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In accordance with section (3) of MCL 722.623 - the Child Protection Law – teachers, school counselors and school administrators are required to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect as mandated reporters.
Michigan Child Protection Law requires mandated reporters who have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect to make an immediate oral report to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) – Centralized Intake (855-444- 3911), followed by a written report within 72 hours OR create a report through the Michigan Online Reporting System (MORS). A written report is not required if MORS was utilized to address the alleged abuse/neglect.
The reporter is not expected to investigate the matter, know the legal definitions of child abuse and neglect or even know the name of the perpetrator, but the law does require reporting abuse within 72 hours. Investigations are confidential and thus it is appropriate to err on the side of children’s safety, which means immediately reporting suspected abuse and then proceeding with the investigation and request for additional information. The Child Protection Law is intended to make reporting simple and places responsibility for determining appropriate action with the Children’s Protective Services (CPS) division of MDHHS.
Notifying parents/guardians, school administrators or other individuals of authority is not adequate fulfillment of mandatory reporting requirements.
Mandated Reporter Resources
Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect in Michigan
More information about mandated reporting, online reporting, training resources, and general requirements is available on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Mandated Reporters webpage.
Appropriately Handling Disclosure
In cooperation with the Firecracker Foundation, the Michigan Department of Education has released training materials for appropriately handing disclosure.