In December 1991, Governor John Engler appointed the Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice (Task Force) with Honorable Elizabeth A. Weaver, then of the Michigan Court of Appeals, as Chairperson. The Task Force was appointed with the express purpose of meeting the requirements of a state multidisciplinary task force under the Children's Justice Act (42 USC 5106C; PL 100-294 as amended). The Task Force was renamed the Governor's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect in 2010. In 2017, Governor Rick Snyder reconfigured the Task Force by Executive Order 2017-4. The current Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect is chaired by Dr. Tana Bridge.
The charge to the Task Force is to:
- Review and evaluate State investigative, administrative and both civil and criminal judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as cases involving suspected child maltreatment related fatalities and cases involving a potential combination of jurisdictions, such as intrastate, interstate, Federal-State, and State-Tribal; and
- Make policy and training recommendations in each of the categories described below. The Task Force may make such other comments and recommendations as are considered relevant and useful.
The Task Force makes recommendations and award grants to develop, establish and operate programs in each of the following categories:
- Investigative, administrative, and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation, as well as cases involving suspected child maltreatment related fatalities and cases involving a potential combination of jurisdictions, such as intrastate, interstate, Federal-State, and State-Tribal, in a manner which reduces the additional trauma to the child victim and the victim's family and which also ensures procedural fairness to the accused;
- Experimental, model, and demonstration programs for testing innovative approaches and techniques which may improve the prompt and successful resolution of civil and criminal court proceedings or enhance the effectiveness of judicial and administrative action in child abuse and neglect cases, particularly child sexual abuse and exploitation cases, including the enhancement of performance of court appointed attorneys and guardians ad litem for children, and which also ensure procedural fairness to the accused; and
- Reform of State laws, ordinances, regulations, protocols, and procedures to provide comprehensive protection for children, which may include those children involved in reports of child abuse or neglect with a potential combination of jurisdictions, such as intrastate, interstate, Federal-State, and State-Tribal, from child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse and exploitation, while ensuring fairness to all affected persons.
The Task Force, under the leadership of Dr. Tana Bridge, professor of Social Work, continues to identify problem areas, assess potential solutions, and make recommendations to the Department of Human Services.
If you have any questions or would like additional information Task Force, please contact Kevin Bryan, Bryank@Michigan.gov, State Coordinator for the Task Force, at 517-241-7358.
The Governor's Task Force is still functioning under the Executive Order of Governor Snyder during the transition of Governor Whitmer. To view a copy of Governor Richard Snyder’s Executive Order reconfiguring the Task Force, go to the following link: