Follow Hennepin’s Lead on Police Communications

When parents are arrested, police sometimes release children to unsafe friends or relatives because they don’t vet them first.  As this story describes, police also have unwittingly told parents with no-contact orders where their children are.

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To pre-empt such problems, Hennepin County has given 28 local police departments a 24/7 direct line to a child protection worker.  Police can call to make sure a potential kinship placement is safe, see if there’s an open child protection case, or explore whether a particular situation should be reported for maltreatment.

The County also embeds social workers with Bloomington, Richfield, Minneapolis, and Brooklyn Park police, which helps avoid interviewing children multiple times in cases of sexual or severe physical abuse.

Counties that haven’t upgraded police/child protection communications can start by replicating Hennepin’s strategies.

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Rich GehrmanComment