Ideology is No Friend to Children

Ideologues on either end of the spectrum frequently view child protection as “government interference” in families. For example, the practice of promising parents immunity from a maltreatment finding before doing any fact-finding reflects a liberal goal to …

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Rich GehrmanComment
Implementing a Core Reform

Jaws drop whenever we tell people that child protection workers commonly interview children in front of their alleged abusers. They say, correctly, that this would be unthinkable in other settings, for example interviewing both partners together in …

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Rich GehrmanComment
Child Advocates Day at the Capitol

A big Thank You to the 30 Safe Passage volunteers who visited 25 state Senators and Representatives this week to advocate for improvements to Minnesota’s child welfare system. They asked legislators to support: a study of racial disparities in child protection and foster care by…

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Rich GehrmanComment
The Broken Harts Podcast

This Glamour Magazine “Broken Harts” podcast is about two White mothers from Minnesota who drove their six adopted Black children off a California cliff. The details could support two competing views of child welfare - that government is too slow to protect children, or takes…

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Rich GehrmanComment
Protect Children As Well As Adults

Thankfully, two recent Star Tribune investigations prompted authorities to move quickly to improve protections for victims of rape and sexual assault, and for victims of mistreatment in assisted living settings. The Minnesota Police Officer Standards and Training Board…


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Rich Gehrman Comment
Get Access to Prevention Funding

The federal Family First Preservation Services Act shifts child welfare funding from group homes and residential treatment to prevention services. This is a positive development overall.  But deep-end placements will still be needed and, unless the state steps in, counties will ultimately…


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Rich GehrmanComment
Prevention First

Prevention, early intervention and family support services reduce the actual incidence of child abuse so families don’t need to be in child protection at all, or respond to maltreatment early so children can safely stay with their families. Two bills introduced in the new state legislative session,…


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Rich Gehrman Comments
Legislative Prospects for 2019

With a projected state budget surplus of $1.5 billion one might hope this is the year to increase foster care rates and address shortages of staff and support services in child welfare.  We may have an advocate in Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, who was …

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Rich GehrmanComment
Too Many Neglect Reports or Too Few?

Research indicates that educational neglect reports often indicate more serious problems.  But in Minnesota they can be triggered simply by seven unexcused school absences, which can easily accumulate while bus routes catch up with families moving to and from homeless shelters. This supports concerns that too many African American and Native American children are…

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Rich Gehrman Comments