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2000 Minnesota Session Laws

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                            CHAPTER 401-S.F.No. 3410 
                  An act relating to child protection; modifying 
                  provisions relating to child neglect and domestic 
                  violence; adding a definition for a child exposed to 
                  domestic violence; imposing notification requirements 
                  on emergency shelters; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1998, section 626.556, by adding a subdivision; 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 626.556, 
                  subdivision 2; proposing coding for new law in 
                  Minnesota Statutes, chapter 626. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, 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) "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.  Sexual abuse includes threatened 
        sexual abuse.  
           (b) "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, 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.  
           (c) "Neglect" 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 
        which imminently and seriously endanger the child's physical or 
        mental health when reasonably able to do so; 
           (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; 
           (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, or medical effects or 
        developmental delays during the child's first year of life that 
        medically indicate prenatal exposure to a controlled substance; 
           (7) "medical neglect" as defined in section 260C.007, 
        subdivision 4, clause (5); 
           (8) that the parent or other person responsible for the 
        care of the child: 
           (i) engages in violent behavior that demonstrates a 
        disregard for the well-being of the child as indicated by action 
        that could reasonably result in serious physical, mental, or 
        threatened injury, or emotional damage to the child; 
           (ii) engages in repeated domestic assault that would 
        constitute a violation of section 609.2242, subdivision 2 or 4; 
           (iii) intentionally inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily 
        harm against a family or household member, as defined in section 
        518B.01, subdivision 2, that is within sight or sound of the 
        child; or 
           (iv) subjects the child to ongoing domestic violence by the 
        abuser in the home environment that is likely to have a 
        detrimental effect on the well-being of the child; 
           (9) 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; 
        or 
           (10) (9) emotional 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. 
           (d) "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 
        and deprivation procedures that have not been authorized under 
        section 245.825.  Abuse 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.  Actions which are 
        not reasonable and moderate include, but are not limited to, any 
        of the following that are done in anger or without regard to the 
        safety of the child: 
           (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) 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; or 
           (9) unreasonable physical confinement or restraint not 
        permitted under section 609.379, including but not limited to 
        tying, caging, or chaining. 
           (e) "Report" means any report received by the local welfare 
        agency, police department, or county sheriff pursuant to this 
        section. 
           (f) "Facility" means a licensed or unlicensed day care 
        facility, 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 245B; or a school as defined in sections 120A.05, 
        subdivisions 9, 11, and 13; and 124D.10; or a nonlicensed 
        personal care provider organization as defined in sections 
        256B.04, subdivision 16, and 256B.0625, subdivision 19a. 
           (g) "Operator" means an operator or agency as defined in 
        section 245A.02.  
           (h) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services.
           (i) "Assessment" includes 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 the risk to the child, and formulating a plan.  
           (j) "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 
        visitation expeditor services.  
           (k) "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. 
           (l) "Threatened injury" means a statement, overt act, 
        condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of 
        physical or sexual abuse or mental injury. 
           (m) 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, which 
        are not injurious to the child's health, welfare, and safety. 
           Sec. 2.  [626.5552] [CHILD EXPOSED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.] 
           (a) A child is considered to have been exposed to domestic 
        violence when: 
           (1) a parent or other person responsible for the care of 
        the child engages in violent behavior that imminently or 
        seriously endangers the child's physical or mental health; 
           (2) a parent or other person responsible for the care of 
        the child engages in repeated domestic assault that would 
        constitute a violation of section 609.2242, subdivision 2 or 4; 
           (3) the child has witnessed repeated incidents of domestic 
        violence as defined in section 518B.01; or 
           (4) a parent or other person responsible for the care of 
        the child engages in chronic and severe use of alcohol or a 
        controlled substance that adversely affects the child's basic 
        needs and safety. 
           (b) In determining the protective action to take and the 
        services to be offered to the child and family when a child has 
        been exposed to domestic violence, the local welfare agency 
        shall consider the safety and well-being of the child and the 
        safety of a parent who is a victim of domestic violence.  In 
        determining whether there is a need for child protective 
        services, the local welfare agency shall take into account the 
        presence of protective factors in the child's environment.  
        These factors include, but are not limited to: 
           (1) whether the child is or has been the victim of physical 
        abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect as defined in section 626.556, 
        subdivision 2; 
           (2) the age of the child; 
           (3) the length of time since an incident of being exposed 
        to domestic violence; 
           (4) the child's relationship to the parent and the 
        perpetrator of domestic violence; and 
           (5) whether steps are or have been taken to exclude the 
        abuser from the home of the child or the adult victim sought 
        protective services such as shelters, counseling, or advocacy 
        services, legal recourse, or other remedies. 
           Sec. 3.  [BUDGET PROPOSAL; CHILD PROTECTION.] 
           In preparing the budget proposal for the 2002-2003 
        biennium, the commissioner of finance, in consultation with the 
        commissioners of revenue and human services, shall present 
        proposals and funding options to provide services to families 
        who would be eligible for services under Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 626.5551 or 626.5552, if enacted. 
           Sec. 4.  [260C.501] [PARENTAL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT 
        NOTIFICATION.] 
           An emergency shelter and its agents, employees, and 
        volunteers must comply with court orders, 
        section 626.556, chapter 260C, and all other applicable laws.  
        In any event, unless other legal requirements require earlier or 
        different notification or actions, an emergency shelter must 
        attempt to notify a runaway's parent or legal guardian of the 
        runaway's location and status within 72 hours.  The notification 
        must include a description of the runaway's physical and 
        emotional condition and the circumstances surrounding the 
        runaway's admission to the emergency shelter, unless there are 
        compelling reasons not to provide the parent or legal guardian 
        with this information.  Compelling reasons may include 
        circumstances in which the runaway is or has been exposed to 
        domestic violence or a victim of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. 
           Sec. 5.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 and 3 are effective the day following final 
        enactment.  Section 2 is effective July 1, 2001, if funding is 
        authorized for implementation. 
           Presented to the governor April 11, 2000 
           Signed by the governor April 14, 2000, 2:46 p.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569