Improved Response to Maltreatment Reports
Last week Minnesota announced that screened-in child abuse reports increased 25% in 2016 to 39,500.
This likely resulted from a new law requiring counties to follow state screening guidelines, thus obligating them to respond to more children.
However funding hasn’t kept pace. The $26 million increase prompted by the Governor’s Child Protection Task Force only replaced recent staff cuts. It did not factor in these widely anticipated caseload increases, nor restore support services that had been eliminated.
Also, as our board chair described in this Star Tribune op-ed article, Minnesota typically screens in half as many maltreatment calls as most states, suggesting that counties should be protecting many more children.
Minnesota needs resources that match real, current workloads and reach children who still need but aren’t getting child protection help.