How the Nassar Case Will Change Michigan’s Child Abuse Reporting Laws (Part 1)

Gymnast stretching
More than 100 women and girls, including numerous gymnasts testified against Nassar during his sentencing hearing.

The ripples of the Larry Nassar case can be felt in every corner of the state. New legislation is being introduced, people’s motives are being questioned, jobs are being lost, rules and regulations are changing. The upheaval is enormous. And one of the areas (one of many) that has come under fire since this case made headlines, if the mandated reporter law in Michigan.

Michigan’s Mandated Reporter list is long, but is it long enough?

Currently, Michigan law governing mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect has a very specific list of people who are classified by the state as mandated reporters. A mandated reporter is someone who MUST report to CPS or the police if they have “reasonable cause to suspect” that child abuse or child neglect is happening, or has happened in the past. However, anyone not included in that list doesn’t count as a mandatory reporter, and therefore can’t be charged with a crime if they fail to report child abuse.

Wondering about who’s on that list? It’s a long one. Here goes:

Medical Professionals (Doctors, Physicians, Nurses, Physician’s assistants, Dentists, Dental Assistants, Medical Examiners, Licensed emergency medical care providers, Audiologists)

School Employees (Teachers, School Counselors, School Administrators)

Social workers (Registered social service technicians, Licensed master social workers, Licensed bachelor’s social workers.)

Therapists (Marriage counsellors, Psychologists, Family Therapists, School Counsellors)

Law Enforcement

Clergy Members (Priests, Pastors, Rabbis, Imams, Monks and Nuns)

Day Care Providers

Friend of the Court Employees

Michigan Dept. of Human Services Employees (Eligibility specialists, Family independence manager or specialists, Social services specialists, Social work specialists, Social work specialist managers, Welfare services specialists.)

Employees of any organization or entity that, because of federal funding statutes, regulations, or contracts, wouldn’t be allowed to report without a state mandate or court order (domestic violence provider)

A new bill hopes to add to that list and avoid another “Nassar” situation

You probably noticed that ‘coach’ and ‘athletic trainer’ aren’t on that list. And in the wake of the Nassar case, where multiple coaches and other athletics personnel were repeatedly told by Nassar’s victims about the sexual abuse they experienced, this exclusion has become a topic of serious debate. One that State Representative Brandt Iden hopes to deal with quickly.

House Bill 5538, introduced by Iden, plans to address that oversight in Michigan’s law. Under the new law, should this bill be passed, more school and college employees would be mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect. These additional mandated reporters would include coaches, assistant coaches and athletic trainers at all K-12 and postsecondary schools.

Do you need help from a child abuse defense attorney in Michigan?

Join us next time for a discussion on how the penalties for failure to report abuse by mandated reporters in Michigan hardly ever results in criminal charges, which many are now saying is a major problem. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of child abuse or neglect, or failing to report child abuse, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled child abuse and neglect defense attorneys can help you through this difficult time.