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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2283

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/11/2019 04:14pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to child protection; amending certain definitions applicable to the reporting
of maltreatment of minors statute; codifying and directing the commissioner of
human services to implement certain recommendations from the March 2015
Governor's Task Force on the Protection of Children Final Report and
Recommendations;amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 626.556,
subdivisions 2, 3d, 7a, 10, 10e.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 626.556, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Definitions.

As used in this section, the following terms have the meanings
given them unless the specific content indicates otherwise:

(a) new text begin"Abuse" means physical abuse or sexual abuse.
new text end

new text begin (b) new text end"Accidental" means a sudden, not reasonably foreseeable, and unexpected occurrence
or event which:

(1) is not likely to occur and could not have been prevented by exercise of due care; and

(2) if occurring while a child is receiving services from a facility, happens when the
facility and the employee or person providing services in the facility are in compliance with
the laws and rules relevant to the occurrence or event.

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services.

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end "Facility" means:

(1) a licensed or unlicensed day care facility, certified license-exempt child care center,
residential facility, agency, hospital, sanitarium, or other facility or institution required to
be licensed under sections 144.50 to 144.58, 241.021, or 245A.01 to 245A.16, or chapter
144H, 245D, or 245H;

(2) a school as defined in section 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, and 13; and chapter 124E;
or

(3) a nonlicensed personal care provider organization as defined in section 256B.0625,
subdivision 19a
.

deleted text begin (d)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end "Family assessment" means a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of
subsequent child maltreatment, and family strengths and needs that is applied to a child
maltreatment report that does not allege sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment.
Family assessment deleted text begindoes not includedeleted text endnew text begin includesnew text end a determination as to whether child maltreatment
occurred deleted text beginbut does determinedeleted text endnew text begin and determinesnew text end the need for services to address the safety of
family members and the risk of subsequent maltreatment.

deleted text begin (e)deleted text end new text begin(f) "Imminent danger" is a situation in which a child is threatened with immediate
and present maltreatment as defined in subdivision 10e, paragraph (f), that is life threatening
or likely to result in abandonment or serious physical injury.
new text end

new text begin (g) new text end"Investigation" means fact gathering related to the current safety of a child and the
risk of subsequent maltreatment that determines whether child maltreatment occurred and
whether child protective services are needed. An investigation must be used when reports
involve sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment, and for reports of maltreatment in
facilities required to be licensed or certified under chapter 245A, 245D, or 245H; under
sections 144.50 to 144.58 and 241.021; in a school as defined in section 120A.05,
subdivisions 9
, 11, and 13, and chapter 124E; or in a nonlicensed personal care provider
association as defined in section 256B.0625, subdivision 19a.

deleted text begin (f)deleted text endnew text begin (h)new text end "Mental injury" means 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 a normal range of performance and behavior with due regard to
the child's culture.

deleted text begin (g)deleted text endnew text begin (i)new text end "Neglect" means the commission or omission of any of the acts specified under
clauses (1) to deleted text begin(9)deleted text endnew text begin (10)new text end, other than by accidental means:

(1) failure by a person responsible for a child's care to supply a child with necessary
food, clothing, shelter, health, medical, or other care required for the child's physical or
mental health when reasonably able to do so;

(2) failure to protect a child from conditions or actions that seriously endanger the child's
physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so, including a growth delay, which
may be referred to as a failure to thrive, that has been diagnosed by a physician and is due
to parental neglect;

(3) failure to provide for necessary supervision or child care arrangements appropriate
for a child after considering factors as the child's age, mental ability, physical condition,
length of absence, or environment, when the child is unable to care for the child's own basic
needs or safety, or the basic needs or safety of another child in their care;

(4) failure to ensure that the child is educated as defined in sections 120A.22 and
260C.163, subdivision 11, which does not include a parent's refusal to provide the parent's
child with sympathomimetic medications, consistent with section 125A.091, subdivision
5
;

(5) nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a child is neglected solely
because the child's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's care in good
faith selects and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment or care of disease or
remedial care of the child in lieu of medical care; except that a parent, guardian, or caretaker,
or a person mandated to report pursuant to subdivision 3, has a duty to report if a lack of
medical care may cause serious danger to the child's health. This section does not impose
upon persons, not otherwise legally responsible for providing a child with necessary food,
clothing, shelter, education, or medical care, a duty to provide that care;

(6) prenatal exposure to a controlled substance, as defined in section 253B.02, subdivision
2, used by the mother for a nonmedical purpose, as evidenced by withdrawal symptoms in
the child at birth, results of a toxicology test performed on the mother at delivery or the
child at birth, medical effects or developmental delays during the child's first year of life
that medically indicate prenatal exposure to a controlled substance, or the presence of a
fetal alcohol spectrum disorder;

(7) "medical neglect" as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (5);

(8) chronic and severe use of alcohol or a controlled substance by a parent or person
responsible for the care of the child that adversely affects the child's basic needs and safety;
deleted text begin or
deleted text end

(9) new text beginfailure by a parent to contact a child on a regular basis with no demonstrated consistent
interest in the child's well-being, when reasonably able to do so, unless a court has awarded
physical custody of the child to another person, pursuant to an order, designation, or
appointment under chapter 257, 257B, 257C, 518, or 524, or pursuant to a mutual agreement
with the parent; or
new text end

new text begin (10) new text endemotional harm from a pattern of behavior which contributes to impaired emotional
functioning of the child which may be demonstrated by a substantial and observable effect
in the child's behavior, emotional response, or cognition that is not within the normal range
for the child's age and stage of development, with due regard to the child's culture.

deleted text begin (h)deleted text endnew text begin (j)new text end "Nonmaltreatment mistake" means:

(1) at the time of the incident, the individual was performing duties identified in the
center's child care program plan required under Minnesota Rules, part 9503.0045;

(2) the individual has not been determined responsible for a similar incident that resulted
in a finding of maltreatment for at least seven years;

(3) the individual has not been determined to have committed a similar nonmaltreatment
mistake under this paragraph for at least four years;

(4) any injury to a child resulting from the incident, if treated, is treated only with
remedies that are available over the counter, whether ordered by a medical professional or
not; and

(5) except for the period when the incident occurred, the facility and the individual
providing services were both in compliance with all licensing requirements relevant to the
incident.

This definition only applies to child care centers licensed under Minnesota Rules, chapter
9503. If clauses (1) to (5) apply, rather than making a determination of substantiated
maltreatment by the individual, the commissioner of human services shall determine that a
nonmaltreatment mistake was made by the individual.

deleted text begin (i)deleted text endnew text begin (k)new text end "Operator" means an operator or agency as defined in section 245A.02.

deleted text begin (j)deleted text endnew text begin (l)new text end "Person responsible for the child's care" means (1) an individual functioning within
the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a parent, guardian,
or other person having similar care responsibilities, or (2) an individual functioning outside
the family unit and having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a teacher, school
administrator, other school employees or agents, or other lawful custodian of a child having
either full-time or short-term care responsibilities including, but not limited to, day care,
babysitting whether paid or unpaid, counseling, teaching, and coaching.

deleted text begin (k)deleted text endnew text begin (m)new text end "Physical abuse" means any physical injury, mental injury, or threatened injury,
inflicted by a person responsible for the child's care on a child other than by accidental
means, or any physical or mental injury that cannot reasonably be explained by the child's
history of injuries, or any aversive or deprivation procedures, or regulated interventions,
that have not been authorized under section 125A.0942 or 245.825.

new text begin Physical new text endabuse does not include reasonable and moderate physical discipline of a child
administered by a parent or legal guardian which does not result in an injury. new text beginPhysical new text endabuse
does not include the use of reasonable force by a teacher, principal, or school employee as
allowed by section 121A.582. Actions which are not reasonable and moderate include, but
are not limited to, any of the following:

(1) throwing, kicking, burning, biting, or cutting a child;

(2) striking a child with a closed fist;

(3) shaking a child under age three;

(4) striking or other actions which result in any nonaccidental injury to a child under 18
months of age;

(5) unreasonable interference with a child's breathing;

(6) threatening a child with a weapon, as defined in section 609.02, subdivision 6;

(7) striking a child under age one on the face or head;

(8) striking a child who is at least age one but under age four on the face or head, which
results in an injury;

(9) purposely giving a child poison, alcohol, or dangerous, harmful, or controlled
substances which were not prescribed for the child by a practitioner, in order to control or
punish the child; or other substances that substantially affect the child's behavior, motor
coordination, or judgment or that results in sickness or internal injury, or subjects the child
to medical procedures that would be unnecessary if the child were not exposed to the
substances;

(10) unreasonable physical confinement or restraint not permitted under section 609.379,
including but not limited to tying, caging, or chaining; or

(11) in a school facility or school zone, an act by a person responsible for the child's
care that is a violation under section 121A.58.

deleted text begin (l)deleted text endnew text begin (n)new text end "Practice of social services," for the purposes of subdivision 3, includes but is not
limited to employee assistance counseling and the provision of guardian ad litem and
parenting time expeditor services.

deleted text begin (m)deleted text endnew text begin (o)new text end "Report" means any communication received by the local welfare agency, police
department, county sheriff, or agency responsible for child protection pursuant to this section
that describes neglect or physical or sexual abuse of a child and contains sufficient content
to identify the child and any person believed to be responsible for the neglect or abuse, if
known.

deleted text begin (n)deleted text endnew text begin (p)new text end "Sexual abuse" means the subjection of a child by a person responsible for the
child's care, by a person who has a significant relationship to the child, as defined in section
609.341, or by a person in a position of authority, as defined in section 609.341, subdivision
10, to any act which constitutes a violation of section 609.342 (criminal sexual conduct in
the first degree), 609.343 (criminal sexual conduct in the second degree), 609.344 (criminal
sexual conduct in the third degree), 609.345 (criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree),
or 609.3451 (criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree). Sexual abuse also includes any
act which involves a minor which constitutes a violation of prostitution offenses under
sections 609.321 to 609.324 or 617.246. Effective May 29, 2017, sexual abuse includes all
reports of known or suspected child sex trafficking involving a child who is identified as a
victim of sex trafficking. Sexual abuse includes child sex trafficking as defined in section
609.321, subdivisions 7a and 7b. Sexual abuse includes threatened sexual abuse which
includes the status of a parent or household member who has committed a violation which
requires registration as an offender under section 243.166, subdivision 1b, paragraph (a) or
(b), or required registration under section 243.166, subdivision 1b, paragraph (a) or (b).

deleted text begin (o)deleted text endnew text begin (q)new text end "Substantial child endangerment" means a person responsible for a child's care,
by act or omission, commits or attempts to commit an act against a child under their care
that constitutes any of the following:

(1) egregious harm as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14new text begin, which includes
infliction of bodily harm on a child or neglect of a child that demonstrates a grossly
inadequate ability to provide minimally adequate parental care
new text end;

(2) abandonment deleted text beginunder section 260C.301, subdivision 2deleted text endnew text begin when the child is an infant
under two years of age and has been deserted by a parent under circumstances that show
an intent not to return to care for the child
new text end;

(3) neglect as defined in paragraph deleted text begin(g)deleted text endnew text begin (i)new text end, clause (2), that substantially endangers the
child's physical or mental health, including a growth delay, which may be referred to as
failure to thrive, that deleted text beginhas been diagnosed by a physician anddeleted text end is due to parental neglect;

(4) murder in the first, second, or third degree under section 609.185, 609.19, or 609.195;

(5) manslaughter in the first or second degree under section 609.20 or 609.205;

(6) assault in the first, second, or third degree under section 609.221, 609.222, or 609.223;

(7) new text beginphysical abuse, as defined in paragraph (m), of a child:
new text end

new text begin (i) under the age of six that causes injury to the child's face, head, back, or abdomen;
new text end

new text begin (ii) under the age of three that causes bruising to the buttocks; or
new text end

new text begin (iii) under the age of one or a nonmobile child that causes an injury;
new text end

new text begin (8) new text endsolicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution under section 609.322;

deleted text begin (8)deleted text endnew text begin (9)new text end criminal sexual conduct under sections 609.342 to 609.3451;

deleted text begin (9)deleted text endnew text begin (10)new text end solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct under section 609.352;

deleted text begin (10)deleted text endnew text begin (11)new text end malicious punishment or neglect or endangerment of a child under section
609.377 or 609.378;

deleted text begin (11)deleted text endnew text begin (12)new text end use of a minor in sexual performance under section 617.246; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

new text begin (13) withholding a medically indicated treatment from a child with a life-threatening
condition unless exempted under section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (5);
new text end

deleted text begin (12)deleted text endnew text begin (14)new text end parental behavior, status, or condition which mandates that the county attorney
file a termination of parental rights petition under section 260C.503, subdivision 2deleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (15) imminent danger as defined in paragraph (f).
new text end

new text begin For purposes of clause (7), "bruising" means an area of discolored skin caused by a blow
or impact that ruptures underlying blood vessels.
new text end

deleted text begin (p)deleted text endnew text begin (r)new text end "Threatened injury" means a statement, overt act, condition, or status that represents
a substantial risk of physical or sexual abuse or mental injury. Threatened injury includes,
but is not limited to, exposing a child to a person responsible for the child's care, as defined
in paragraph deleted text begin(j)deleted text endnew text begin (l)new text end, clause (1), who has:

(1) subjected a child to, or failed to protect a child from, an overt act or condition that
constitutes egregious harm, as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14, or a similar law
of another jurisdiction;

(2) been found to be palpably unfit under section 260C.301, subdivision 1, paragraph
(b), clause (4), or a similar law of another jurisdiction;

(3) committed an act that has resulted in an involuntary termination of parental rights
under section 260C.301, or a similar law of another jurisdiction; or

(4) committed an act that has resulted in the involuntary transfer of permanent legal and
physical custody of a child to a relative under Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 260C.201,
subdivision 11, paragraph (d), clause (1), section 260C.515, subdivision 4, or a similar law
of another jurisdiction.

A child is the subject of a report of threatened injury when the responsible social services
agency receives birth match data under paragraph deleted text begin(q)deleted text endnew text begin (r)new text end from the Department of Human
Services.

deleted text begin (q)deleted text endnew text begin (s)new text end Upon receiving data under section 144.225, subdivision 2b, contained in a birth
record or recognition of parentage identifying a child who is subject to threatened injury
under paragraph deleted text begin(p)deleted text endnew text begin (r)new text end, the Department of Human Services shall send the data to the
responsible social services agency. The data is known as "birth match" data. Unless the
responsible social services agency has already begun an investigation or assessment of the
report due to the birth of the child or execution of the recognition of parentage and the
parent's previous history with child protection, the agency shall accept the birth match data
as a report under this section. The agency may use either a family assessment or investigation
to determine whether the child is safe. All of the provisions of this section apply. If the child
is determined to be safe, the agency shall consult with the county attorney to determine the
appropriateness of filing a petition alleging the child is in need of protection or services
under section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (16), in order to deliver needed services. If
the child is determined not to be safe, the agency and the county attorney shall take
appropriate action as required under section 260C.503, subdivision 2.

deleted text begin (r)deleted text endnew text begin (t)new text end Persons who conduct assessments or investigations under this section shall take
into account accepted child-rearing practices of the culture in which a child participates and
accepted teacher discipline practices, which are not injurious to the child's health, welfare,
and safety.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment, with
the exception that the amendments to the second sentence of paragraph (e) are effective
March 1, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 626.556, subdivision 3d, is amended to read:


Subd. 3d.

Authority to interview.

new text begin(a) new text endThe agency responsible for assessing or
investigating reports of child maltreatment has the authority to interview the child, the
person or persons responsible for the child's care, the alleged perpetrator, and any other
person with knowledge of the abuse or neglect for the purpose of gathering the facts,
assessing safety and risk to the child, and formulating a plan.

new text begin (b) If the responsible agency determines that the child must be interviewed as part of a
family assessment or investigation, the responsible agency must interview the child separately
from and prior to interviewing the alleged perpetrator. This requirement does not apply only
if the responsible agency determines that rare and exceptional circumstances exist. The
responsible agency shall document the rare and exceptional circumstances. The county shall
report to the commissioner the number of interviews conducted under rare and exceptional
circumstances and the reasons constituting rare and exceptional circumstances, and any
other relevant collateral contacts under subdivision 10, paragraph (i), clause (3).
new text end

new text begin (c) Interviews with children shall be conducted in a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive
manner.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin Paragraph (b) is effective the day following final enactment.
Paragraph (c) is effective March 1, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 626.556, subdivision 7a, is amended to read:


Subd. 7a.

Guidance for screening reports.

(a) Child protection staff, supervisors, and
others involved in child protection screening shall follow the guidance provided in the deleted text beginchild
maltreatment screening guidelines
deleted text endnew text begin child protection and foster care guidelinesnew text end issued by the
commissioner of human services deleted text beginand,deleted text endnew text begin for all processes in the child welfare continuum of
services including but not limited to screening maltreatment reports, assigning screened-in
reports to an investigation or a family assessment, fact-finding, determining whether
maltreatment occurred, determining whether to pursue a petition for a child in need of
protection or services under section 260C.141, determining when allowing children to
remain at home and receive in-home services is consistent with child safety and well-being,
determining when to remove children to out-of-home care and when to return children to
their home, determining when to pursue termination of parental rights, and determining
when cases may be closed consistent with child safety and well-being.
new text end When notified by
the commissioner,new text begin countiesnew text end shall immediately implement updated procedures and protocols.

(b) Any modifications to deleted text beginthe screeningdeleted text endnew text begin thesenew text end guidelines must be preapproved by the
commissioner of human services and must not be less protective of children than is mandated
by statute. The county agency must consult with the county attorney before proposing
modifications to the commissioner. The guidelines may provide additional protections for
children but must not limit reports that are screened in or provide additional limits on
consideration of reports that were screened out in making screening determinations.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective March 1, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 626.556, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Duties of local welfare agency and local law enforcement agency upon
receipt of report; mandatory notification between police or sheriff and agency.

(a) The
police department or the county sheriff shall immediately notify the local welfare agency
or agency responsible for child protection reports under this section orally and in writing
when a report is received. The local welfare agency or agency responsible for child protection
reports shall immediately notify the local police department or the county sheriff orally and
in writing when a report is received. The county sheriff and the head of every local welfare
agency, agency responsible for child protection reports, and police department shall each
designate a person within their agency, department, or office who is responsible for ensuring
that the notification duties of this paragraph are carried out. When the alleged maltreatment
occurred on tribal land, the local welfare agency or agency responsible for child protection
reports and the local police department or the county sheriff shall immediately notify the
tribe's social services agency and tribal law enforcement orally and in writing when a report
is received.

(b) Upon receipt of a report, the local welfare agency shall determine whether to conduct
a family assessment or an investigation as appropriate to prevent or provide a remedy for
child maltreatment. The local welfare agency:

(1) shall conduct an investigation on reports involving sexual abuse or substantial child
endangerment;

(2) shall begin an immediate investigation if, at any time when it is using a family
assessment response, it determines that there is reason to believe that sexual abuse or
substantial child endangerment or a serious threat to the child's safety exists;

(3) may conduct a family assessment for reports that do not allege sexual abuse or
substantial child endangerment. In determining that a family assessment is appropriate, the
local welfare agency may consider issues of child safety, parental cooperation, and the need
for an immediate response;

(4) may conduct a family assessment on a report that was initially screened and assigned
for an investigation. In determining that a complete investigation is not required, the local
welfare agency must document the reason for terminating the investigation and notify the
local law enforcement agency if the local law enforcement agency is conducting a joint
investigation; and

(5) shall provide immediate notice, according to section 260.761, subdivision 2, to an
Indian child's tribe when the agency has reason to believe the family assessment or
investigation may involve an Indian child. For purposes of this clause, "immediate notice"
means notice provided within 24 hours.

If the report alleges neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, or
individual functioning within the family unit as a person responsible for the child's care, or
sexual abuse by a person with a significant relationship to the child when that person resides
in the child's household or by a sibling, the local welfare agency shall immediately conduct
a family assessment or investigation as identified in clauses (1) to (4). In conducting a family
assessment or investigation, the local welfare agency shallnew text begin follow standard fact-finding
protocol as developed by the commissioner in accordance with paragraph (m),
new text end gather
information on the existence of substance abuse and domestic violencenew text begin,new text end and offer services
for purposes of preventing future child maltreatment, safeguarding and enhancing the welfare
of the abused or neglected minor, and supporting and preserving family life whenever
possible.

If the report alleges a violation of a criminal statute involving sexual abuse, physical abuse,
or neglect or endangerment, under section 609.378, the local law enforcement agency and
local welfare agency shall coordinate the planning and execution of their respective
investigation and assessment efforts to avoid a duplication of fact-finding efforts and multiple
interviews. Each agency shall prepare a separate report of the results of its investigation or
assessment. In cases of alleged child maltreatment resulting in death, the local agency may
rely on the fact-finding efforts of a law enforcement investigation to make a determination
of whether or not maltreatment occurred. When necessary the local welfare agency shall
seek authority to remove the child from the custody of a parent, guardian, or adult with
whom the child is living. In performing any of these duties, the local welfare agency shall
maintain appropriate records.

If the family assessment or investigation indicates there is a potential for abuse of alcohol
or other drugs by the parent, guardian, or person responsible for the child's care, the local
welfare agency shall conduct a chemical use assessment pursuant to Minnesota Rules, part
9530.6615.

(c) When a local agency receives a report or otherwise has information indicating that
a child who is a client, as defined in section 245.91, has been the subject of physical abuse,
sexual abuse, or neglect at an agency, facility, or program as defined in section 245.91, it
shall, in addition to its other duties under this section, immediately inform the ombudsman
established under sections 245.91 to 245.97. The commissioner of education shall inform
the ombudsman established under sections 245.91 to 245.97 of reports regarding a child
defined as a client in section 245.91 that maltreatment occurred at a school as defined in
section 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, and 13, and chapter 124E.

(d) Authority of the local welfare agency responsible for assessing or investigating the
child abuse or neglect report, the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report,
and of the local law enforcement agency for investigating the alleged abuse or neglect
includes, but is not limited to, authority to interview, without parental consent, the alleged
victim and any other minors who currently reside with or who have resided with the alleged
offender.new text begin If the responsible agency determines that the alleged victim must be interviewed,
absent rare and exceptional circumstances, the alleged victim shall be interviewed separately
from and prior to the alleged offender, and any other relevant collateral contacts under
paragraph (i), clause (3).
new text end The interview may take place at school or at any facility or other
place where the alleged victim or other minors might be found or the child may be transported
to, and the interview conducted at, a place appropriate for the interview of a child designated
by the local welfare agency or law enforcement agency. The interview may take place
outside the presence of the alleged offender or parent, legal custodian, guardian, or school
official. For family assessments, it is the preferred practice to request a parent or guardian's
permission to interview the child prior to conducting the child interview, unless doing so
would compromise the safety assessment. Except as provided in this paragraph, the parent,
legal custodian, or guardian shall be notified by the responsible local welfare or law
enforcement agency no later than the conclusion of the investigation or assessment that this
interview has occurred. Notwithstanding rule 32 of the Minnesota Rules of Procedure for
Juvenile Courts, the juvenile court may, after hearing on an ex parte motion by the local
welfare agency, order that, where reasonable cause exists, the agency withhold notification
of this interview from the parent, legal custodian, or guardian. If the interview took place
or is to take place on school property, the order shall specify that school officials may not
disclose to the parent, legal custodian, or guardian the contents of the notification of intent
to interview the child on school property, as provided under this paragraph, and any other
related information regarding the interview that may be a part of the child's school record.
A copy of the order shall be sent by the local welfare or law enforcement agency to the
appropriate school official.

(e) When the local welfare, local law enforcement agency, or the agency responsible
for assessing or investigating a report of maltreatment determines that an interview should
take place on school property, written notification of intent to interview the child on school
property must be received by school officials prior to the interview. The notification shall
include the name of the child to be interviewed, the purpose of the interview, and a reference
to the statutory authority to conduct an interview on school property. For interviews
conducted by the local welfare agency, the notification shall be signed by the chair of the
local social services agency or the chair's designee. The notification shall be private data
on individuals subject to the provisions of this paragraph. School officials may not disclose
to the parent, legal custodian, or guardian the contents of the notification or any other related
information regarding the interview until notified in writing by the local welfare or law
enforcement agency that the investigation or assessment has been concluded, unless a school
employee or agent is alleged to have maltreated the child. Until that time, the local welfare
or law enforcement agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating a report
of maltreatment shall be solely responsible for any disclosures regarding the nature of the
assessment or investigation.

Except where the alleged offender is believed to be a school official or employee, the
time and place, and manner of the interview on school premises shall be within the discretion
of school officials, but the local welfare or law enforcement agency shall have the exclusive
authority to determine who may attend the interview. The conditions as to time, place, and
manner of the interview set by the school officials shall be reasonable and the interview
shall be conducted not more than 24 hours after the receipt of the notification unless another
time is considered necessary by agreement between the school officials and the local welfare
or law enforcement agency. Where the school fails to comply with the provisions of this
paragraph, the juvenile court may order the school to comply. Every effort must be made
to reduce the disruption of the educational program of the child, other students, or school
staff when an interview is conducted on school premises.

(f) Where the alleged offender or a person responsible for the care of the alleged victim
or other minor prevents access to the victim or other minor by the local welfare agency, the
juvenile court may order the parents, legal custodian, or guardian to produce the alleged
victim or other minor for questioning by the local welfare agency or the local law
enforcement agency outside the presence of the alleged offender or any person responsible
for the child's care at reasonable places and times as specified by court order.

(g) Before making an order under paragraph (f), the court shall issue an order to show
cause, either upon its own motion or upon a verified petition, specifying the basis for the
requested interviews and fixing the time and place of the hearing. The order to show cause
shall be served personally and shall be heard in the same manner as provided in other cases
in the juvenile court. The court shall consider the need for appointment of a guardian ad
litem to protect the best interests of the child. If appointed, the guardian ad litem shall be
present at the hearing on the order to show cause.

(h) The commissioner of human services, the ombudsman for mental health and
developmental disabilities, the local welfare agencies responsible for investigating reports,
the commissioner of education, and the local law enforcement agencies have the right to
enter facilities as defined in subdivision 2 and to inspect and copy the facility's records,
including medical records, as part of the investigation. Notwithstanding the provisions of
chapter 13, they also have the right to inform the facility under investigation that they are
conducting an investigation, to disclose to the facility the names of the individuals under
investigation for abusing or neglecting a child, and to provide the facility with a copy of
the report and the investigative findings.

(i) The local welfare agency responsible for conducting a family assessment or
investigation shall new text beginfollow standard fact-finding protocol as developed by the commissioner
in accordance with paragraph (m), to
new text endcollect available and relevant information to determine
child safety, risk of subsequent child maltreatment, and family strengths and needs and
share not public information with an Indian's tribal social services agency without violating
any law of the state that may otherwise impose duties of confidentiality on the local welfare
agency in order to implement the tribal state agreement. The local welfare agency or the
agency responsible fornew text begin assessing ornew text end investigating the report shall collect available and
relevant information to ascertain whether maltreatment occurred and whether protective
services are needed. Information collected includes, when relevant, information with regard
to the person reporting the alleged maltreatment, including the nature of the reporter's
relationship to the child and to the alleged offender, and the basis of the reporter's knowledge
for the report; the child allegedly being maltreated; the alleged offender; the child's caretaker;
and other collateral sources having relevant information related to the alleged maltreatment.
The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for new text beginassessing or new text endinvestigating the report
may make a determination of no maltreatment early in an new text beginassessment or new text endinvestigation, and
close the case and retain immunity, if the collected information shows no basis for a full
new text begin assessment or new text endinvestigation.

Information relevant to the assessment or investigation must be asked for, and may
include:

(1) the child's sex and age; prior reports of maltreatment, including any maltreatment
reports that were screened out and not accepted for assessment or investigation; information
relating to developmental functioning; credibility of the child's statement; and whether the
information provided under this clause is consistent with other information collected during
the course of the assessment or investigation;

(2) the alleged offender's age, a record check for prior reports of maltreatment, and
criminal charges and convictions. The local welfare agency or the agency responsible for
assessing or investigating the report must provide the alleged offender with an opportunity
to make a statement. The alleged offender may submit supporting documentation relevant
to the assessment or investigation;

(3) collateral source information regarding the alleged maltreatment and care of the
child. Collateral information includes, when relevant: (i) a medical examination of the child;
(ii) prior medical records relating to the alleged maltreatment or the care of the child
maintained by any facility, clinic, or health care professional and an interview with the
treating professionals; and (iii) interviews with the child's caretakers, including the child's
parent, guardian, foster parent, child care provider, teachers, counselors, family members,
relatives, and other persons who may have knowledge regarding the alleged maltreatment
and the care of the child; and

(4) information on the existence of domestic abuse and violence in the home of the child,
and substance abuse.

Nothing in this paragraph precludes the local welfare agency, the local law enforcement
agency, or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report from collecting
other relevant information necessary to conduct the assessment or investigation.
Notwithstanding sections 13.384 or 144.291 to 144.298, the local welfare agency has access
to medical data and records for purposes of clause (3). Notwithstanding the data's
classification in the possession of any other agency, data acquired by the local welfare
agency or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report during the course
of the assessment or investigation are private data on individuals and must be maintained
in accordance with subdivision 11. Data of the commissioner of education collected or
maintained during and for the purpose of an investigation of alleged maltreatment in a school
are governed by this section, notwithstanding the data's classification as educational,
licensing, or personnel data under chapter 13.

In conducting an assessment or investigation involving a school facility as defined in
subdivision 2, paragraph (c), the commissioner of education shall collect investigative
reports and data that are relevant to a report of maltreatment and are from local law
enforcement and the school facility.

(j) Upon receipt of a report, the local welfare agency shall conduct a face-to-face contact
with the child reported to be maltreated and with the child's primary caregiver sufficient to
complete a safety assessment and ensure the immediate safety of the child. The face-to-face
contact with the child and primary caregiver shall occur immediately if sexual abuse or
substantial child endangerment is alleged and within five calendar days for all other reports.
If the alleged offender was not already interviewed as the primary caregiver, the local welfare
agency shall also conduct a face-to-face interview with the alleged offender in the early
stages of the assessment or investigation. At the initial contact, the local child welfare agency
or the agency responsible for assessing or investigating the report must inform the alleged
offender of the complaints or allegations made against the individual in a manner consistent
with laws protecting the rights of the person who made the report. The interview with the
alleged offender may be postponed if it would jeopardize an active law enforcement
investigation.new text begin Absent rare and exceptional circumstances, the child reported to be maltreated
shall be interviewed separately from and prior to the alleged offender, including when the
alleged offender is the primary caregiver.
new text end

(k) When conducting an new text beginassessment or new text endinvestigation, the local welfare agency shall use
a question and answer interviewing format with questioning as nondirective as possible to
elicit spontaneous responses. For investigations only, the following interviewing methods
and procedures must be used whenever possible when collecting information:

(1) audio recordings of all interviews with witnesses and collateral sources; and

(2) in cases of alleged sexual abuse, audio-video recordings of each interview with the
alleged victim and child witnesses.

(l) In conducting an assessment or investigation involving a school facility as defined
in subdivision 2, paragraph (c), the commissioner of education shall collect available and
relevant information and use the procedures in paragraphs (j) and (k), and subdivision 3d,
except that the requirement for face-to-face observation of the child and face-to-face interview
of the alleged offender is to occur in the initial stages of the assessment or investigation
provided that the commissioner may also base the assessment or investigation on investigative
reports and data received from the school facility and local law enforcement, to the extent
those investigations satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (j) and (k), and subdivision 3d.

new text begin (m) Standard fact-finding protocol shall include gathering available and relevant details
from the alleged victim, the alleged perpetrator, and other relevant collateral contacts under
paragraph (i), clause (3), regarding at least the following information:
new text end

new text begin (1) who, what, when, where, and how regarding the reported allegation;
new text end

new text begin (2) recentness, frequency, duration, and severity of any patterns of behavior that present
a risk to a child;
new text end

new text begin (3) existence and impact of past and present harm to the child;
new text end

new text begin (4) protective parental capacities including knowledge of parenting and child
development, nurturing and attachment, parental resilience, social and emotional competence,
concrete supports in times of need, and social connections;
new text end

new text begin (5) child vulnerability factors including age and whether the child has a disability;
new text end

new text begin (6) characteristics of the child's family members that promote resiliency; and
new text end

new text begin (7) instances within the family when the child is safe as a starting point for additional
safety planning or services.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment, with
the exception that the amendments to paragraph (b), the first sentence of paragraph (i), and
paragraph (m), are effective March 1, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 626.556, subdivision 10e, is amended to read:


Subd. 10e.

Determinations.

(a) The local welfare agency shall conclude the family
assessment or the investigation within 45 days of the receipt of a report. The conclusion of
the assessment or investigation may be extended to permit the completion of a criminal
investigation or the receipt of expert information requested within 45 days of the receipt of
the report.

(b) After conducting a family assessment, the local welfare agency shall deleted text begindeterminedeleted text endnew text begin make
two determinations: first, whether maltreatment has occurred; and second,
new text end whether services
are needed to address the safety of the child and other family members and the risk of
subsequent maltreatment.new text begin The local welfare agency shall enter a determination of
maltreatment, the facts supporting the determination, and the identity of the alleged
perpetrator into the state Social Service Information System.
new text end

(c) After conducting an investigation, the local welfare agency shall make two
determinations: first, whether maltreatment has occurred; and second, whether child
protective services are needed. No determination of maltreatment shall be made when the
alleged perpetrator is a child under the age of ten.new text begin The local welfare agency shall enter a
determination of maltreatment, the facts supporting the determination, and the identity of
the alleged perpetrator into the state Social Service Information System.
new text end

(d) If the commissioner of education conducts an assessment or investigation, the
commissioner shall determine whether maltreatment occurred and what corrective or
protective action was taken by the school facility. If a determination is made that
maltreatment has occurred, the commissioner shall report to the employer, the school board,
and any appropriate licensing entity the determination that maltreatment occurred and what
corrective or protective action was taken by the school facility. In all other cases, the
commissioner shall inform the school board or employer that a report was received, the
subject of the report, the date of the initial report, the category of maltreatment alleged as
defined in paragraph (f), the fact that maltreatment was not determined, and a summary of
the specific reasons for the determination.

(e) When maltreatment is determined in an investigation involving a facility, the
investigating agency shall also determine whether the facility or individual was responsible,
or whether both the facility and the individual were responsible for the maltreatment using
the mitigating factors in paragraph (i). Determinations under this subdivision must be made
based on a preponderance of the evidence and are private data on individuals or nonpublic
data as maintained by the commissioner of education.

(f) For the purposes of this subdivision, "maltreatment" means any of the following acts
or omissions:

(1) physical abuse as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph deleted text begin(k)deleted text endnew text begin (m)new text end;

(2) neglect as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph deleted text begin(g)deleted text endnew text begin (i)new text end;

(3) sexual abuse as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph deleted text begin(n)deleted text endnew text begin (p)new text end;

(4) mental injury as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph deleted text begin(f)deleted text endnew text begin (h)new text end; or

(5) maltreatment of a child in a facility as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph deleted text begin(c)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end.

(g) For the purposes of this subdivision, a determination that child protective services
are needed means that the local welfare agency has documented conditions during the
assessment or investigation sufficient to cause a child protection worker, as defined in
section 626.559, subdivision 1, to conclude that a child is at significant risk of maltreatment
if protective intervention is not provided and that the individuals responsible for the child's
care have not taken or are not likely to take actions to protect the child from maltreatment
or risk of maltreatment.

(h) This subdivision does not mean that maltreatment has occurred solely because the
child's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's care in good faith selects
and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment or care of disease or remedial care
of the child, in lieu of medical care. However, if lack of medical care may result in serious
danger to the child's health, the local welfare agency may ensure that necessary medical
services are provided to the child.

(i) When determining whether the facility or individual is the responsible party, or
whether both the facility and the individual are responsible for determined maltreatment in
a facility, the investigating agency shall consider at least the following mitigating factors:

(1) whether the actions of the facility or the individual caregivers were according to,
and followed the terms of, an erroneous physician order, prescription, individual care plan,
or directive; however, this is not a mitigating factor when the facility or caregiver was
responsible for the issuance of the erroneous order, prescription, individual care plan, or
directive or knew or should have known of the errors and took no reasonable measures to
correct the defect before administering care;

(2) comparative responsibility between the facility, other caregivers, and requirements
placed upon an employee, including the facility's compliance with related regulatory standards
and the adequacy of facility policies and procedures, facility training, an individual's
participation in the training, the caregiver's supervision, and facility staffing levels and the
scope of the individual employee's authority and discretion; and

(3) whether the facility or individual followed professional standards in exercising
professional judgment.

The evaluation of the facility's responsibility under clause (2) must not be based on the
completeness of the risk assessment or risk reduction plan required under section 245A.66,
but must be based on the facility's compliance with the regulatory standards for policies
and procedures, training, and supervision as cited in Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota
Rules.

(j) Notwithstanding paragraph (i), when maltreatment is determined to have been
committed by an individual who is also the facility license or certification holder, both the
individual and the facility must be determined responsible for the maltreatment, and both
the background study disqualification standards under section 245C.15, subdivision 4, and
the licensing or certification actions under section 245A.06, 245A.07, 245H.06, or 245H.07
apply.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment, with
the exception that the amendments to paragraph (b) are effective March 1, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text beginDIRECTION TO COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN SERVICES.
new text end

new text begin (a) By September 1, 2019, the commissioner of human services shall produce and display
on the Department of Human Services' monthly child welfare data dashboard reports of the
following information by county:
new text end

new text begin (1) the total number of maltreatment reports;
new text end

new text begin (2) the number and percentage of maltreatment reports screened in and screened out;
new text end

new text begin (3) the number and percentage of screened-in maltreatment reports assigned to family
assessment and to traditional investigations;
new text end

new text begin (4) the number of times children have been the subject of a report within the past five
years, including whether the reports were screened in or screened out;
new text end

new text begin (5) the number of family assessments closed due to nonparticipation; and
new text end

new text begin (6) the number and percentage of cases moved from a family assessment to a traditional
investigation.
new text end

new text begin (b) By October 1, 2019, the commissioner shall report to the legislative task force on
child protection and the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees
with jurisdiction over child protection regarding a plan for implementation by March 1,
2020, a method for local child welfare agencies to make a determination of whether
maltreatment has occurred after a family assessment under Minnesota Statutes, section
626.556, subdivision 10e, paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin (c) By March 1, 2020, the commissioner shall identify existing materials or create new
materials as needed to develop, publish, distribute, and ensure that child protection workers
have received training on child protection and foster care guidelines for child protection
staff, supervisors, and others involved in child protection screening to follow for all processes
in the child welfare continuum of services described in Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556,
subdivision 7a.
new text end

new text begin (d) By March 1, 2020, the commissioner shall, in consultation with content experts,
counties, and leaders in communities of color and tribes, develop, publish, distribute, and
ensure that child protection workers have received training to ensure that interviews with
children under Minnesota Statutes, sections 626.556 and 626.561, are conducted in a
trauma-informed, culturally sensitive manner. The commissioner shall periodically review
the implementation of this training and its effect on child interview practices to identify any
patterns of disparate treatment and take corrective action as needed. This training shall be
in addition to the child protection worker training under Minnesota Statutes, section 626.5591.
new text end

new text begin (e) By March 1, 2020, the commissioner shall develop, publish, distribute, and ensure
that child protection workers have received training on standard fact-finding protocol as
described under Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556, subdivision 10, paragraph (m). This
training shall be in addition to the child protection worker training under Minnesota Statutes,
section 626.5591.
new text end

new text begin (f) By March 1, 2020, the commissioner of human services shall research models for
continuous quality improvement of the state child welfare system and report to the legislative
task force on child protection and the legislative committees with jurisdiction over child
protection a recommendation for implementing a model for continuous quality improvement
of the state child welfare system. The recommended model shall include at least the following
features:
new text end

new text begin (1) key process measures such as monthly visits by caseworkers;
new text end

new text begin (2) key quality measures such as whether case plans have been implemented;
new text end

new text begin (3) key outcome measures such as whether children are improving in terms of trauma,
cognitive and physical development, and behavioral or mental health concerns;
new text end

new text begin (4) implementation at all levels of the child welfare system through reviews by child
protection workers, peers, supervisors, and managers; and
new text end

new text begin (5) a quarterly report of the results of the continuous quality improvement model at the
unit, county, and state levels.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 7. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin (a) $....... in fiscal year 2020 and $....... in fiscal year 2021 are appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of human services for producing monthly county reports
and displaying them on the Department of Human Services child welfare data dashboard.
new text end

new text begin (b) $....... is appropriated in fiscal year 2020 from the general fund to the commissioner
of human services for: developing a plan for implementing a method for local child welfare
agencies to make a determination of whether maltreatment occurred as part of a family
assessment; developing child protection and foster care guidelines for child protection
workers regarding the continuum of child welfare services; developing a training curriculum
for child protection workers to engage in a standard fact-finding protocol; developing a
training curriculum for child protection workers to conduct trauma-informed, culturally
sensitive child interviews; and researching and recommending a continuous quality
improvement model for the state child welfare system. This is a onetime appropriation.
new text end