Michigan’s Child Protection Law defines child abuse and neglect as 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.
To report suspected abuse or neglect of a child or an adult, please call the Department of Health & Human Services Centralized Intake at 1-855-444-3911.
In Michigan, the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) is responsible for investigating reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. It is required that DHHS evaluate the risk to the child and determine the potential for positive family change during the investigation. If DHHS believes the child is at risk of harm in the home, a formal complaint is prepared and a Preliminary Hearing scheduled in Juvenile Court. The Juvenile Court has the authority to remove children from their home and place them elsewhere or order a parent from the home to maintain the children’s safety while the case is proceeding.
When a neglect/abuse hearing is scheduled in Juvenile Court, a parent is entitled to a court-appointed attorney if the parent can demonstrate an inability to afford one. Requests for a court-appointed attorney should be made before the hearing to avoid delaying the hearing. The request must be made on an approved court form and specific financial information must accompany the request.
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