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S.F. No. 3692 - Modifying provisions governing child maltreatment
 
Author: Senator Julie A. Rosen
 
Prepared By: Priyanka Premo, Senate Counsel (651/296-3914)
 
Date: March 11, 2020



 

Overview

SF 3692 modifies provisions governing child maltreatment and child placement. This bill:

  • Requires certain interviews with children to take place prior to and separately from alleged perpetrators unless exceptional documented circumstances demonstrate that it would not be in the best interests of the child;
  • Prohibits advance notice to caregivers before an initial visit;
  • Requires agencies to follow a standard fact-finding protocol and interview children in a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive manner;
  • Requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop materials and provide training related to the standard fact-finding protocol and conducting interviews in a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive manner.

Summary

Sec. 1. Agency responsibilities for parents and children in placement. Requires the responsible social services agency to interview a child in foster care who is at least four years old, separately and prior to interviewing all adults residing in the home, unless exceptional documented circumstances demonstrate that it would not be in the best interests of the child.

Sec. 2. Subd. 3d. Authority to interview. Requires the responsible agency assessing or investigating child maltreatment to interview the child separately from and prior to interviewing the alleged perpetrator, unless exceptional documented circumstances demonstrate that it would not be in the best interests of the child. Requires the agency to report to DHS the number of interviews exempted from this requirement based on exceptional documented circumstances and the specific reasons. Effective March 1, 2021, requires the agency to conduct all interviews with children in a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive manner.

Sec. 3. Subd. 3g. Advance notice prohibited. Prohibits the agency responsible for assessments and investigations from providing advance notice to the child’s caregivers for an initial visit to the home, unless exceptional documented circumstances demonstrate that it would not be in the best interests of the child.

Sec. 4. Subd. 10. Duties of local welfare aency and local law enforcement agency upon receipt of report; mandatory notification between police or sheriff and agency. Effective March 1, 2021, requires the local welfare agency to follow the standard fact-finding protocol before assigning the case to an investigation or family assessment if the reports do not allege sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment. Effective March 1, 2021, requires the local welfare agency to use the standard fact-finding protocol while conducting a family assessment or investigation.

Requires the local welfare agency responsible for assessing or investigating a child abuse or neglect report to interview the alleged victim separately from and prior to interviewing the alleged offender, unless exceptional documented circumstances demonstrate that it would not be in the best interests of the child. Requires the agency to interview the child subject to alleged maltreatment separately from and prior to interviewing the alleged offender, even when the alleged offender is the primary caregiver, unless exceptional documented circumstances demonstrate that it would not be in the best interests of the child.

Clarifies that certain procedures that apply to investigations also apply to family assessments. Provides a description of the standard fact-finding protocol which is effective March 1, 2021.

Sec. 5. Subd. 10e. Determinations. Effective March 1, 2021, requires the local welfare agency to include a description of family assessment findings in the Social Services Information System case record with sufficient specificity, including information about relationships between each adult in the house and each child and the events each child experienced.

Sec. 6. Direction to commissioner of human services. Requires DHS, in consultation with experts, to ensure that child protection workers receive training on the standard fact-finding protocol and how to interview a child in a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive manner.

Effective date. Unless noted above, this bill is effective the day following final enactment.

 
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