A report is a statement that someone is concerned for a child’s welfare. That someone is you.
Mandated Reporters shall make an immediate report to Centralized Intake, by telephone or through the online reporting system, of suspected child abuse or child neglect. Within 72 hors of making an oral report by telephone, the reporting person shall file a written report (DHS 3200). If the immediate report has been made using the online reporting system, no additional written report is required.
Reporting the suspected allegations of abuse or neglect to the head of an organization DOES NOT fulfill the requirement for mandated reporters to report directly to DHHS.
- Where to file
- What to include
- Past abuse
- Protective custody
- You are protected
- Failure to Report
Centralized Intake (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) is the public agency given authority, by law, to provide for the protection of children in their homes, schools and childcare situations.
Within 24 hours of gaining suspicion, file your report with Centralized Intake by either calling (855) 444-3911, or visiting newmibridges.michigan.gov
If you file the report over the phone, you must complete and file a 3200 Form to MDHHS within 72 hours of the phone call. The 3200 Form can be sent to MDHHS in the following ways:
- Fax – (616) 977-1154 and (616) 977-1158
Centralized Intake (State of Michigan DHHS)
5303 28th Street Court SE Suite A
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
- Email – MDHHS-CPS-CIGroup@michigan.gov
The 3200 form is available in the "Make a Report" page on the right hand side of your screen.
If submitting online, visit newmibridges.michigan.gov and click the "Partnerships" tab. On the "Welcome MDHHS Partners" page, click the "Mandated Reporters" link on the right, and then click the "Register" button below [click the "Login" button if you have an active registration in Michigan Bridges].
Once you have registered and/or logged in, you will have access to the Mandated Reporters Dashboard where you can file a report by clicking the "Create a new complaint" button.
If the child is in imminent danger, call 911 right away and file your report after the child is safe.
When you file a report, give the following information to the best of your ability.
- Provide name, birth date, sex, race, address, phone number, and parent information
- Include dates, times and descriptions of observations and communications with the child
- Use child’s exact words (or as close as possible) when reporting to CPS
- Note and report any developmentally inappropriate behaviors
- Include all symptoms/concerns in detail – including neglect
- Include names of anyone who witnessed/heard report or spoke with child
Attach to the report any documents that support the facts of the report.
Mandated reporters should provide Centralized Intake with their name in order to document that they have met their legal mandate.
Centralized Intake will not release the name of the reporter to the public, but they will release the name to other members of the investigative team. If the report leads to a criminal investigation or child protection proceedings, the reporter’s name will no longer be considered confidential, and will be included on the case witness list.
If the child is still under age 18, you should report any past unreported abuse or neglect that you learn about or suspect.
After you submit your report, Centralized Intake will determine if the referral meets the criteria of the child protection law.
If it does not, the mandated reporter may be informed immediately, or will receive written notification of the decision. If it does, within 24 hours, Centralized Intake will forward the report to CPS to formally open an investigation. Within 24 hours after that, CPS may refer the matter to law enforcement to conduct a joint investigation or begin its own investigation.
The CPS Investigator will likely interview the reporter and may need to interview other employees or children in contact with the victim. Law enforcement will interview the victim and any possible witnesses to the abuse or neglect.
Interviews on school property
- Under the Michigan Child Protection Law, MDHHS can have contact with the child at school without parental consent, and the school is expected to cooperate with this aspect of the investigation.
- If contact needs to be made at the school, the MDHHS representative will meet with the designated school staff person before meeting with the child to cover MDHHS’s roles and responsibilities in the investigation. They will also meet with the designated school staff person AND the child after the meeting about the response MDHHS will take. They may also choose to meet with the staff person WITHOUT the child to discuss additional information as they see fit.
- Meetings with children in school will NOT require the child to remove their clothes for an examination of their genitalia unless MDHHS obtains a court order to do so.
A child may be taken into custody by a law enforcement officer if there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
- The child is suffering from illness or injury or is in immediate danger from their surroundings
- The child has run away from his parents, caregiver, guardian, or other custodian
If a child suspected of being a victim of abuse or neglect is admitted to a hospital (or comes to a hospital for outpatient services), and the attending physician believes that releasing the child would endanger their health or welfare, the attending physician must notify the person in charge at the hospital and MDHHS. The person in charge may hold the child in temporary protective custody until the next regular business day of the probate court, at which time the court will determine either to continue holding the child in custody or to release them to their parent/guardian.
If you make an honest report, in good faith, you cannot be held liable for any damages or charged with any crime for reporting.
Section 5 of the Michigan Child Protection Law states: “A person acting in good faith who makes a report, cooperates in an investigation, or assists in any other requirement of this act 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. This immunity from civil or criminal liability extends only to acts done according to this act and does not extend to a negligent act that causes personal injury or death or to the malpractice of a physician that results in personal injury or death.”
A report that is made out of genuine concern for a child’s well-being is considered an "in good faith" report. If the facts gathered during the assessment does not confirm the child was neglected or abused, you will not be penalized.
Failure to report abuse could result in a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum imprisonment of 93 days, a maximum fine of $500, and possibly the loss of your profession.
If the report is false, the mandated reporter is guilty of a felony punishable by the lesser of the two sentences:
- The penalty for the abuse or neglect that was falsely reported
- A maximum imprisonment of 4 years, a maximum fine of $2000, or both.