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Michigan Child Abuse Laws

Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a child is considered a serious crime under most state child abuse laws. Additionally, most states have what are known as "mandatory reporter" laws, which require certain professionals (such as doctors, teachers, and church clergy) with regular access to children to report signs of abuse to the proper authorities. Michigan child abuse law, for example, also lists counselors and social workers as mandatory reporters.

Child Abuse and Child Neglect

Both child abuse and child neglect are illegal in Michigan. Child neglect means negligent treatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.

What Agency Is Responsible For Investigating Claims of Child Abuse in Michigan?

The Children's Protective Services (CPS) program is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect.

The following chart summarizes Michigan child abuse laws and which adults are designated as mandatory reporters of abuse. See Child Abuse Overview for more general information about the crime.

Code Section 722.621-623, 633
What Constitutes Abuse Harm or threatened harm to child's health or welfare that occurs through nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse/exploitation, or maltreatment
Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, coroner, dentist, dental hygienist, EMT, psychologist, therapist/counselor, social worker, school administrator or teacher, law enforcement officer, child care provider, medical examiner, audiologist, clergy, anyone else may report
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect (pregnancy under 12 or venereal disease in child over 1 month but under 12 years is reasonable cause to suspect abuse)
To Whom Reported State Family Independence Agency
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Civilly liable for proximately caused damages; guilty of misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail and/or fine of not more than $100; intentionally making false report: if abuse was misdemeanor or not a crime, misdemeanor (93 days in jail and/or fine of not more than $100); if abuse is felony, lesser of penalty for the abuse or imprisonment for not more than 4 yrs. and/or fine of not more than $2,000

Note: State laws surrounding child abuse laws are constantly changing --contact a Michigan criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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