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CHILD PROTECTION

Isanti County Family Services (ICFS) works within state guidelines and mandates to protect children from physical abuse , sexual abuse and neglect.  All reports are screened according to MN Statute 626.556  and Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines.

Child Protection Report Process

Mandated/Voluntary Reporters

Out-of-Home Placement

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Professional Community Collaborations

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Helpful Links

Truancy/Educational Neglect

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CHILD PROTECTION REPORT PROCESS

When a report is accepted for assessment, the approach in how to assess the report must be determined.  There are two tracks from which to choose for assessing maltreatment reports, family assessment and traditional investigations.  ICFS has used family assessment response since 2003 and most reports will be assessed using this approach.  Traditional investigations are used for reports of endangerment.  At the conclusion of the assessment or investigation a determination must be made.  In a family assessment, a determination of whether or not services are needed is made.  In a traditional investigation two determinations must be made – did maltreatment occur and are services needed.  If services are needed in either approach, case management services will be provided to the family to ameliorate the condition that led to the report.  Flow Chart

Reconsideration

When maltreatment is determined, the determination can be requested to be reconsidered.  A request for reconsideration must be done in writing within 30 days upon receipt of the determination letter.  The letter must be written to the Director of Social Services.  If the reconsideration upholds the original determination, that decision may be appealed to the Department of Human Services.

Having a child removed from the home is the last resort to ensuring safety for the child.  Should this happen, the agency will conduct a search to find a suitable relative that can care for the child.  If necessary, the relative will be asked to provide a
permanent home.  MN Statute 260C.201, subdivision 11a requires permanency for children under 8 years of age be established
by six months from the date of removal, and for children age 8 and older by 12 months from date of removal.

Brochure:  When Your Child Is Removed From Your Home

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Native American Heritage

Isanti County Family Services follows the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

Parental Fee

MN Statute 260C.331 provides for counties to be reimbursed for the cost of providing care for children.  Specifically, the total income and resources attributable to the child for the period of care may be used to reimburse the county for the cost of care.
Parental Fees Pamplet

 MANDATED/VOLUNTARY REPORTERS

Anyone can make a report, MN Statute 626.556 subdivision 3  identifies certain professionals that must report to child protection when child abuse or neglect is suspected.  All reports must be made orally and followed by a written report within 72 hours  

●  You are a mandated reporter if you are a professional or professional's delegate who is engaged in the practice of:
●  the healing arts
●  social services
●  hospital administration
●  psychological or psychiatric treatment
●  child care
●  education
●  correctional supervision
●  probation and correctional services
●  law enforcement
●  a member of the clergy and received the information while
    engaged in ministerial duties, provided that a member of
    the clergy is not required by this subdivision to report 
    information that is otherwise privileged under section 
    MN Statute 595.02, subdivision 1, paragraph (c). 

How To Make A Report

  1. Call the Child Protection Social Worker on Intake Monday-Friday (8:00-4:30) at 763-689-1711 immediately.
  2. Complete the Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Report form within 72 hours of your oral report.
  3. Outside of Monday-Friday, 8:0 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., please contact Isanti County Sheriff's Department at 763-689-2141.

Outcome of Report
Persons mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect will receive a letter of the disposition of their report, unless release would be detrimental to the best interests of the child.  Voluntary reporters can request to be notified of the disposition of their report.

Immunity
When acting in good faith as a mandated or voluntary reporter, the reporter is immune from civil or criminal liability.  Mandated reporters are also immune from retaliation from an employer.

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OUT-OF-HOME PLACEMENT

Authority to Remove
Social Workers do not have the authority to remove a child from their parental home.  Law enforcement may sign a child welfare hold (also known as a 72-hour hold) when a child is found in an environment that is unsafe.  Social Workers can petition the court requesting the child be removed from their parental home.  A judge may order the child to be removed from the home should s/he believe the child is in an unsafe environment.  Once a child is removed from the home and the county believes the child needs to remain out of the home to ensure the family receives services, the county can submit a CHIPS petition to the court.  CHIPS is an acronym which means child in need of protection services.   

Having a child removed from the home is the last resort to ensuring safety for the child.  Should this happen the agency will conduct a search to find a suitable relative that can care for the child.  If necessary, the relative will be asked to provide a permanent home.  MN Statute 260C.201, subdivision 11a  requires permanency for children under 8 years of age be established by six months from date of removal, and for children age 8 and older by 12 months from date of removal.  

Brochure:  When Your Child Is Removed From Your Home

Native American Heritage
Isanti County Family Services follows the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

Parental Fee
MN Statute 260C.331
provides for counties to be reimbursed for the cost of providing care for children.  Specifically, the total income and resources attributable to the child for the period of care may be used to reimburse the county for the cost of care. 

Parental Fees Pamphlet  

Medical Non-Emergency Transportation
The Department of Human Services contracts with an agency to provide transportation services for individuals who are covered under Medical Assistance (MA).  Medical Non-emergency Transportation Services (MNET) must be contacted to in order for medical transportation costs to be reimbursed through MA.  For children in an out of home placement, their foster parent or facility personnel need to contact MNET to be reimbursed for mileage in transporting foster children to and from medical appointments.  Please contact MNET at:  1-866-467-1724.

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INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT (ICWA)

Isanti County Family Services strives to provide culturally sensitive services to persons of Native American heritage.  ICFS follows the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) when a Native American child is placed out of the home.  The tribe is contacted so as to elicit their expertise in providing culturally sensitive services to their tribal member.  To support the preservation of Native American heritage, ICFS child protection designates social workers to handle ICWA matters so that consistent culturally sensitive services are provided.

Information for Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

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PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS

Child Protection Social Workers are members of a variety of collaborative efforts in
Isanti County.  County collaborative efforts that focus solely on child abuse/neglect are the following:

Child Protection Multidisciplinary Team
In accordance with MN Statute 626.558, subd. 1 Isanti County has established a child protection multidisciplinary team.  The Family Support Team is comprised of community professionals.   One of the Team’s main responsibilities is to provide public education on child abuse/neglect and domestic violence.  It meets monthly at Isanti County Family Services. 

Isanti County Children’s Justice Initiative
The Children’s Justice Initiative is the collaboration between the Minnesota Judicial Branch and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The purpose of the initiative is to improve the processing of child protection cases and the outcomes for abused and neglected children.  The mission of the Children’s Justice Initiative is to ensure that in a fair and timely manner abused and neglected children involved in the juvenile protection court system have safe, stable, permanent families.  

Isanti County has a local Children’s Justice Initiative (CJI) team.  Its membership includes Tenth Judicial District Court Judges; personnel from Isanti County Court Administration, Family Services, County Attorney ’s Office, Probation Department, Tenth Judicial District Public Defenders Office, Tenth Judicial District Guardians ad Litem Program, The Refuge; foster parents, and other community stakeholders.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

What is child abuse and neglect?
Isanti County Screening Guidelines

How do I report child abuse?
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected please call the Child Protection Social Worker on Intake at
763-689-1711
.  Should a worker be busy with another report please leave your name so the worker can return your call.  If you have concerns after 4:30 pm please contact the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department at 763-689-2141.

For emergency situations always call 911.

Cambridge City Police:  763-689-9567
Braham City
Police: 320-396-3383
Isanti City Police:  763-444-4761
Isanti
County Sheriff’s Department:  763-689-2141

Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Report

Will the family know I reported?
The name of any reporter acting in good faith is confidential and cannot be released except by a Judge ordering the name to be revealed. 

Can I report anonymously?
Yes, voluntary reporters can report anonymously.  However, providing your identity and your relationship to the family lends credibility to the report.  Also, it is helpful in cases where we need clarification or have further questions.

Who is a mandated reporter?
Anyone can report a concern of child abuse or neglect.  However, the state mandates that professionals in a child caring role must report.  Isanti County Screening Guidelines

How old can a child be left home alone?
Isanti County Screening Guidelines


An article printed in the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Brown County Wisconsin addressed this concern for parents.  The questions are good ones to ask in determining whether or not a child is capable of being home alone.  There are two areas to address in answering this question.  The first area to address is to ensure the home is safe enough for children.  The other is to determine the child’s ability to care for oneself.

Questions to answer to determine that your home is safe for your child to be alone are the following:
●  Are there fire dangers in the home?
●  Is there a plan for what to do should a fire occur (e.g. escape route, meeting place)?
●  Are the smoke detectors in working order?
●  Is your home “child proof” with medicines, poisons, knives, and dangerous tools out of reach of the children? 
●  Does your child know basic first aid procedures?
●  Is wiring exposed?
●  Do any cords, plugs or sockets look dangerous?
●  Does your child know not to plug in electrical appliances with wet hands? 

Questions to answer to determine that your child is able to care for oneself are the following:
●  Do you consider your child mature enough to care for  her/himself?
●  Has your child indicated that s/he wants to take care of her/himself?
●  Is your child able to solve problems?
●  Is your child able to complete daily tasks?
●  Is your child generally unafraid to be alone?
●  Is your child comfortable entering your house alone?
●  Can your child unlock and lock the doors by him/herself?
●  Is there an adult living or working nearby that your child can trust in an emergency?
●  Do you consider your house secure?
●  Do you think your child is safety conscious?  Does your child play with fire or dangerous equipment?  Is your child violent 
    or aggressive?
●  Would a telephone be available to your child?
●  Are you accessible by phone for your child?
●  Can your child use the phone?
●  Is your child free of disabilities that require supervision?
●  Does your child sleep well?  Does your child have sleep disturbances or recurring nightmares?
●  Does your child spontaneously tell you about events that have occurred in her/his life?
●  Do you consider the relationship between you and your child to be close?

If you answered no to any of the second set of questions, it is recommended that you delay plans to leave your child alone to care for her/himself.  Children need to be prepared for this experience.  Setting guidelines for their behavior needs to occur.  Routine should be established and emergency procedures should be taught.

Can I call if I have questions?
Yes.  You can contact the Child Protection Social Worker on Intake.  763-689-1711.

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HELPFUL LINKS

Minnesota Department of Human Services

Minnesota Indian Tribes and Reservations

Minnesota Kinship Caregivers Association  

Minnesota Legislature Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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