Counties failed to investigate child sex abuse

Published 9:57 am Friday, December 5, 2014

ST. PAUL — More than 200 reports of suspected child sex abuse weren’t investigated by county child protection agencies last year, according to the state’s human services agency.

The Star Tribune reports those cases were instead shuffled to “family assessments,” a remedy meant for less serious abuse cases. The problem was revealed Thursday at a child protection task force meeting in St. Paul.

The rising use of family assessments is one of several issues in the state’s child protection system being examined by the new task force appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton. State and county officials agree sex abuse reports should never be referred to family assessment.

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Jamie Sorenson, the Department of Human Services’ director child safety and permanency, says the state will re-examine those 203 cases from 2013.