Child Welfare Training Academy – Key Resource

Last week the U of M’s Center for the Advanced Study of Child Welfare presented a proposal for a Child Welfare Training Academy to the Legislative Child Protection Task Force.  The Department of Human Services (DHS) will run the Academy, which is needed to stabilize Minnesota’s child welfare programs.  Other components of a well-functioning system that are also still needed include:

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Rich GehrmanComment
Improved Leadership from the State

Historically, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has provided minimal oversight for child welfare compared to most states, leaving management of this program largely up to counties and tribes.  Recently though the Department has implemented updated screening guidelines, a new system for reviewing child fatalities, multiple training efforts, and innovative approaches for dealing with youth.

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Rich Gehrman 1 Comment
What's Coming in 2018

 

 

Here are some major child welfare developments we anticipate for Minnesota in 2018.  We should see progress on statewide reforms. The state's largest jurisdiction, Hennepin County, is on course to improve its program significantly.

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Rich GehrmanComment
Thankful

It’s a good time to remember where real progress is happening. Here are some developments in Minnesota’s child protection and foster care programs that we are grateful for this Thanksgiving: ...

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Share Your Views on Legislation to Protect Children

Preferred child protection practices currently allow alleged abusers opportunities to coach and intimidate children before workers can interview them individually.  These include giving advance notice of the worker’s visit, and interviewing children in front of their parents as the first step in the process. Safe Passage is weighing state legislation to end these practices. We understand our proposal raises concerns about parental rights. But consider this...

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Focus on Foster Children

This tragic Star Tribune story about a foster mother beating an infant feeds a perception that the quality of Minnesota foster care is poor. It's more accurately described as uneven, a mix of skilled and committed foster parents and some who are primarily in it for income. The unevenness results from...

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Rich GehrmanComment
MN Department of Education Steps Up

The most important 2017 legislation for preventing child maltreatment prioritizes child care scholarships to children who are in child protection or foster care or are homeless.  It also makes them eligible at birth rather than age three.  This is critical because quality child care can help offset the potentially devastating impact of maltreatment on brain development in infants and toddlers. Passing legislation doesn't guarantee it will be implemented.  But the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) quickly...

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Rich GehrmanComment
Don't Abandon Reforms

Pressure is surfacing to ease up on child protection reforms. This is because counties are now legally obligated to use state standards when assessing maltreatment reports. As a result, more reports are being screened in for service, and caseloads are surging. In response...

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Rich GehrmanComment
Risky Child Protection Practices Persist

State law changed in 2015 to make child safety the primary purpose of child protection, not family preservation.  The Governor's Child Protection Task Force reinforced this with several recommended practice changes including: making the first child protection visit unannounced instead of scheduling it in advance, no longer conducting initial interviews of children in the presence of their alleged abusers, and training workers to do fact-finding. However counties and the state Department of Human Services...

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Rich Gehrman