Change Indicator

Children ages birth to 17 in out of home care-abuse or neglect in Michigan

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Why This Indicator Matters

Children are removed from their families and placed in a foster home, relative care, residential care or shelter following substantiated abuse or neglect. This also has an adverse effect on health, development and outcomes into adulthood.
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Definition and Source



The number represents child victims of abuse or neglect placed in active out-of-home placements, such as a foster or relative home, court-ordered fictive kin, residential or shelter care supervised by the Department of Health and Human Services, its agents or the courts.

Location is based on the location of the court rather than the child’s residence. The data are from a single month (September) in the reference years. Due to availability of population data at the time of release, rates are based on the population of the previous calendar year.  The rate is per 1,000 children ages birth to 17. Rates are suppressed with an "S" for counts fewer than 6 to maintain reliability.

Data Source

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Health and Welfare Data Center, Children’s Protective Services Management Special Report. Population estimates are from the Census Bureau.


Michigan saw a decline in out-of-home placement, investigations, and confirmed reports of abuse and neglect during the pandemic. We believe this to be a result of underreporting as opposed to a true reduction in child abuse and neglect. With kids engaged in remote schooling and families skipping medical check-ups, children may have lost valuable opportunities to interact with mandated reporters, meaning some instances of abuse and neglect may have never been reported or investigated. 

Data for 2008 were found to be unreliable and have been removed.

Data for 2010-2012, Missaukee and Wexford counties were revised on 3/19/20.

City-level data prior to 2021 were found to be unreliable due to discrepancies within city population counts and have been removed.

Last Updated

April 2024