Mandated Reporting: The Rising Cost of “Forced” Reports

Man calling CPS on cell phone
A simple call for one person… a life changing investigation for another.

Mandated reporting has been something of a controversial subject in Michigan, and as the list of mandated reporters seems to get longer every year, the question comes up again and again: should people be forced to report their suspicions, even when they don’t have any evidence to back it up?

The law requires that a report be made if…

A federal law first passed in 1974 makes it a requirement for doctors and many other health-care professionals to report reasonably suspected child abuse to a state-designated authority. What the law fails to do, however, is specify exactly what “reasonably suspected” means. Each state is left to quantify exactly what constitutes abuse. How many bruises on a child tally up to more than normal play? Which unexplained injuries on an infant count as more than a “reasonable” amount?

Michigan’s mandatory reporter law names a LOT of people!

In Michigan, there are a number of people and professions where mandatory reporting is simply part and parcel of the job description. Doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, pastors and therapists, to name but a few, are all required by state law to report any suspected instance of child abuse that they encounter. But in recent years that list has been expanded to include physical therapists, coaches, and athletic trainers as well.

But what is the result of all these “required” calls?

But one result of the relentless pressure, which is reinforced with the possibility of criminal charges, is that the number of hotline calls to report suspected abuse and neglect has exploded in recent years. A 2016 report revealed that a total of 7.4 million children had been reported as possible victims of abuse that year, which is a staggering number of reports, and the number has only grown since then.

People calling the hotlines don’t think about the long term effects.

Most people who call the hotlines assume that CPS workers will show up, assess the situation properly, and if there’s no abuse happening, then they’ll move on – no harm no foul. But that’s almost never the way it works out. Families brought under suspicion rarely ever get off unscathed. The allegations have a way of sticking, making them suspects in their own communities, and damaging their family relationships.

Protect your family from a false allegation of abuse.

You can’t control what people say about you, and you can’t stop someone from misdiagnosing a bruise on your child’s face as abuse, when in reality they simply tackled a cousin during a backyard football game. But once the allegation has been made, you CAN protect yourself and your family against the fall out. Call the experienced CPS defense lawyers at The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 and discuss your case with someone who cares.