More Children Being Protected – For Now
In past years many mandated child protection reporters had given up on getting counties to respond to their referrals. But they came off the sidelines in 2015 when the Minnesota legislature required counties to use uniform screening standards, and consequently maltreatment reports increased 50%. (See this CBS story.)
By 2016 these additional reports, combined with higher standards, meant counties screened in 10,800 more children annually for a child protection visit, and investigated 50% more cases.
Now however, caseloads average three times the state standard, and foster care placements are up 33%.
It’s good that caseworkers are seeing more children, but improvements to child safety won’t last if workers are overwhelmed.
The state and counties can’t continue to ignore these trends. They must provide the resources necessary to keep children safe.