MDHHS 1 of 5 agencies to receive child abuse prevention grant

Michigan

FILE – In this Aug. 1, 2016 file photo, children are silhouetted against the setting sun as they run on the sand at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Homeland Security investigators who uncover child exploitation initiated more than 4,000 cases around the world in 2019. Data obtained by The Associated Press shows the investigations resulted in thousands of arrests and the identification of more than 1,000 victims. On Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, officials plan to unveil a new center based at Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s headquarters in Washington tasked with alerting other countries when U.S. sex offenders are traveling there. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

LANSING —

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.

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