LANSING — The House passed House Bill 4550 unanimously this week, which would require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to improve screening procedures for court-appointed guardians. Introduced by State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), the bill would require DHHS to include fingerprint-based criminal record checks and child abuse and child neglect central registry checks on successor guardians and all adults living in the successor guardian’s home. These new processes are additional to those currently required for a guardian.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children,” Carter said. “If we are to uphold our duty to our children, we need to ensure that the department has the tools they need to protect them. The wellbeing of our families and our children transcends politics, and the unanimous support of my colleagues in the House is evidence of that.”
Currently, the DHHS approval process only includes the current guardian and all adults living in his or her home. The bill will bring DHHS into compliance with the Michigan State Police (MSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).