Senate approves Nofs legislation to strengthen child protection laws

LANSING – The state Senate approved legislation today designed to strengthen Michigan law pertaining to the review of child death cases, said Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, who sponsored the measure. 
Senate Bill 1071 permits the state Children’s Ombudsman to provide a report, redacted for confidentiality, of suspected child abuse or neglect to the Legislative Child Fatality Examiner when reviewing a child’s death. The bill is part of a legislative package that creates the Office of the Legislative Child Fatality Examiner within the Legislative Council to identify specific causes and systemic problems that contribute to the death of children in foster care. 
"This is an important piece in the Senate’s child fatality review package. The reforms fill a gap in current law by allowing the sharing of critical information in the investigation of child abuse cases," said Nofs. "By giving the examiner access to the ombudsman’s report, the examiner will better understand events that contribute to the abuse and death of a child and make recommendations on how to prevent future cases." 

The bill now joins the rest of the package in the Michigan House where it awaits consideration.