Step up to end child abuse now

Across Minnesota, children facing abuse need to wait too long to meet with people who can help.

Maddie Eaton

On New Year’s Eve, a young boy displaying clear signs of abuse arrived at an Edina hospital. However, instead of delivering the child instantly to a social worker, child protection services remained closed for the long weekend. 
In 2014 alone, there were nearly 6,000 cases in which a Minnesota child was unable to talk to a social worker within the time period state law guarantees, which is between one and five days after someone lodges an allegation of abuse.
Many counties struggle to meet the state law’s requirements. That’s why, this year, Minnesota legislators have decided to allocate nearly $40 million to hire an additional 400 social workers. 
The problem is, although the state has passed legislation to improve the issue in the past, child abuse remains one of the most serious social issues in our community today. 
Providing additional exposure may help to make the public aware of the issues which abused children are facing. I find it absolutely outrageous that the state isn’t further prioritizing child abuse cases. While people are arrested and convicted for petty crimes each and every day, too many others continue to get away with the torture of innocent children. 
Our state representatives have taken a step in the right direction by hiring more social workers, but they need to continue to educate the public on this issue and help us understand what we can do to prevent it from occurring. This way, every child who needs to speak with a sympathetic adult can do so, and we can prevent abuse from occurring — creating a safe, healthy environment for our state’s children.
Maddie Eaton welcomes comments at [email protected].