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Maltreatment investigations

To help protect the health, safety and well-being of those who receive services from licensed facilities, DHS Licensing Division or county staff investigate reports of alleged maltreatment.

  • County social service agencies investigate allegations in child foster care and family child care settings
  • DHS Licensing staff investigates allegations in the programs and facilities directly licensed by DHS, and in adult foster care homes that are licensed by county social service agencies in partnership with DHS.

To report abuse

If you know or suspect that a vulnerable adult is in immediate danger, contact the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 844-880-1574, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Send call center feedback to:

If the child is not in imminent danger you can call DHS Licensing at 651-431-6600 to report suspected abuse in a licensed facility. If you are calling to report suspected maltreatment in a family child care or child foster care setting, contact your county child protection unit.


Maltreatment Reports

The State FYS 2014-2015 Maltreatment Report: Vulnerable Adults and Minors Served by Minnesota Licensed Providers demonstrates significant progress by DHS Licensing staff in decreasing the number of open maltreatment cases. The annual report provides comparison data over the last five fiscal years including the number of maltreatment reports received, the number assigned for out-of-office maltreatment investigation and the number of substantiated reports.

Frequently asked questions

  • Q: What is a mandated reporter?
    A: Mandated reporters are professionals or a professional's delegate identified by law who MUST make a report if they have reason to believe that abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult has occurred.
  • Q: If I provide information to the Licensing Division during an investigation, how is my information used and what are my privacy rights?
    A: The privacy of information obtained during an investigation is explained in the Licensing Division's privacy notice.
  • Q: How can I find out the results of an investigation or if there have been any investigations at a specific licensed program?
    A: The Licensing Information Lookup can provide this information.

Statutory requirements

Maltreatment investigations are guided by the procedures and definitions contained in these statutes:

Most investigations include a visit to the program, interviews and document collection. A summary of the information obtained during an investigation is documented in an investigative memorandum, a public report. The privacy of information obtained during an investigation is explained in the Licensing Division's privacy notice.

Each investigation must answer several questions, including:

  • What actually happened?
  • Did the event meet a statutory definition of maltreatment?
  • If maltreatment occurred, was an individual or the facility responsible?
  • Was any determined maltreatment recurring or serious?
  • Is action necessary to reduce the chance that maltreatment will occur?

The results and determinations of these investigations are subject to appeal.

Serious or recurring maltreatment

An individual responsible for maltreatment that is serious or recurring is disqualified from positions that allow direct contact with or access to people who receive services from:

  • Facilities licensed by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health
  • Facilities serving children or youth licensed by the Department of Corrections
  • Unlicensed personal care provider organizations.
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