Increase in child maltreatment reports
With increasing child maltreatment reports — up 55 percent between 2013 and 2016 — the demands on county and tribal child protection workers have increased as well. They must screen every allegation to determine which ones merit further assessment and investigation. Although every case is different, almost all maltreatment allegations can be divided broadly between those “screened in” for further assessment and investigation, and those “screened out” for further action.
To improve and expedite workers’ initial decisions, the Minnesota Department of Human Services developed the Rapid Child Welfare Consultation and Support System, which allows county workers to discuss difficult child safety and maltreatment decisions with experienced child protection experts promptly. The department continues to make other significant reforms in the child welfare system, implementing recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children.