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Michigan Legislature

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Section 722.924

THE CHILDREN'S OMBUDSMAN ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 204 of 1994


722.924 Procedures; training; complaint; investigation; notification of safety concerns.

Sec. 4.

(1) The ombudsman shall establish procedures for the office for budgeting, expending money, and employing personnel according to the management and budget act, 1984 PA 431, MCL 18.1101 to 18.1594. Subject to annual appropriations, the ombudsman shall employ sufficient personnel to carry out the duties and powers prescribed by this act.

(2) The ombudsman shall establish procedures for receiving and processing complaints from complainants and individuals not meeting the definition of complainant, conducting investigations, holding informal hearings, and reporting findings and recommendations resulting from investigations.

(3) Personnel employed by the office of the children's ombudsman shall receive mandatory training conducted by the Michigan domestic violence prevention and treatment board in domestic violence and in handling complaints of child abuse or child neglect that involve a history of domestic violence.

(4) Any individual may submit a complaint to the ombudsman. The ombudsman has the sole discretion and authority to determine if a complaint falls within his or her duties and powers to investigate and if a complaint involves an administrative act. The ombudsman may initiate an investigation without receiving a complaint. The ombudsman may initiate an investigation upon receipt of a complaint from an individual not meeting the definition of complainant. An individual not meeting the definition of complainant is not entitled to receive information under this act as if he or she is a complainant. The individual is entitled to receive the recommendations of the ombudsman and the department's response to the recommendations of the ombudsman in accordance with state and federal law. During the course of an investigation, the ombudsman may refer a case to the department if the ombudsman determines that the department received a complaint on the case, but did not conduct a field investigation. If the ombudsman refers a case to the department, the department shall conduct a field investigation of the case or provide notice to the ombudsman why a field investigation was not conducted, or what alternative steps may have been taken to address the situation. If a field investigation has been conducted, the department shall report the results to the ombudsman.

(5) The ombudsman shall notify the department of any immediate safety concerns regarding a child or children who are part of an active or open child protective services or foster care case. This notification shall occur as soon as possible, but not later than 1 business day after the ombudsman becomes aware of the concerns.


History: 1994, Act 204, Eff. Jan. 1, 1995 ;-- Am. 2004, Act 560, Imd. Eff. Jan. 3, 2005 ;-- Am. 2014, Act 243, Eff. Sept. 25, 2014


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