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Family and Child Services

Benton County embraces Federal and State initiatives to provide safety, permanency and well-being to children. The Agency designs and delivers services which will strengthen and assist families. Family preservation services are provided to allow children to safely remain in their home and community. When this is not possible, and as a last resort, out of home placement of children may be necessary. When this occurs, reunification is the primary goal.

Social workers assist families in identifying their strength's and needs. They assist in locating resources as close to home as possible. The Department may purchase services or directly provide services when a need is determined. A fee based income may be set.

Child Protection

How to Make a Child Protection report

Anyone may voluntarily report suspected child abuse or neglect to the local child protection or law enforcement agency. If you work with children or families, you are legally required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. A mandated reporter must call immediately, but no later than 24 hours after they suspect that maltreatment may have occurred. The mandated reporter must follow up with a written report within 72 hours.

A report can be made to your local county social service agency or to law enforcement. If it is an emergency, call the police at 911. A report to Benton County Human Services can be made as follows:

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

* Call by phone: 320-968-5087

* Fax: 320-968-5330

After hours:

* Call by phone: 320-968-7201 (non-emergency Benton County Sheriffs Dispatch)

Child Protection Resource Links:

Reporter Child Abuse and Neglect: A Resource Guide for Mandated Reporters
www.dhs.state.mn.us

Minnesota Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines
www.dhs.state.mn.us

Suspected Maltreatment Report Form

Truancy Diversion

The goal of the Benton County Truancy Diversion Program is to identify children who have school attendance problems and to intervene at an earlier stage in an effort to prevent further truancy incidences.  The program will be based on mediation services and will only make a referral to Juvenile Court if earlier efforts have not been successful.

The diversion program is a partnership between the schools, County Attorney's Office, Court Services and Human Services.

Truancy Resources (Note: These are Microsoft Word documents):

Truancy Contract

Truancy Referral Form

Truancy Diversion Procedure