Investigation of (Facility) Maltreatment

Investigation of Maltreatment Reports in Facilities


When Washington County Community Services receives a report of abuse or neglect in a facility licensed by Washington County Community Services, Minnesota state law mandates that we conduct an investigation to determine whether maltreatment occurred and if protective services are needed. An investigation of maltreatment report in facilities is completed through these steps:

Coordination of the Investigation


If the report is not about child abuse or neglect but involves some other issues, we forward the information to the Minnesota Department of Human Services Licensing Division or other licensing agencies for possible investigation of licensing violations. We coordinate the investigation with responsible licensing agencies, if necessary.

We work with local law enforcement to find out if the child has been maltreated, if the harm was caused by something the facility staff did or failed to do, and if the child is in need of protective services.

We notify the parents and the agency that placed the alleged victim before we interview the children, and may notify parents of children in the facility but who are not the alleged victim.

Collection of Information


Collect information to determine if the child was maltreated and if child protective services are needed. We will interview:
  • Any alleged child victim who is in the facility
  • Other children who are or have been in the facility, if needed
  • Any children related to the alleged offender, if needed
  • Any child who lives with or has lived with the alleged offender
  • The alleged offender
  • Staff members who may know of the alleged abuse or neglect
  • Facility supervisors and directors
  • Parents, guardians, or legal custodians, if necessary, of children who are or have been in the facility who may know of the abuse or neglect
People who are interviewed are told verbally and in writing:
  • Why we request the information
  • How we will use it
  • That they may refuse to answer questions
  • What will happen if they do or do not answer questions
  • What other agencies can have access to this information
  • What rights they have to certain information agencies have collected
  • What rights they have to ask for a reconsideration of the determination
We will collect information regarding:
  • Prior reports of maltreatment
  • The child's age, gender, and development
  • The person who reported, his or her relationship to the child and the person accused of maltreatment, and how the reporter knows about the alleged abuse
  • The alleged offender, including age, prior reports of maltreatment, and criminal charges and convictions
  • Other facts which will help find out if the child has been maltreated
We may collect other information, such as:
  • A medical examination of the child
  • Medical records relating to maltreatment
  • Interviews with health professionals
  • Documentation provided by the person accused of maltreatment
  • Other facts that help us find out if the child has been maltreated
We must tape-record all interviews when possible. When the report involves sexual abuse, we must videotape interviews with the child witness when possible. We will complete the assessment within 90 days of receiving the report.

Inform Involved Persons


Involved persons will be informed of the determination. Within ten (10) days of completing the assessment, we send a letter to the parents or guardians of the child telling them:
  • Whether or not the child has been maltreated
  • If we found that the family needs services
  • The specific reasons for our decisions
  • That we followed the law in collecting the information
  • About people's rights to certain information on themselves from the report
Others who we must notify of our findings include the person accused of maltreatment, all parents and the placing agency in cases where we determine abuse or neglect occurred, parents and the placing agencies contacted prior to conducting the interviews in cases where we did not determine abuse or neglect occurred, the responsible licensing agencies, and when applicable, the Ombudsman's office.

These persons are informed of:
  • Whether we found that the child has been maltreated
  • Specific reasons for this finding
  • That we followed the law in collecting information
  • What rights they have to certain information about themselves

Provision of Services


After the investigation, we provide for the safety of the children within the facility if abuse or neglect occurred or child protective services are needed. County agency staff and licensing staff intervene if negative licensing actions are required.