Senate approves Jansen’s legislation to strengthen Michigan’s child protection laws
LANSING - Legislation to help improve agency communication and accountability in child-protection cases was passed by the Michigan Senate Tuesday, said sponsor Sen. Mark C. Jansen, R-Gaines Township.
“I’m glad to see these important measures approved by my Senate colleagues,” Jansen said. “I am also encouraged that since these bills were introduced, the department has already begun to implement some of the measures. We must continue working together on ways to improve the way child protection cases are handled.”
Senate Bill 1418, sponsored by Jansen, will require the Michigan Department of Human Services to collaborate with local Friend of the Court offices on cases where a child is the subject of a protective services investigation and also involved in a custody or parenting time case.
Other legislation in the four-bill package will:
- Require the department to implement an investigation checklist for statewide use in child abuse and neglect investigations;
- Add professional employees of the Friend of the Court to the list of mandatory reporters for child abuse and neglect; and
- Require Friend of the Court to notify the department of any procedural developments in custody or parenting time cases if they have been notified by the department that a protective services investigation is ongoing.
Earlier this year the Senate Family and Human Services Committee, chaired by Jansen, convened a hearing to examine the department’s response to the October 2007 death of Nicholas Braman. The department testified that more should have been done to protect the 9 year old.
Oliver Braman, Nicholas’ father, had a documented history of violence. Nicholas’ two older brothers were removed from their father’s custody. Ultimately, Oliver pleaded guilty to second degree child abuse and was facing jail when he took Nicholas’ life.
Jansen’s measure will also permit the department to share information contained in the child abuse and neglect central registry with local Friend of the Court offices.
“I hope to see speedy passage of these bills in the House and look forward to the governor signing them into law,” Jansen said.
SBs 1418 through 1421 now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2008
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