The House Families, Children and Seniors Committee today approved two plans sponsored by state Rep. Kathy Crawford, who chairs the committee.
The first measure would improve efficiency and effectiveness within Michigan’s Child Protective Services (CPS) was approved today by the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee.
Crawford said her proposal is part of a package of bills in response to the Auditor General’s CPS performance audit last fall, which raised many concerns about the safety and well-being of Michigan children.
In response to recommendations made by the House Oversight Committee, Crawford introduced legislation to develop an abbreviated CPS investigation checklist allowing CPS workers to document reasons why they abbreviated an investigation. Abbreviated investigations occur when an investigator determines early on in an investigation that no child abuse or neglect occurred.
“CPS is required to investigate any call it gets, even when a false report is filed and it is clear there are no signs of abuse or neglect. This takes time away from real cases that need to be investigated promptly,” said Crawford, of Novi. “This change will make investigations within CPS more efficient – ultimately better serving our state’s population of vulnerable children.”
The second Crawford bill approved today by the committee is part of a larger plan to combat elder abuse and establish increased protections for Michigan’s senior population.
The eight-bill bipartisan plan would add legal protections for adults age 65 and older and establish increased criminal penalties for individuals who financially or physically abuse vulnerable and elder adults.
“We must defend our seniors who cannot defend themselves,” Crawford said. “Those who abuse our aging population – whether it be physically, financially or verbally – are despicable and should be punished accordingly.”
Both bills now move to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee.