Brandon Stahl’s article in the Star Tribune today suggests that Minnesota is probably the only state in the nation to have forbidden social workers from considering past screened out cases of child abuse in evaluating new reports. Pressured to put a consistent policy in place by a state auditor, DHS institutionalized a policy that would lead to untold suffering and death of abused children for four years (it ended today with the Governor’s signing of the reversal of that bill.
That is just the tip of the iceberg that the Governor’s Task Force is working on. Perhaps with the added attention to the Task Force and Brandon Stahl’s continued reporting we can move up a few notches among the states in what we spend on child protection in MN (we rank 47th currently).
It befuddles me that the studies completed by the Federal Reserve Bank by Art Rolnick and Rob Grunewald have not brought the larger business community into appreciating the fundamental issues underlying a productive work force and a safe and healthy community. It may be that the arguments should be made in terms of cost instead of savings. I think it would scare people to know how expensive ignored at risk youth are to our community. A single boy in my CASA guardian ad litem caseload cost this county at least 3 million dollars by the time he aged out of child protection (not including the awful things he has done to people).
By any measure, taking care of vulnerable children is the duty of all of us and to make you feel better, saves money and is the right thing to do.
Reporting Child Abuse in MN Reporting Child Abuse Nationally; 800-422-4453
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