Make a Report

You can report suspected child maltreatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A child protection social worker will assist you even if you are not sure whether or not to make a report.

If you are a mandated reporter, you should call to make a report within 24 hours and personally file a written report within 72 hours of the verbal report (excluding weekends and holidays). Please see the Information for mandated reporters’ section below for additional guidance.

Call McLeod County Child Protection intake at 320-864-3144

Email McLeod County Child Protection intake at

Print out the Suspected Child Maltreatment Report form, fill out as much information as you can, and fax it to 320-864-1212.

Be prepared to provide the following:
  • Information about the family, including the names and addresses of the child and parents
  • Specific descriptions of the suspected abuse and neglect to the child, including what happened, when it occurred and the identity of the abuser

Other helpful information to include:
  • The child’s school
  • Other witnesses
  • The child’s location
  • Names of other family and household members
What happens after a report is made?Screening:
Intake workers review reports of child maltreatment in order to determine whether or not the report meets the criteria for an investigation/assessment.

If the report doesn’t meet the criteria requiring an investigation or assessment, no further action is taken. However, a record of the report will be recorded and maintained.

There are two types of responses to reports: a Traditional Response or a Differential Response.  With either situation, a thorough assessment of the allegations for abuse and or neglect will be addressed, along with the risk to safety and a determination whether continued services are required for the family.

If the reported information meets the criteria for substantial child endangerment (severe cases of abuse and neglect), or the risk level is high, the family will be subject to a traditional response, which calls for immediate contact with the family and children, as well as individual interviews to determine whether abuse or neglect occurred.

If the risk level is moderate or low the family may receive a differential response (formerly called family assessment). Differential response focuses on the safety of the child, the risk of future maltreatment, and the family’s strengths and needs. Determining the need for services, and which services will best protect the children, is at the heart of differential response.

Keeping children safe:
The mission of child protection is to prevent any future maltreatment (abuse or neglect). If a child is not safe in his or her home, it may be necessary to place the child outside of the home. If out-of-home placement is necessary, due to significant and ongoing safety issues, work will continue with the parents toward the goal of returning the child home as soon as it is safe to do so. In cases when a safe return to the parents' home is not possible, alternative, permanent options are identified, which could include transfer of legal custody or adoption.

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