The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been selected as one of five agencies across the country to receive a grant to reduce and prevent child abuse or neglect deaths and injuries.
The U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime will grant MDHHS $750,000 over a 3-year period to identify fatality and injury risk, increase awareness of abuse and neglect and expand efforts of the Michigan Child Death State Advisory Team.
The project is called “Reducing Fatalities and Recurring Child Injuries and Crimes Caused by Crime Victimization” and uses data analysis to develop solutions for prevention plans.
In fiscal year 2018, more than 96,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect in Michigan were listed for investigation by Children’s Protective Services. In fiscal year 2017, Children’s Protective Services received 298 complaints alleging a child may have died from abuse or neglect, with 28 percent of those complaints resulting in MDHHS substantiating abuse/neglect.
“Protecting the safety and well-being of children is vitally important,” said JooYeun Chang, executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency. “If we can better identify risk factors, we can step in and prevent a tragedy before it happens. Protecting children is a community responsibility and this grant will allow us to better work with our partners to keep children safe.”
MDHHS will work with the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) – a nonprofit that focused on public health issues – on the grant project. Nationally, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities – a Washington, D.C., strategic action network that works to achieve a healthy and equitable society – will provide technical assistance to the five agencies that received grants.