Safe Passage is working now to change child welfare practices. Instead of protecting children, some of them can put kids at risk:
- Caseworkers must stop interviewing children in the presence of alleged perpetrators. No one is more easily intimidated than a child.
- Stop giving advance notice to parents of visits by child protection workers. That can give alleged perpetrators time to coach the child.
- All case workers must follow one standard protocol in managing cases. A best practice used in one part of the state now can be ignored in another.
- In all cases, whether abuse occurred or not, file a report in the case records – even when a formal finding of maltreatment isn’t made. Workers need information on past incidents of maltreatment to assess how much children are at risk.
Safe Passage also supports increased support for Early Learning Scholarships and Targeted Home Visiting programs. These evidence-based programs have shown that they can reduce the incidence of child abuse and the need for child protection services by 25% to 49%.
Overall, we are working to increase state funding for child welfare, so caseworkers can do their jobs effectively in protecting Minnesota children.