When a child maltreatment report warrants an investigation or assessment, Mille Lacs County Child Protection Unit is responsible to respond to reports of child maltreatment that meet certain criteria (Minnesota Statute 626.556.)
Mille Lacs Child Protection activities include:
- Collateral interviews
- Coordination with law enforcement and the county attorney's office or juvenile court
- Development of a case plan for the family
- Interviews with children and parents or other caretakers of children
- Observations of children
- Record checks
- Safety and Risk assessment
Family Assessment is based on the belief that parents love their children and want them to be safe. Parents need help to make that happen. Family Assessment can provide that help. It is a response that addresses concerns about child abuse and neglect by:
- Ensuring children are safe
- Setting aside the issue of fault and working in partnership with parents
- Identifying families' needs
- Providing services and resources matched to families' needs
- Building on parents' and communities' strengths and resources
Child Protection Investigation
Child Protection Investigation is also based on the belief that parents love their children and want them to be safe. Minnesota laws require that the use of Child Protection Investigations be followed in certain situations including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and egregious harm situations. Child Protection Investigations may involve the juvenile court system.
Anyone may report suspected child maltreatment, and certain professionals are mandated to report suspected child maltreatment.
Minnesota Statute 626.556 defines physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and child endangerment.
Physical abuse is any acts which results in non-accidental injuries to a child, including patterns of unexplained injuries and injuries that appear to have been caused in a manner inconsistent with the explanation. Physical abuse includes unreasonably restraining a child with tying, caging, or chaining, and excessive or unreasonably forceful discipline that leaves injuries or marks on a child. Physical abuse is also defined as assaultive behavior not usually associated with discipline such as shaking, kicking, cutting, and burning a child.
Sexual abuse is any acts of sexual assault or sexual exploitation of a child including intentional touching of the child’s intimate parts; causing the child to touch the abuser’s intimate parts, and sexual intercourse.
Neglect is the failure of a parent to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, medical, and educational well-being. Minnesota law states that a parent or caretaker who willfully deprives a child of necessary food, clothing, shelter, health care, or supervision appropriate to the child's age, when the parent is reasonably able to make the necessary provisions and the deprivation harms or is likely to substantially harm the child's physical, mental, or emotional health, is guilty of neglect of a child. A parent who knowingly fails to protect a child from continuing physical or sexual abuse is also guilty of neglect.
Child Endangerment is when a parent or caretaker intentionally or recklessly causes or permits a child to be placed in a situation likely to substantially harm the child's physical, mental, or emotional health, or cause the child's death. This also includes allowing a child to be present where illegal drugs are being made, kept, sold, or used.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome is a type of traumatic brain injury that is inflicted when someone intentionally and violently shakes a baby. Shaking makes the baby's fragile brain bounce back and forth inside the skull, causing bruising, swelling, and bleeding; this can lead to permanent, severe brain damage or death.
If you believe a child is in imminent danger, has injuries that need medical attention, or is not safe remaining at home, call 911.