Three Reasons Minnesota Tolerates Child Deaths

Whenever stories happen like the “house of horrors” and the former Minnesota children who were driven to their deaths, people ask us why this state is willing to leave children in mortal danger.

Three main reasons are, first, child protection considers parents, not children, to be its primary clients.  Second, we lack statewide standards for this program. Third, law enforcement, the courts, and child protection don’t coordinate their activities.

Standards are an issue because the Department of Human Services (DHS) only has authority to establish statewide guidelines for the initial response to maltreatment reports, not for ongoing child protection and foster care.  

Next week we will analyze how to extend DHS’ authority to the entire continuum of child protection services, then explore how parents became the focus of the program.

 

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Rich Gehrman3 Comments