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.221 requires permanency for children be addressed by six months from date of removal.
MN Statute 260C.331 provides for counties to be reimbursed for the cost of providing care to 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.