Update to the Child Abuse Reporting Protocol and FAQs

June 9, 2021 - David Chupak, Director, Youth Programs: Registration, Safety Assurance, and Education; Marlon C. Lynch, Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police

Dear faculty and staff,

Michigan State University has updated the Reporting Protocol: Child Abuse and Other Harm to Children to be more comprehensive and extend beyond what is required by state law.

Beginning July 1, you will be required to report any perceived, disclosed, or observed harm to a child, as defined by Michigan law, to MSU Police and Public Safety at 517-355-2222, whether the harm is committed by a parent or teacher or someone else. The requirement applies to all faculty, staff, student employees, and volunteers in the context of their role with the university.

This change brings our policies in line with the expectations of our community and provides clarity on the steps to take should you suspect non-accidental harm to a child. It also properly reflects reporting requirements found in the separate university Reporting Protocol: Relationship Violence, Sexual Misconduct, and Stalking.

It is important to note this update does not change the definitions or requirements of mandated reporters. The term “mandated reporter” refers to a specific list of professionals who are required by law to file reports of suspected child abuse or child neglect directly with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Child Protective Services. Any employee unsure if they are a mandated reporter should contact MSU Police and Public Safety.

If a child discloses abuse to you, we encourage you to stay calm, listen to the child, avoid displaying signs of shock or disapproval and then immediately contact MSU Police and Public Safety. It is not your responsibility to question the child or get all the details; you can help by providing the information to those best equipped to respond. In cases of domestic violence, sexual misconduct, or stalking, contact the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) as well. Both the MSU Police and OIE will keep the identity of a reporter private, except where disclosure is required to comply with applicable policy, court order, law or regulation.

In the coming months we plan to partner with MDHHS to provide training for those most often in contact with individuals under 18 years old. The training will focus on recognizing commonly accepted physical and behavioral indicators of abuse and/or neglect.

More information is outlined via frequently asked questions. Please contact protect@msu.edu with any questions.

David Chupak

Director, Youth Programs: Registration, Safety Assurance, and Education Program


Marlon C. Lynch

Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police