Statewide system for reporting child abuse takes effect now

Published 7:41 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Michigan Department of Human Services this week launched a new statewide program for reporting abuse and neglect complaints involving both children and adults.

Central Intake replaces the former system in which calls would go to individual DHS county offices. In the new program, one toll-free number, (855) 444-3911 is available to everyone, including mandatory reporters (teachers, physicians, law enforcement, etc.) and the general public. The number is answered quickly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (including holidays) by trained professionals at the new Central Intake call center in Kent County, where a successful six-county pilot program has been running since September 2011.

The new system provides improvements over the previous one, especially with consistency and efficiency. In addition to using the latest technology, complaints involving child abuse or neglect will receive an immediate decision on investigation, no matter the time of day (or night), before being directly referred to county Child Protective Services staff. Complaints involving abuse or neglect of adults will be documented by intake staff and referred to counties for an investigation decision.

“Central Intake marks an important step forward in our continuing effort to protect the abused and neglected, both children and adults,” said DHS Director Maura Corrigan. “But the months of planning, the pilot program and all of the hard work leading up to launch day are just the beginning. We know this important program will help us do an even better job of safeguarding Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens.”

DHS is also using an aggressive publicity campaign, One Number, One Call, One Person CAN Make a Difference, to ensure everyone in Michigan is aware of the new number, with spots running on every broadcast station statewide.

For more information on the Department of Human Services, visit