As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings given them unless the specific content indicates otherwise.
"Accidental" means a sudden, not reasonably foreseeable, and unexpected occurrence or event that:
(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.
"Child fatality" means the death of a child from maltreatment.
"Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services unless otherwise indicated in this chapter.
"Egregious harm" means harm under section 260C.007, subdivision 14, or a similar law of another jurisdiction.
(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.
"Family assessment" means a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of subsequent maltreatment, and family strengths and needs that is applied to a maltreatment report that does not allege sexual abuse or substantial child endangerment. Family assessment does not include a determination as to whether maltreatment occurred but does determine the need for services to address the safety of family members and the risk of subsequent maltreatment.
"Findings and information" means a written summary described in section 260E.35, subdivision 7, paragraph (b), of actions taken or services rendered by a local welfare agency following receipt of a report.
"Immediately" means as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours.
"Interested person acting on behalf of the child" means a parent or legal guardian; stepparent; grandparent; guardian ad litem; adult stepbrother, stepsister, or sibling; or adult aunt or uncle; unless the person has been determined to be the offender who committed the maltreatment.
"Investigation" means fact gathering conducted during:
(1) a family investigation related to the current safety of a child and the risk of subsequent maltreatment that determines whether maltreatment occurred and whether child protective services are needed; or
(2) a facility investigation related to duties under section 260E.28.
"Maltreatment" means any of the following acts or omissions:
(1) egregious harm under subdivision 5;
(2) neglect under subdivision 15;
(3) physical abuse under subdivision 18;
(4) sexual abuse under subdivision 20;
(5) substantial child endangerment under subdivision 22;
(6) threatened injury under subdivision 23;
(7) mental injury under subdivision 13; and
(8) maltreatment of a child in a facility.
"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.
"Near fatality" means a case in which a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant determines that a child is in serious or critical condition as the result of sickness or injury caused by maltreatment.
(a) "Neglect" means the commission or omission of any of the acts specified under clauses (1) to (8), 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) 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;
(6) medical neglect, as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (5);
(7) chronic and severe use of alcohol or a controlled substance by a person responsible for the child's care that adversely affects the child's basic needs and safety; or
(8) emotional harm from a pattern of behavior that 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.
(b) Nothing in this chapter 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.
(c) This chapter 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.
"Person in a current or recent position of authority" means an individual in a position of authority over a child and includes but is not limited to any person who is a parent or acting in the place of a parent and charged with any of a parent's rights, duties, or responsibilities to a child, or a person who is charged with any duty or responsibility for the health, welfare, or supervision of a child, either independently or through another, no matter how brief, within 120 days immediately preceding the act. Person in a position of authority includes a psychotherapist.
"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 employee or agent, 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.
(a) "Physical abuse" means any physical injury, mental injury under subdivision 13, or threatened injury under subdivision 23, 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.
(b) Abuse does not include reasonable and moderate physical discipline of a child administered by a parent or legal guardian that does not result in an injury. Abuse does not include the use of reasonable force by a teacher, principal, or school employee as allowed by section 121A.582.
(c) For the purposes of this subdivision, actions that 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 that 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:
(i) poison, alcohol, or dangerous, harmful, or controlled substances that were not prescribed for the child by a practitioner in order to control or punish the child; or
(ii) other substances that substantially affect the child's behavior, motor coordination, or judgment; that result in sickness or internal injury; or that subject 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.
"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 maltreatment of a child and contains sufficient content to identify the child and any person believed to be responsible for the maltreatment, if known.
"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, or by a person in a current or recent position of authority, to any act that 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), 609.3451 (criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree), 609.3458 (sexual extortion), or 609.352 (solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct; communication of sexually explicit materials to children). Sexual abuse also includes any act involving a child that constitutes a violation of prostitution offenses under sections 609.321 to 609.324 or 617.246. 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 that 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).
"Significant relationship" means a situation in which the alleged offender is:
(1) the child's parent, stepparent, or guardian;
(2) any of the following persons related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption: brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, first cousin, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, grandparent, great-grandparent, great-uncle, great-aunt; or
(3) an adult who jointly resides intermittently or regularly in the same dwelling as the child and who is not the child's spouse.
"Substantial child endangerment" means that 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 under subdivision 5;
(2) abandonment under section 260C.301, subdivision 2;
(3) neglect under subdivision 15, paragraph (a), 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 has been diagnosed by a physician and 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) solicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution under section 609.322;
(8) criminal sexual conduct under sections 609.342 to 609.3451;
(9) sexual extortion under section 609.3458;
(10) solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct under section 609.352;
(11) malicious punishment or neglect or endangerment of a child under section 609.377 or 609.378;
(12) use of a minor in sexual performance under section 617.246; or
(13) parental behavior, status, or condition that mandates that the county attorney file a termination of parental rights petition under section 260C.503, subdivision 2.
(a) "Threatened injury" means a statement, overt act, condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of physical or sexual abuse or mental injury.
(b) Threatened injury includes, but is not limited to, exposing a child to a person responsible for the child's care, as defined in subdivision 17, who has:
(1) subjected a child to, or failed to protect a child from, an overt act or condition that constitutes egregious harm under subdivision 5 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 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 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.
(c) A child is the subject of a report of threatened injury when the local welfare agency receives birth match data under section 260E.14, subdivision 4, from the Department of Human Services.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes