Wyatt Law gives updated protections for children in Michigan

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 3:49 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer updated people on the protections of Wyatt’s Law to Michigan’s Central Registry for Child Abuse and Neglect.

Whitmer signed a bill in May that would allow parents and child-caring employers like schools to more easily get information on a person’s history so they can better protect children. The law went into effect on Tuesday.

“Michigan’s registry for child abuse is easier for the public to access so they can keep their kids safe at home, at school, and everywhere in between,” said Whitmer. “I am proud that we got this done, and it is proof of what’s possible when we work across the aisle to keep our kids and communities safe. Let’s keep collaborating to protect public safety and help our kids succeed.”

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The law was named after Wyatt Rewoldt who was abused by his father’s girlfriend, who had a previous history of child abuse. His mother worked to get the Wyatt law passed in 2014 so there is more awareness around past abuse by caregivers of their kids.

  • “Authorized organizations, such as schools and child care centers that seek employees or volunteers who work with children, will be able to get confirmation that a prospective employee or volunteer is on the registry if that person gives permission for the clearance. Prior to the changes in Wyatt’s Law, MDHHS could only notify a requester if the person was not on the registry and could not confirm that someone was on it.
  • A parent or person responsible for a child who has reason to believe that another caregiver may place the child at risk can seek confirmation as to whether that person is on the registry. The request must be made to the appropriate local Friend of the Court office if the person has an active case. If the requester does not have a Friend of the Court case, details will be available soon on the Central Registry page on the MDHHS website about how to make a request. The new law allows for someone to confirm registry placement for the child’s parent, caregiver, or other person responsible.”

The new improvements Whitmer announced Tuesday is expected to ensure the system is frequently updated to include those who meet the criteria for inclusion on the list.

This list includes people with confirmed histories of serious abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and/or methamphetamine production. It will also keep up-to-date with new, stronger guidelines


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