Child Protection Services

Le Sueur County Child Protection workers work within state and federal guidelines and mandates to protect Le Sueur County children from further abuse and neglect.  Workers provide services to families who are having a difficult time parenting their children.  These services include assessment of the current situation and case management, if necessary.  Social Services staff will coordinate necessary programs and services relevant to the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.  Even if it is determined that mandatory safety services are not required the agency is able to offer voluntary services to help meet the needs of the family.  Voluntary services available include Child Welfare Services, including Case Management, Parent Support Outreach, Minor Parent Services and Children’s Mental Health services. 

Le Sueur County Social Services takes on the role of assuring that children alleged to be abused or neglected are protected from harm and danger.  Since this is a major responsibility the Family and Children's Services department takes this very seriously.  They believe that the child's best interest and protection is maximized by attempting to keep the child at their own home whenever possible.

Types of Child Abuse    Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines (PDF) 

Physical Abuse - 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 injury, or any aversive and deprivation procedures that have not been authorized under Section 245.825.  Abuse DOES NOT include reasonable discipline of a child administered by a parent or legal guardian. 

Neglect - Failure by a person responsible for a child's care to supply a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, or health, medical, or other care required for the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so; failure to protect a child from conditions or actions which immediately or seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so; failure to provide for necessary supervision or child care arrangements appropriate for a child after considering factors of 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 of safety, or the basic needs or the safety of another child in their care; failure to ensure that the child is educated as defined in Section 128.22 and 260.155, Subd 9. (M.S.  626.556).

Sexual Abuse - 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, Subd. 10, to any act which constitutes a violation of Section 609.34, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, second degree, third degree, fourth degree, or fifth degree.  Sexual abuse also includes any act which involves a minor which constitutes a violation of prostitution offenses under Section 609.321 to 609.324, or 617.246.  Sexual abuse includes threatened sexual abuse.

Mental Injury - 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.

Threatened Injury - A statement, overt act, condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of physical or sexual abuse or mental injury.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, contact your county social service agency or the police.  If it is an emergency, call the police at 911 or contact Le Sueur County at (507)357-8228 and ask for the social service intake worker.

MANDATED REPORTERS

If you are a professional who works with children and families, you are in a key position to help protect children from harm.  Minnesota law requires professionals and their delegates who work with children to make a child protection report if they know or have reason to believe:

  • A child has been neglected or abused within the preceding 3 years
  • A child is being neglected or abused

Minnesota laws provide mandated reporters with great personal responsibility.  If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you cannot shift the responsibility of reporting to a supervisor, or to someone else in the office, school, clinic, or licensed facility.  You alone are required to make the report to the responsible agency.

Anyone who reports child abuse or neglect in good faith is immune from civil liability.  If you are required to report known or suspected abuse or neglect and fail to do so, you are guilty of a misdemeanor.  The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides a Resource Guide for Mandated Reporters. 

To schedule a Mandated Reporter Training, given by local Child Protection staff, please contact Cari Krenik at ckrenik@co.le-sueur.mn.us or at 507-357-8115.

Suspected Child Maltreatment Report Form

Paths to Permanency

Family Matters