’s Child and Family Services Division is tasked with safeguarding the wellbeing of some of the society’s most vulnerable citizens, but in recent months the agency has been criticized by sources who claim longstanding mismanagement has fostered a broken system.

Nearly 20 sources with knowledge of Northwestern Division VI of Child and Family Services in Kalispell and other offices in Montana say over the years employees have had to maneuver a system that consistently fails to uphold its purpose, namely keeping children safe and families strong. They claim those suffering the most are children, who are sometimes unnecessarily taken from their homes and families by Child and Family Services. Many sources interviewed chose to remain anonymous, and to protect their identities, the Daily Inter Lake will not divulge names of those who currently work with Child and Family Services.

“When a child is removed from their parents they lose everything — their home, trust, their belongings and sometimes their school and friends,” said Pat Sylvia, a now-retired former supervisor with the Kalispell office who held her position for more than a decade.