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Programs and services

Concerns about child abuse or neglect

Minnesota's child protection system responds to situations where children are alleged to be maltreated and helps support families to safely care for their children. The Department of Human Services works with Minnesota's 87 counties, 11 federally recognized tribes and community-based providers to support interventions that strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment.

Providing resources to families for basic needs, such as housing or child care, significantly improve the safety of children in their homes and communities.

In Minnesota, approximately 25,000 children are reported for abuse and neglect to the child protection system each year, which counties and tribes assess. The department's fact sheet on Child Safety and Permanency DHS-4735 (PDF) provides current statistical information.

Child abuse and neglect prevention

Prevention is the best way to reduce child abuse and neglect. You can take small or big steps to help.

Everyone can help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Learn more about how the department is working to prevent child abuse and neglect, and how you can help, in the Preventing child maltreatment by promoting health and well-being for Minnesota families DHS-3922 (PDF).

Programs for youth who have been sexually exploited

Youth who are victims of sex trafficking can get help with emergency shelter, transitional living and other supportive services. Various community groups provide these services through Minnesota's Safe Harbor for Youth programs.

Options for mothers who cannot keep their babies

Mothers who are not able to care and provide for their child can consider placing their baby for adoption. Many organizations in Minnesota can help with this. In extreme situations, new mothers can leave their newborn up to seven days old at certain locations under the state's Safe Place for Newborns law.

Mandated Reporter Training

Workers in a number of professions, including health care, social services, psychological treatment, child care, education, corrections, law enforcement and clergy, are required to report suspected child maltreatment. To help mandated reporters better understand the law and reporting requirements there are three training videos that are available.

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