This article copied from the Safe Passage For Children newsletter clearly articulates the importance of record keeping as it pertains to reports of repeated calls of child abuse.  Unfortunately, the system is overwhelmed, and it is all too easy to simply not keep good records.

What we don’t know can’t hurt us.  But it certainly hurts at risk children.  Please support Rich Gehrman’s efforts to raise the bar of accountability for counties tracking child abuse.  It is the right thing to do.  


Data is the Work of the DevilWhen I was in government I teased my social work colleagues that they thought data was the work of the devil.Not much has changed.This year we introduced legislation requiring counties to keep enough information on maltreatment reports to identify repeat calls.  This is important because some situations are not evident from a single report, for instance emotional abuse and failure to thrive.In response the Department of Human Services said that counties aren’t required to report any identifying information – only the number of children involved.These guidelines are contrary to state law.  They also conflict with the Legislative Auditor recommendations (see p. 51), and with current practice for most child protection workers.

This policy exposes children to ongoing abuse and shields counties from accountability.  Some children have been reported up to 25 times with no record of how the county responded.

Minnesota must plug this accountability gap before it can improve outcomes for kids.

1 Comment

  1. It is a scandal that counties are not required to collect and maintain basic data on children in care in a uniform manner and format. Minnesota needs corrective legislation.

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