This system has surely changed in the last 100 years, but like most programs focused on the vulnerable and voiceless, it has to a large extent been ignored in its financing structure over many generations.

Counties in Minnesota pay for the majority of costs associated with placing children in foster homes.

A Star Tribune reporter deserves credit for opening this can of worms regarding child protection a couple of years ago. But the reports focus on the extremes and on issues that are not at the core of maintaining the necessary infrastructure. The reporting hints at symptoms of a system that lacks the resources to build the workforce and care ecosystem necessary to protect the most vulnerable people in our society (“Abused kids wait days to get help,” Feb. 7).

The system redesign for child protection in Minnesota last year certainly will help provide a better safety net for our population of children long-term. But it has stigmatized the professionals working in the system. Social workers and others who are doing extraordinarily difficult and high-pressure work, under tight deadlines for modest pay, deserve our respect. Read more