Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed House Bills 4549-4550 to expand the role of child welfare staff and programs to better help in case management.
“These bills are essential to ensuring the safety and well-being of children throughout Michigan,” said Whitmer. “As a mother I understand the importance of protecting and advocating for our children. That is why I am proud to sign these bills to allow Michigan children to receive the best care possible based on their history.”
This legislation aligns Michigan with the federal standards, allowing child welfare staff and national accreditation programs to view protected health information for the purpose of review and accreditation of a child welfare program.
It also allows the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to obtain a fingerprint background check on children’s guardians or previous guardians.
“Children, especially those in the state’s care, depend on us to act in the best interests of their well-being and safety,” Carter said. “Now that Governor Whitmer has signed this legislation, MDHHS will have the tools and resources it needs to thoroughly investigate those with the important responsibility of guardianship, both on a primary and secondary basis. I am pleased that the governor has taken steps to address this issue, and I am committed to working on legislation to ensure Michigan is the safest place for children.”
House Bill 4549 allows access to protected health information for the purposes of review and accreditation of a child welfare program to be shared with DHHS and LARA or an employee of a contracted agency.
The bill limits the access of a national accreditation program to when they are on-site only.
The bill is sponsored by Representative Kathy Crawford, R-Novi.
House Bill 4550 amends the Guardianship Assistance Act to allow DHHS the authority to obtain national and state fingerprint based criminal records checks for guardians or past guardians, who are applying for the Guardianship Assistance Program. Representative Brenda Carter, D-Pontiac.