Child Protection

Child protection intake screeners, in partnership with the screening team, review and accept reports of alleged child maltreatment based on the Department of Human Services (DHS) Minnesota Child Maltreatment Intake, Screening, and Response Path Guidelines.

  1. When to Report
  2. Verbal Report
  3. Written Report
  4. Failure to Report

Minnesota Statute 260E.06 requires mandated reporters to make a report if they know of, or have reason to believe a child is being neglected or abused, or has been neglected or abused within the preceding three years. Verbal reports must be made immediately (no longer than 24 hours). A verbal report by a mandated reporter must be followed within 72 hours, excluding holidays and weekends, by a written report of alleged maltreatment.

Mandated Reporting

  1. General Info
  2. Examples
  3. Trainings
  4. Training Packet Forms

Under Minnesota Statute 260E.06, persons in designated professional occupations are mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

Persons who work with children and families are in a position to help protect children from harm. These persons are required by law to report to child protection if they know or have a reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected or that a child has been neglected or abused within the prior three years.

The individual with direct knowledge of possible child abuse or neglect is individually responsible to report to the police or child protection. Reporting the concern to a supervisor, administrator, or other coworkers does not mitigate your responsibility to report.

The reporter's name is confidential, accessible only if the reporter consents or by a court order. You can find more information about mandated reporting in the Resource Guide for Mandated Reporters.

  1. Definitions
  2. Family Assessments
  3. Parenting Tips


Terms related to abuse as defined by Washington County:

  • Failure to Thrive: A physician's diagnosis of failure to thrive due to parental deprivation.
  • Mental Injury: 
    • An injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced  by an observable or substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within the normal range of performance and behavior with due regard to the child's culture.
    • Behaviors to be considered are rejecting, isolating, terrorizing, ignoring, or corrupting the child.
  • Physical Abuse: An intentional (non-accidental) act resulting in a visible injury or no observable injury but the child reports pain in the head, stomach, torso, or genitalia as a result of being hit in that area or an act of reasonable discipline which results in injury except for an injury resulting from reasonable force to restrain (ref. MS609.379).
  • Sexual Abuse:
    • Intentional touching of the victim's breasts, buttocks, inner thighs, groin, or primary genital area (or the victim touching the perpetrator in these areas) through the clothing or skin-to-skin contact.
    • This would include a victim touching themselves or two victims touching each other at the direction of an adult.
    • This also includes children involved in prostitution or sexual performance.
  • Threatened Injury: A statement, overt act, condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of physical abuse or mental injury.
  • Threatened Sexual Abuse: A statement, overt act, condition, or status that presents a substantial risk of sexual abuse.


Terms related to neglect as defined by Washington County:

  • Failure to Protect:
    • A person poses physical or sexual threat to a child and parent or caretaker does not act to protect the child.
    • Parent or caretaker exposes the child to threatening or dangerous conditions or criminal activity.
    • Any time the child participates in a criminal act.
  • Failure to Provider for a Child's Special Needs: Reports of suicidal, anorexic or bulimic, or self-mutilating, etc., children are assessed when it is reported that the parent is not responding to degree of threat presented or is not cooperating with professional recommendations.
  • Failure to Provide Education: Elementary school-aged children who have demonstrated serious attendance problems and the school system's efforts to work effectively with the parents to correct the problem have been unsuccessful.
  • Failure to Provide Medical Care: Failure to provide medical care refers to a continuing or consistent refusal or failure to seek, obtain, and follow through with a diagnosis and treatment of medical, dental, or mental health care for a health problem, symptom, or condition which, if untreated, could place the child in immediate or future jeopardy, incapacitation, or death.
  • Illegal Placement: A child 15 years old or younger living in a nonrelative, unlicensed home for more than 30 days in a 12-month period.
  • Inadequate Clothing or Hygiene:
    • The failure to provide and maintain adequate clothing which is appropriate to the climate and/or environmental conditions.
    • Inappropriateness or condition of clothing presents a health or safety hazard.
  • Inadequate Food: Child routinely lacks sufficient quantity or quality of food or child suffers from medically-diagnosed malnutrition or developmental lags.
  • Inadequate Shelter: The periodic or continuing failure to provide adequate shelter and protection from weather and from environmental hazards in the dwelling and on this property which have potential for injury, illness, and/or disease.
  • Lack of Supervision: Failure to provide supervision, care, guidance, and/or protection, which results in the child being in situations beyond his ability to cope, at risk of physical harm, at risk of sexual and/or other exploitation.
  • Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances: This includes withdrawal symptoms in the child at birth, a positive toxicology test performed on the mother or child during prenatal checks or at delivery, or mother admits using chemicals.