Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records - Michigan

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Confidentiality of Records

Citation: Comp. Laws § 722.627

Unless made public as specified, information released under § 722.627d, a written report, document, or photograph filed with the department is a confidential record available only to one of the entities listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Citation: Comp. Laws § 722.627

Confidential information may be made available to the following:

  • A legally mandated public or private child protective agency investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect or a legally mandated public or private child protective agency or foster care agency prosecuting a disciplinary action against its own employee involving child protective services or foster records
  • A police or other law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect
  • A physician who is treating a child whom the physician reasonably suspects may be abused or neglected
  • A person legally authorized to place a child in protective custody when the person is confronted with a child whom the person reasonably suspects may be abused or neglected
  • A person, agency, or organization, including a multidisciplinary case consultation team
  • A person named in the report or record as a perpetrator or alleged perpetrator or a victim who is an adult at the time of the request
  • A court or grand jury that determines the information is necessary to decide an issue before it
  • A person, agency, or organization engaged in a bona fide research or evaluation project
  • A lawyer-guardian ad litem or other attorney
  • A standing or select committee or appropriations subcommittee of either house of the legislature having jurisdiction over child protective services matters
  • The children's ombudsman
  • A child fatality review team
  • A county medical examiner or deputy county medical examiner
  • A citizen review panel
  • A child care regulatory agency
  • A foster care review board
  • A local friend of the court office
  • A department employee actively representing himself or herself in a disciplinary action, a labor union representative who is actively representing a department employee in a disciplinary action, or an arbitrator or administrative law judge conducting a hearing involving a department employee's dereliction, malfeasance, or misfeasance of duty for use solely in connection with that action or hearing
  • A Federal or State governmental agency that may, by law, conduct an audit or similar review of the department's activities under this act
  • A children's advocacy center in the course of providing services to a child alleged to have been the victim of child abuse or neglect or to that child's family
  • A Tribal representative, agency, or organization, including a multidisciplinary team, authorized by the Indian child's Tribe, to care for, diagnose, treat, review, evaluate, or monitor active efforts regarding an Indian child, parent, or Indian custodian

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 722.627c; 722.627d

The director shall release specified information in a child abuse or neglect case in which a child who was a part of the case has died.

The director may release specified information under this section if there is clear and convincing evidence that either of the following is true:

  • The release of the specified information is in the best interests of the child to whom the information relates.
  • The release of the specified information is not in conflict with the best interests of the child to whom the information relates, and one or more of the following are true:
    • The release is in the best interests of a member of the child's family or of an individual who resides in the same home in which the child resides. The child's family includes the child's parents, legal guardians, grandparents, and siblings.
    • The release clarifies actions taken by the department on a specific case.
    • The report or record concerns a child who has died or concerns a member of that child's family.
    • All or part of the report or record is publicly disclosed in a judicial proceeding.
    • A child abuse or neglect complaint or investigation to which the report or record relates has been part of the subject matter of a published or broadcast media story.
    • The report or record concerns a substantiated report of sexual abuse, serious injury, or life-threatening harm involving the child or a sibling of the child identified in the request.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

Citation: Comp. Laws § 722.627

Access to confidential records may be provided to the following:

  • A child-placing agency for the purpose of investigating an applicant for adoption, a foster care applicant or licensee, an employee of a foster care applicant or licensee, an adult member of an applicant's or licensee's household, or other persons in a foster care or adoptive home who are directly responsible for the care and welfare of children to determine suitability of a home for adoption or foster care
  • Family division of circuit court staff authorized by the court to investigate foster care applicants and licensees, employees of foster care applicants and licensees, adult members of the applicant's or licensee's household, and other persons in the home who are directly responsible for the care and welfare of children for the purpose of determining the suitability of the home for foster care