The commissioner of human services, for employees subject to the Minnesota Merit System, and directors of county personnel systems, for counties not subject to the Minnesota Merit System, shall establish a job classification consisting exclusively of persons with the specialized knowledge, skills, and experience required to satisfactorily perform child protection duties pursuant to section 626.556, subdivisions 10, 10a, and 10b.
All child protection workers or social services staff having responsibility for child protective duties under section 626.556 shall receive 15 hours of continuing education or in-service training each year relevant to providing child protective services. The local social service agency shall maintain a record of training completed by each employee having responsibility for performing child protective duties.
Any individual who seeks employment as a child protection worker after the commissioner of human services has implemented the foundation training program developed under section 626.5591, subdivision 2, must complete competency-based foundation training during their first six months of employment as a child protection worker.
(a) County employees hired on or after July 1, 2015, who have responsibility for child protection duties or current county employees who are assigned new child protection duties on or after July 1, 2015, are required to undergo a background study. A county may complete these background studies by either:
(2) an alternative process defined by the county.
(b) County social services agencies and local welfare agencies must initiate background studies before an individual begins a position allowing direct contact with persons served by the agency.
The commissioners of human services and public safety shall cooperate in the development of a joint program for training child abuse services professionals in the appropriate techniques for child abuse assessment and investigation. The program shall include but need not be limited to the following areas:
(1) the public policy goals of the state as set forth in section 260C.001 and the role of the assessment or investigation in meeting these goals;
(2) the special duties of child protection workers and law enforcement officers under section 626.556;
(3) the appropriate methods for directing and managing affiliated professionals who may be utilized in providing protective services and strengthening family ties;
(4) the appropriate methods for interviewing alleged victims of child abuse and other minors in the course of performing an assessment or an investigation;
(5) the dynamics of child abuse and neglect within family systems and the appropriate methods for interviewing parents in the course of the assessment or investigation, including training in recognizing cases in which one of the parents is a victim of domestic abuse and in need of special legal or medical services;
(6) the legal, evidentiary considerations that may be relevant to the conduct of an assessment or an investigation;
(7) the circumstances under which it is appropriate to remove the alleged abuser or the alleged victim from the home;
(8) the protective social services that are available to protect alleged victims from further abuse, to prevent child abuse and domestic abuse, and to preserve the family unit, and training in the preparation of case plans to coordinate services for the alleged child abuse victim with services for any parents who are victims of domestic abuse;
(9) the methods by which child protection workers and law enforcement workers cooperate in conducting assessments and investigations in order to avoid duplication of efforts; and
(10) appropriate methods for interviewing alleged victims of child abuse and conducting investigations in cases where the alleged victim is developmentally, physically, or mentally disabled.
The commissioners of human services and public safety shall provide the program courses described in subdivision 2 at convenient times and locations in the state. The commissioners shall give training priority in the program areas cited in subdivision 2 to persons currently performing assessments and investigations pursuant to section 626.556, subdivisions 10, 10a, and 10b.
The commissioner of human services shall add the following funds to the funds appropriated under section 626.5591, subdivision 2, to develop and support training:
(a) The commissioner of human services shall submit claims for federal reimbursement earned through the activities and services supported through Department of Human Services child protection or child welfare training funds. Federal revenue earned must be used to improve and expand training services by the department. The department expenditures eligible for federal reimbursement under this section must not be made from federal funds or funds used to match other federal funds.
(b) Each year, the commissioner of human services shall withhold from funds distributed to each county under Minnesota Rules, parts 9550.0300 to 9550.0370, an amount equivalent to 1.5 percent of each county's annual title XX allocation under section 256M.50. The commissioner must use these funds to ensure decentralization of training.
(c) The federal revenue under this subdivision is available for these purposes until the funds are expended.
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