State and Statute: Michigan, Laws §§ 722.622 et seq.
What Is Reportable “Abuse”: “Child abuse means harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare that occurs through nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment, by a parent, a legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s health or welfare or by a teacher, a teacher’s aide, or a member of the clergy.” [722.622]
Mandatory Reporters: Includes any marriage and family therapist, licensed professional counselor, social worker, school administrator, school counselor or teacher, or a regulated child care provider; and a “member of the clergy.” [722.623(1)(a)]
“Member of the clergy” means “a priest, minister, rabbi, Christian Science practitioner, or other religious practitioner, or similar functionary of a church, temple, or recognized religious body, denomination, or organization.” [722.622(a)(z)]
How and Where to Report: Through “centralized intake by telephone (1-855-444-3911), or, if available through the online reporting system.” Written report within 72 hours required following an oral report. Online reporting system (https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/adult-child-serv/abuse-neglect/childrens/mandated-reporters) considered written report if “that report includes the information required in a written report.” [722.623(1)(a)] “If the reporting person is a member of the staff of a hospital, agency, or school, the reporting person shall notify the person in charge of the hospital, agency, or school of his or her finding and that the report has been made, and shall make a copy of the written or electronic report available to the person in charge. A notification to the person in charge of a hospital, agency, or school does not relieve the member of the staff of the hospital, agency, or school of the obligation of reporting to the department as required by this section. One report from a hospital, agency, or school is adequate to meet the reporting requirement.” [722.623(a)(2)]
Timeline to Report: Immediately. [722.623(1)(a)]
Clergy Privilege: “Any legally recognized privileged communication except that between attorney and client or that made to a member of the clergy in his or her professional character in a confession or similarly confidential communication is abrogated and shall not constitute grounds for excusing a report otherwise required to be made or for excluding evidence in a civil child protective proceeding resulting from a report made pursuant to this act. This section does not relieve a member of the clergy from reporting suspected child abuse or child neglect if that member of the clergy receives information concerning suspected child abuse or child neglect while acting in any other capacity [of mandatory reporter].” [722.631]
Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: “Misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500, or both.” [722.633(13)(2)]
Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? Yes. “(A) person who is required by this act to report an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect and who fails to do so is civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by the failure.” [722.633 (13)(1)]
Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “A person acting in good faith who makes a report … is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred by that action. A person making a report or assisting in any other requirement of this act is presumed to have acted in good faith.” [722.625]
Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Except for certain records available by statute, the reporter’s identity is confidential and can be only disclosed by consent or judicial process. Statutory availability, notice, or release of information may not identify reporter, without reporter’s consent in certain instances. [722.625, 722.627(f), and 722.929(6)]
Additional Information for Michigan:
- 24-hour, toll-free hotline: 1-855-444-3911*
- Online reporting: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/adult-child-serv/abuse-neglect/childrens/mandated-reporters *
All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.