Child Protection (Child Abuse)
If you believe that a child is in IMMINENT DANGER (such as a recent sexual assault or a serious physical assault) or the child is abandoned CALL 911.
To report suspected abuse or neglect of a child
living in Anoka County call
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
To make a report after hours, including weekends and holidays
- What details do I include?
- What is abuse and neglect?
- Do I need to report?
- What if a child reports?
- Can I be anonymous?
- the child's name, age, and address or school,
- the reason for the report and
- any other pertinent information you have.
If you know it, include:
- the alleged offender's name and relationship with the child
- the parents' names, address(es) and telephone number(s).
Physical abuse is when a parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's care hurts a child, causing any physical injury, other than by accident. This includes any physical injury to a child that cannot reasonably be explained by the person responsible for the child's care, based on a history of injuries.
The following are conditions of physical abuse that should be reported:
- Child has suffered an injury that appears to be non-accidental in nature
- Child has suffered an injury and the parent or guardian seems unconcerned, denies anything is wrong, or gives unlikely or contradictory explanations
- There is a strong possibility that the child is in immediate danger of physical injury based on the likelihood that excessive force was used (i.e. choking, punching, shaking, biting, tying, caging)
Harm to a child that results from what a parent or caretaker do not do is called child neglect. It differs from child abuse though both abuse and neglect may cause harm. For a Minnesota State definition of child neglect, see the Minnesota Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines.
Child neglect is continued failure by parents or caretakers to provide a child with needed care and protection.
Examples of what may constitute a report of child neglect are:
- Inadequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care
- Exposure to threatening or endangering conditions
- Educational neglect
- Prenatal exposure to substance abuse. For more on this topic, see the Minnesota Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines.
- Inadequate supervision. For more on this topic talk with an Anoka County child protection worker at 763-324-1440 and see the Minnesota Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines.
- Child has suffered a physical injury as a result of hazardous conditions uncorrected by parent or guardian
- Child suffers injury or risk of injury due to domestic violence
- Exposure to, or involvement in, criminal activities
Sexual abuse within the child protection system is based on Minnesota Statutes 626.556 and is defined as criminal sexual conduct with a child by a person responsible for the child’s care, or by a person who has a significant relationship to the child. A description of sexual abuse can be found in the Minnesota Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines.
Emotional abuse or maltreatment is consistently or deliberately inflicting mental harm on a child by a person responsible for the child’s care. The treatment has an observable, sustained, adverse effect on the child’s physical, mental or emotional development.
Anyone may voluntarily report suspected child abuse or neglect. Persons who work with children or families are legally required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. They are mandated reporters.
Minnesota law mandates that any person whose job involves working professionally with children and who has reason to believe that a child is being neglected or physically or sexually abused shall immediately report the suspected incident to local police or child protection agency. A verbal report must be made within 24 hours. For more information on mandated reporting, please read A Resource Guide for Mandated Reporters.
Tell the child he/she is not in trouble and that it was the right thing to tell you about what happened. Let the child know you are going to get help.
Report what the child told you to the police or Anoka County Child Protection.
Your identity is not disclosed unless you consent, or the court orders disclosure upon a showing the report was false and made in bad faith, or court rules require disclosure in a criminal proceeding.