Transparency Needed on Child Killings

Minnesota law* requires counties to review killings of children known to child protection within 90 days, and to make the resulting reports public.  But this process lacks transparency in several ways.


Most basically, counties rarely honor requests for these reports.  

To rectify this, we asked the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to make these reports public when they receive them from the counties, but they have not yet done so.

Finally, state law doesn't specify how these reviews should be conducted.  DHS should issue guidance to counties for this process, including ways for people outside the local department, such as foster parents and relatives, to contribute their insights.

An overhaul of the fatality review process is currently underway.  We hope it will lead to a much more transparent process.

*See Subd. 11 (d) 



Rich Gehrman