Minnesota’s Child Endangerment Model (from the Casey Report briefing for Hennepin County commissioners today)
I was moved today when Steve Olson (from Knowledge Management) delivered the Casey Foundations 8 month report and recommendations for Hennepin County child protection at the County Commissioners briefing at the courthouse (listen to it here)
Steve made multiple references to Hennepin County’s “child endangerment” model and how it differs from a “child protection” model. He presented data demonstrating our negative outcome across a broad range of criteria and strikingly, how the County ignores child neglect (unlike the rest of the nation).
I understand the commissioners frustration over how much money (120 million dollars was stated) is spent on CP and how bad the results are. This is a complex set of issues that need thinking at a higher level.
With little measurability, less collaboration, almost no transparency there is only a vague idea of where to put resources and what’s really not working.
Bad results are about all that can happen the way things are today.
Mr Olson spoke of a perceived fear and lack of trust (distrust of peers and staff) within child protection reminding me of the high turnover in this industry in general and just how bad morale and turnover are on both the east and west coasts are.
Defining success and how we measure child safety and killing the current County child endangerment model was a top recommendation.
More community based solutions, involving community stakeholders and redefining what we want for outcomes all make perfect sense to me.
I also resonated with how social workers are also traumatized by their work and by the system and how this undermines the well trained, experienced and committed workers that we need so badly. It’s hard work and we should be striving to make things work better.
It was good to hear it spoken of that allot of the problem is that people don’t talk about the issues due to fear of litigation (and that much of this is overblown). The heart of the matter is that we don’t talk about it and very few people have a clear perspective of the issues.
Now, if policy makers would just get their brain around how important crisis nurseries, quality daycare and other early childhood programs are, we might just begin to break the cycle of abused children becoming problem youth with no parenting skills, trauma based behavioral problems often made worse with drug and alcohol addictions and three or four of their own very young children that will soon be allot like them in so many ways.