We all have a responsibility.
Everyone has the right and responsibility to report any incidence of suspected child abuse or neglect at any time. You do not need to have “evidence” or actual knowledge of abuse when you make a report; all you need is a reasonable cause, suspicion or belief based on your observations. Information to support your concern may include your first hand observations or beliefs, your professional training or experience, or statements made to you by the child or parent. The more specific and concrete information you can provide, the better.
You may be mandated to report.
The Michigan Child Protection Law (1975 PA 238, MCL 722.621 et. seq.) requires the reporting of child abuse and neglect by certain persons—called mandated reporters—and permits the reporting of child abuse and neglect by all persons. Mandated reporters are critical to the child protection system because their expertise and direct contact with children gives them greater capacity to identify suspected child abuse and neglect. Reports by mandated reporters are confirmed at a much higher rate than those made by non-mandated reporters. The list of legally mandated reporters is extensive, covering nearly every professional position that maintains regular contact with children. To determine if you are a mandated reporter and to understand your responsibilities, see the Mandated Reporters’ Resource Guide.