Child Protection

Child abuse and neglect is defined by state statute and varies from state to state. Learn more about what is considered abuse and neglect in Minnesota at:

Everyone can help children thrive and be safe. Some professionals who work with children and families are required by law to report maltreatment; they are called Mandated Reporters. Learn more about being a Mandated Reporter:

Even if you are not a mandated reporter, you can still report your concerns.

How Do I Make a Report?

If you are worried that a child is being abused or neglected, please contact Goodhue County Health and Human Services at 651-385-3200 and ask to speak with child protection intake. You will be asked to provide your contact information in case additional information is needed or the call ends unexpectedly. If you are a mandated reporter, you are required to provide your contact information.

The intake worker will need to know as much information as possible about your worries and about the child’s family. Please know you will be asked about the following information. If you do not have all the information, that is ok! We are asking so that we can coordinate the best possible response to your concerns.

When you are worried about a child’s immediate safety, please call 9-1-1.  

Mandated reporters are required to send a written report after making a verbal report. Here is a form to make that easier.

Mandated Reporting Form

After you have made this report, a group of child protection staff members meet to review the information, consult with law enforcement, and the county attorney’s office to determine if the report meets the criteria that require a child protection assessment or investigation. We use the Minnesota Child Maltreatment Intake, Screening, and Response Guidelines when making these decisions.

If the report does not meet the criteria, services might be offered to help the family.  The reporter will be notified of the report’s outcome if contact information was provided.

If a report does meet the criteria and is accepted for a child protection assessment, a social worker is assigned to meet with the child, the caregivers, and others in the home to learn about the concerns and learn more about the family.

The goal of every interaction is to assess the safety of the child and ensure the family has the support they need to help their child be successful. Sometimes, in order to ensure immediate safety, family members, the social worker, and even law enforcement need to make a plan to keep the child safe. That plan may involve the child leaving the home, a caregiver leaving the home, or working with extended family and friends to provide extra supervision.  Like each family, each plan is different. At the end of each assessment, the family and the team of social workers at Goodhue County Health and Human Services decide if ongoing child protection services are needed or not. 

Learn more about the child protection assessment process:

Social Services

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