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1987 Minnesota Session Laws

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                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 135-H.F.No. 806 
           An act relating to human services; requiring certain 
          written reports of abuse within 72 hours; requiring 
          county attorneys to be on child protection teams; 
          requiring specific investigations of certain abuse 
          cases; providing for case consultation by child 
          protection teams; amending Minnesota Statutes 1986, 
          sections 626.556, subdivisions 7, 10, and 10a; and 
          626.558, subdivisions 1, 2, and 3.  
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.556, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 7.  [REPORT.] An oral report shall be made 
immediately by telephone or otherwise.  An oral report made by a 
person required under subdivision 3 to report shall be 
followed as soon as possible within 72 hours, exclusive of 
weekends and holidays, by a report in writing to the appropriate 
police department, the county sheriff or local welfare agency.  
Any report shall be of sufficient content to identify the child, 
any person believed to be responsible for the abuse or neglect 
of the child if the person is known, the nature and extent of 
the abuse or neglect and the name and address of the reporter.  
Written reports received by a police department or the county 
sheriff shall be forwarded immediately to the local welfare 
agency.  The police department or the county sheriff may keep 
copies of reports received by them.  Copies of written reports 
received by a local welfare department shall be forwarded 
immediately to the local police department or the county sheriff.
    A written copy of a report maintained by personnel of 
agencies, other than welfare or law enforcement agencies, which 
are subject to chapter 13 shall be confidential.  An individual 
subject of the report may obtain access to the original report 
as provided by subdivision 11. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.556, 
subdivision 10, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 10.  [DUTIES OF LOCAL WELFARE AGENCY AND LOCAL LAW 
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY UPON RECEIPT OF A REPORT.] (a) 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, the local welfare 
agency shall immediately conduct an assessment and offer 
protective social services for purposes of preventing further 
abuses, safeguarding and enhancing the welfare of the abused or 
neglected minor, and preserving family life whenever 
possible.  If the report alleges a violation of a criminal 
statute involving sexual abuse or physical abuse, 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.  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.  
    (b) Authority of the local welfare agency responsible for 
assessing the child abuse report and of the local law 
enforcement agency for investigating the alleged abuse 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 perpetrator.  
The interview may take place at school or at any facility or 
other place where the alleged victim or other minors might be 
found and may take place outside the presence of the perpetrator 
or parent, legal custodian, guardian, or school official.  
Except as provided in this clause, 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 49.02 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 paragraph (c), 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. 
    (c) When the local welfare or local law enforcement agency 
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 
county welfare board 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.  Until that time, the local welfare or law 
enforcement agency shall be solely responsible for any 
disclosures regarding the nature of the assessment or 
investigation.  
    Except where the alleged perpetrator 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.  
    (d) Where the perpetrator 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 perpetrator or any person responsible for 
the child's care at reasonable places and times as specified by 
court order.  
    (e) Before making an order under paragraph (d), 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.  
    (f) The commissioner, the local welfare agencies 
responsible for investigating reports, 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.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.556, 
subdivision 10a, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 10a.  [ABUSE OUTSIDE THE FAMILY UNIT.] If the report 
alleges neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse by a person 
responsible for the child's care functioning outside the family 
unit in a setting other than a facility as defined in 
subdivision 2, the local welfare agency shall immediately notify 
the appropriate law enforcement agency and, which shall conduct 
an investigation of the alleged abuse or neglect.  The local 
welfare agency shall offer appropriate social services for the 
purpose of safeguarding and enhancing the welfare of the abused 
or neglected minor.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.558, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TEAM.] A county may 
establish a multidisciplinary child protection team comprised of 
the director of the local welfare agency or designees, the 
county attorney or designees, the county sheriff or designees, 
and representatives of health, and education,.  In addition, 
representatives of mental health or other appropriate human 
service agencies and parent groups may be added to the child 
protection team. 
     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.558, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  [DUTIES OF TEAM.] A multidisciplinary child 
protection team shall be a consultant may provide public and 
professional education, develop resources for prevention, 
intervention, and treatment, and provide case consultation to 
the local welfare agency to better enable the agency to carry 
out its child protection functions pursuant to under section 
626.556 and the community social services act.  Case 
consultation must be performed by a committee of the team 
composed of the team members representing social services, law 
enforcement, the county attorney, health care, education, and 
persons directly involved in an individual case as determined by 
the case consultation committee.  Case consultation is a case 
review process that results in recommendations about services to 
be provided to the identified children and family. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 626.558, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [INFORMATION SHARING.] The local welfare agency 
may make available to the case consultation committee of the 
team all records collected and maintained by the local welfare 
agency pursuant to under section 626.556 may be made available 
to the child protection team and in connection with case 
consultation.  Any member of the child protection team case 
consultation committee may share information acquired in the 
member's professional capacity with the team for the purpose of 
aiding committee to assist the team committee in its function. 
    Approved May 14, 1987

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