State Policies That Require or Recommend Child Welfare/Early Childhood Collaboration for Intervention Services
- Interagency Early Childhood Intervention System
This system is federally mandated by Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part B is special education services for children ages 3 to 21, whereas Part C is early intervention services for infants and toddlers birth-2 years of age. In particular, a mandate in Part C requires that a referral to early intervention services be made for any infant or toddler with a maltreatment substantiation. Minnesota's statutes reinforce this mandate.
- Family Services and Community-Based Collaboratives
This statute encourages collaborative efforts among school districts, counties, public health agencies, community action agencies, and Head Start programs "to provide coordinated family services and commit resources to an integrated fund." This statute emphasizes early intervention as well as identifying and providing services to at-risk families with children from birth to age 21. Also, one of the outcome-based indicators suggested for use is children who require out-of-home placements.
- State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care
This statute resulted in the formation of a task force to determine whether to create an Office of Early Learning in which all early childhood programming would be housed. It also explicitly stated that the task force should work on how to ensure effective collaboration between child welfare and early childhood programs.
- School-Linked Services for At-Risk Children and Youth
This statute requires a partnership between school districts and human/social services agencies in order to assist at-risk children, including those who have been adjudicated children in need of protection or services and those who are victims of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. Funding comes from several sources, including federal child welfare funds, children's day care funds available under federal transition year child care, the federal at-risk child care program, and the federal child care and development block grant.
- Multidisciplinary Child Protection Team
This statute calls for the collaboration among several human/social services agencies, particularly child welfare, legal, education, and health. It also states that other community-based agencies, such as early childhood education and Head Start, may be involved in this team. Duties of this team include provision of public/professional education, prevention/intervention efforts, and case consultation for cases involving children and their families.
- Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors
This statute outlines who is or is not required to report maltreatment of a minor, as well as processes for reporting maltreatment. Included in the definition of "mandated reporter" are professionals or a professional's delegate who provide child care services, including those at licensed or unlicensed day care facilities.
State Policies That Foster Child Welfare/Early Childhood Collaboration for Prevention Services
- Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Programs
ECFE programs must provide information and materials for parents to help prevent child abuse and neglect and promote the safety of children.
- Family Community Support Services
This statute mandates that counties must either provide or contract with agencies that provide foster care with therapeutic support for children with severe emotional disturbance. This includes training and support services to these foster families.
- Child Welfare Targeted Case Management
This statute allows for a child either at risk of or with substantiated abuse or neglect to receive targeted case management services, which are "activities that coordinate social and other services designed to help the child under age 21 and the child's family gain access to needed services." It also calls for collaboration and coordination with various agencies, including crisis nurseries for preventive services.
- Family Home Visiting Programs
These programs are designed to "foster healthy beginnings" and promote family health and the safety of children through prevention of child abuse and neglect. Partnerships and collaboration are mandated among public health, social workers, and early childhood education programs. Targeted families include those with a history of child abuse, domestic abuse, or other types of violence. Outcome measurements include rates of substantiated child abuse and neglect, rates of unintentional child injuries, rates of children who are screened and who pass early childhood screening, and rates of children accessing early care and educational services.
Local/County Agency Policies That Foster Child Welfare/Early Childhood Collaboration
Finally, many local entities and county agencies have agency policies in place that facilitate collaboration between early childhood and child welfare organizations. For example, Children's Home Society and Family Services, a private agency, currently partners with Ramsey County Drop-In Center to provide early childhood education services for Ramsey County clients. Also, Therapeutic Services Agency has a foster care program for young children ages birth-12, many having experienced traumatic events such as abuse or neglect, and parenting teen mothers; as part of its holistic approach, early childhood development is included in the program.