department events

Child Protection / Child Welfare

Report suspected child abuse and neglect IMMEDIATELY!
• Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm:  320-231-7800, ask for Intake or call Emergency 911
• After Business Hours, Weekends and Holidays: 320-235-1260 (Kandiyohi County
  Sheriff's Office) or call Emergency 911 

Child Protection Assessments are conducted in response to reports of children being abused or neglected by care givers. Human Services and Law Enforcement are required by law to cross report any child protection reports. The purpose of child protective services is to help protect children from physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse. The goal is to help families get the services needed so children do not need to continue to be abused or neglected. 

Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services has a screening team that screens all child protection reports that come into our agency. The screening team decides if there is enough information in the report that allows for an assessment to occur. If the screening teams determines that the report has allegations that meet the criteria for assessment, we than determine what type of assessment will occur. The statute allows for two types of assessments that are used to complete a child protection assessment or investigation. Those types are an Investigation or a Family Assessment. 

An investigation is required if the report alleges substantial child endangerment or the report is regarding a facility (family child care, child foster care home or PCA providers). All other reports should be considered for Family Assessment. Minnesota Statute 626.556, Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors is the statute that directs child protection assessments
How do I Report Abuse or Neglect?   Call Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services at 320-231-7800 or Law Enforcement (Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department at 320-235-1260 or Willmar Police Department at 320-214-6700) if you believe that a child is being hurt or neglected. Some people, such as doctors, teachers, therapists and ministers, are required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Other people, such as neighbors or relatives are encouraged to also report if they think a child is being abused or neglected.
What will happen when I call?  County child abuse staff will decide if your concerns fit within the statutory definitions of abuse or neglect. If so, a child protection worker will meet with the family to assess the situation. The name of the person making the report will not be shared with the family, unless the reporter agrees or the court compels it. Child protection will work with local law enforcement and individuals who know the child, such as doctors or teachers if necessary. If protective services are needed, child protection will help the family use services such as counseling or parent education. 

The purpose of child protection is to prevent any future abuse or neglect. If a child is not safe at home, placement of the child outside the home will be considered. The child's placement could be done on a voluntary basis, with the parent's approval or at the direction of the court, or if it is an emergency, at the direction of law enforcement.   The primary goal of all child welfare activities is to protect children from maltreatment.   Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services utilizes a variety of programs to assist the families in which we serve. These may include:
  • In-home family therapy
  • family based education
  • referrals to parenting classes
  • domestic violence assessments and treatment
  • chemical abuse assessments and treatment
  • out-patient counseling
  • Family Group Decision Making
  • Parents Forever Program
  • and other support groups
Referrals are made in an effort to connect the family with resources that will help meet their specific needs. 

Child Protection Services are provided to families in which a maltreatment assessment found a level of risk to indicate the need for protective services. Our staff determines what services are needed to help support a family in need so they can safely care for their child. Services for families may include family counseling, parenting education, assistance in applying for financial benefits, helping a family access services such as early childhood or special education children, and/or helping the family meet basic need such as housing and food. Each family is unique, so child protection workers assess what services, if any, the family needs and makes every effort to provide the identified services that will best help that individual family, and in turn assure child safety. 

Child Welfare Services are provided to families which have requested assistance with family struggles such as truancy, parent/child conflict, child behavior concerns etc. Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Intake Unit is available for consultation in helping families assess their needs. We may offer available resource and referral information and/or when appropriate, assist with an application for child welfare services.

Minor Parent Services are provided to the minor parent and and family which will assist the pregnant and/or parenting minor parent (under the age of 18) to establish a plan for herself and child to ensure their safety and well-being. This program helps connect the minors to appropriate resources such as: The Pregnancy Education for Teens program (prenatal program, Medical Assistance), Community Teen Moms (support and educational group for parenting teens), Alternative Learning Centers or General Education Diploma programs, daycare assistance programs, etc. For more information on pregnancy prevention, programs related to adolescent pregnancy prevention, adolescent pregnancy care and adolescent parenting in Minnesota, go to

Adoption Services are provided to Kandiyohi County children waiting for adoption. The adoption worker works diligently to locate permanent homes for the children and facilitate the adoptive process in a timely manner. The social worker also provide services to families who have adopted children in the past. These may include biological family searches, obtaining valid information regarding the bio-family, or connecting the adoptive family with assistance programs as necessary. For more information regarding adopting Minnesota’s waiting children go to Minnesota Adoption Resource Network at

Truancy Services are provided to families with school aged children that have been referred to our agency, as truant (after 3 or more un-excused absences). The social worker meets with the child and family to try to develop a plan to improve school attendance. Kandiyohi County Truancy Handbook