Senate approves Jansen bill to strengthen Michigans child protection laws
LANSING--Reforms designed to strengthen the laws concerning the review of child death cases were approved Thursday by the Michigan Senate, said Sen. Mark C. Jansen, one of the lead sponsors of the legislative package.
“It is hard to imagine a bill dealing with issues more significant than protecting children,” said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “It is an amazing honor to raise kids. While most caregivers in the state system are loving, responsible and competent, unfortunately abuses do occur. This package will help ensure that justice will be done in the event of a child’s tragic death, and it will help reduce the number of these tragedies.”
Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Maura Corrigan has worked with the Senate for several years to improve collaboration between state agencies on child death reviews, including during her tenure as a Michigan Supreme Court justice.
Jansen’s measure, Senate Bill 226, would establish a single registry of statistical information available to the public concerning children who have died while in foster care, under court jurisdiction, or after involvement with Child Protective Services.
“This is about transparency and the public’s right to know,” Jansen said. “We must bring this information to the light.”
Other bills in the package would:
- In the event of a child’s death in a suspected child abuse or neglect case, make certain information available to a court that has jurisdiction;
- Add a court representative to child death review teams; and
- Require DHS to immediately notify the court with jurisdiction, the children’s ombudsman and the Legislature when a child under court jurisdiction dies.
SBs 226-229 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011
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