Child Protection and Child Welfare

The Child Protection Process

What will happen when a report is made?

County child protection staff will decide if your concerns fit within the statutory definitions of abuse or neglect. If so, a child protection worker will meet with the family to assess the situation. The name of the person making the report will not be shared with the family, unless the reporter agrees or upon a finding by the court that the report was false and made in bad faith. Child protection will work with local law enforcement agencies and individuals who know the child, such as doctors or teachers if necessary.

If protective services are needed, child protection will help the family use services such as counseling or parent education. The purpose of child protection is to prevent any future abuse or neglect. If a child is not safe at home, placement of the child outside the home will be considered. The child's placement could be done on a voluntary basis, with the parent's approval or at the direction of the court, or if it is an emergency, at the direction of law enforcement.

Click here for a brochure on Assessing Child Abuse and Neglect in Families,

Click here for a brochure on Investigating Child Abuse or Neglect in Facilities, in Hmong, in Somali, in Spanish

Who is Served?

Children who have been abused or neglected or who are at risk of being abused or neglected, and their families are eligible for services. County social services assess family's need for services without regard to family income. However, if further services are needed, such as foster care placement or counseling, counties may charge a fee based on family income.

What if I disagree with a determination?

A parent, legal guardian, guardian ad litem, or other interested person as defined in the Child Maltreatment Reporting law, or a person determined to have maltreated a child who disagrees with the maltreatment determination, may request the investigating agency to reconsider its final determination. The request for reconsideration must be submitted in writing to the investigating agency within 15 calendar days after the parent or legal guardian received notice of the final determination. If the person or facility determined to have maltreated the child is licensed or works for a facility licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, they must submit a written request within 30 calendar days of receipt of the notice of determination.

If the investigating agency denies the request or does not act on the request within 15 calendar days, the person or facility determined to have maltreated a child, can ask the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services for a fair hearing.

When a parent, legal guardian or interested person disagrees with a maltreatment determination that occurred in a facility that cares for children, they can ask the investigating agency for reconsideration. If the investigating agency does not change the determination or denies the request, the parent, legal guardian, guardian ad litem or other interested person may request a review by the Child Maltreatment Review Panel. The Panel meets quarterly and reviews cases investigated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services; Corrections; Health; and Children, Families and Learning. The Panel will either agree with the maltreatment determination or require the investigating agency to report back to the Panel with the specific rationale for its determination.

For more information about the Child Maltreatment Review Panel, contact:

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