child abuse

Runar Pedersen Holkestad / Creative Commons

The federal government will help Michigan come up with a policy over the summer to help traumatized children.

Michigan, California and Massachusetts will get help from the Department of Justice. Each state will develop a comprehensive plan to identify, screen and treat children exposed to violence.

Michigan League for Public Policy

An annual report that looks at the well-being of children in Michigan shows more kids are growing up in poverty.

One in four kids lives in a household at or below the poverty line. But African-American children are twice as likely to live in poverty.

“The disparities are very troubling,” said Jane Zehnder-Merrell. She heads the project for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Michiganradio.org

Judges, attorneys and families involved in child abuse and neglect cases can now get information about the legal process in a single place online.

A division of the Michigan Supreme Court designed the new online toolkit.

Marcia McBrien is a court spokeswoman.

“They’re complex cases, they’re very difficult,” she said. “They’re very fact intensive. So judges and attorneys who are handling these cases really need to be well educated and to know what they’re doing.”

McBrien says a lot of judges and attorneys who never used to handle child abuse cases are now.

That’s because of a couple of factors.

The market for lawyers has become more competitive and courts have been consolidating.

The hope is that the online toolkit will help children get placed in the right homes more quickly.

The state investigated more than 90,000 complaints of child abuse or neglect in 2012. 

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Michigan Court of Appeals says a minister cannot be charged with failing to report child abuse based on conversations with a parishioner.

The court ruled those were privileged conversations.

This particular question had never been litigated before. And it is how far do privacy protections for clergy extend when it comes to reporting child abuse?

In this case, a woman went to her pastor, John Prominski, for advice when she suspected her husband was abusing her daughters. Their first talk was in 2009.