Michigan law aims to further protect victims of child abuse or child neglect by adding physical and occupational therapists and athletic trainers as mandatory reporters. This is one of many steps taken in recent years to expand the growing list of those who are designated as mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse under Michigan’s Child Protection Law.
What Are Mandatory Reporters Legally Obligated To Do?
In Michigan, mandatory reporters must immediately report any reasonably suspected child abuse or child neglect. This report must be made directly to Centralized Intake at Children’s Protective Services (CPS) within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). This report can be made by phone, but if so, the mandatory reporter must also follow up with a written report on a DHHS 3200 form within 72 hours. You must also give notice to the head of the reporters organization, school, medical facility or business.
Other professionals that are mandatory reporters under Michigan’s Child Protection Law include doctors, teachers, social workers, and nurses, just to name a few. These occupations are listed as mandatory reporters because they work closely with children in the course of their job and are in a position to recognize and know how to report abuse and neglect.
In fact if a person that is listed as a mandatory reporter in Michigan does not comply with our Child Protection Law, they become subject to serious penalties. This could be criminally and civilly liable, and could even lose their professional license. When this happens, they may need an aggressive and proven attorney to fight for them. .
These mandatory reporters must report reasonable suspicion of child abuse or child neglect even outside of their job duties. It is important to remember that anyone can report, not just mandatory reporters. Voluntarily reporting can help protect children, but be sure that the report is not made for some dishonest reason. A word of caution here is prudent. Never, ever make a report of child abuse to CPS or to the police for only vindictive reasons. Everyone is wise to parents that falsely report the other parent for child abuse during a custody or divorce battle. CPS is not there to help you win custody. They have serious and important work to do. Leave the custody battles to experienced family law attorneys.
What If There Was Found To Be No Abuse or Neglect?
Mandatory reporters err on the side of caution because of the penalties they could face. Therefore, they often choose to over-report to be safe. When doing this, it may be a concern that they could also face trouble for a false report, but there is no need to worry! As long as the report is made in good faith, there will be no consequences for a report made in good faith if it turns out no abuse is present. The names of the reporters are also confidential except in those very rare instances where a court orders otherwise.
But, a report made in bad faith (such as a custody battle) is another story. This can result in fines or imprisonment, the severity of which depends on the allegations made. It is always a bad idea to make a report to CPS when you know that no abuse or child neglect is present.
Facing Charges For False Reporting or Failing to Report? We Can Help!
Dealing with a CPS investigation in Michigan can be difficult, to say the least. That is why you need a team of experienced CPS defense attorneys on your side. At The Kronzek Firm, we have decades of experience helping parents fight CPS from Lansing to Grand Rapids to Detroit and throughout the lower Peninsula of Michigan. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 886-766-5245.