Child Protective Proceedings
Our Children's Protective Services (CPS) program is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect. The Michigan Child Protection Law provides the framework for what CPS must do.
Child Abuse: Harm or threatened harm to a child's health or welfare that occurs through non-accidental 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.
Child Neglect: Harm or threatened harm to a child's health or welfare by a parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child's health or welfare that occurs through either of the following:
- Negligent treatment, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
- Placing a child at an unreasonable risk to the child's health or welfare by failure of the parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for the child's health or welfare to intervene to eliminate that risk when that person is able to do so and has, or should have, knowledge of the risk.
Anyone, including a child, who suspects child abuse or neglect, can make a report by calling 855-444-3911. In addition, the Child Protection Law requires certain professionals to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Review the Mandated Reporters section of our website for more details.
Reports of suspected child abuse or neglect will either be:
- Assigned for investigation;
- Rejected; or
- Transferred to another agency for investigation, such as law enforcement or the Bureau of Child and Adult Licensing.
Reports must meet the following three criteria to be assigned for investigation:
- The alleged victim is under 18 years of age.
- The alleged perpetrator is a parent, legal guardian or other person responsible for the child's health and welfare.
- The allegations minimally meet the child abuse and neglect definitions in the Child Protection Law.
Identifying Child Abuse & Neglect
- Potential Indicators of Child Abuse and/or Neglect: Physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse and/or neglect that may be used as guidelines for when to make a CPS complaint.
- Mandated Reporters: Mandated reporters are required under Child Protection Law to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect.
Investigation Process & Results
- Children's Protective Services Investigation Process: Overview of the investigation process for allegations of abuse and neglect of children under the age of 18.
- Central Registry: After the investigation, certain individuals are placed on the Central Registry. Learn more about the registry and request clearance.