Lessons from the 2019 Minnesota State Legislative Session

As reported last week, the 2019 legislative session funded the Child Welfare Training Academy, which will help ensure consistent social work practices statewide.  The Center for the Advanced Study of Child Welfare deserves great credit for their dogged efforts to pass this bill. Guardians ad litem and Public Defenders also got more resources.

Overall however both political parties viewed child welfare largely through ideological lenses.


Democrats promoted parents’ rights in bills that have some merit but lack the child’s perspective.  One makes it easier to reverse Terminations of Parental Rights.  Another lowers requirements for becoming a foster parent.

And Republicans’ insistence on no new taxes meant early learning scholarships, targeted home visiting, and childcare got nothing.

In 2020 we will advocate for increased prevention funding and for child-centered casework practices.

What are your thoughts or concerns about the legislative session?

What should the legislature focus on in 2020?

Please leave your comments on our blog below.

Rich GehrmanComment