Making a Report
Anyone can make a report concerning the safety of a child. This can be done by phone, mail, or in person.
1. Gather your information
The more information we have the better we can help you. For example:
- Child's name and/or description
- What you think happened, or why you are worried
- Name of the person who takes care of the child (caregiver)
- The phone number of the caregiver
- The address where the child lives
2. To make a referral or report, Olmsted County Child & Family Services Intake Staff are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached using the following:
- Call us at 507-328-6130. Tell the staff person who answers the phone that you are worried about a child's welfare and that you need to know where to report it.
- Come to our office:
2117 Campus Drive SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tell staff at the front desk you need to speak with someone in Child Protection Intake.
- To make a referral or report during evenings, weekends, and holidays, please reach out to After Hours Child & Family Services Intake Staff by calling 507-535-5625.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject Line: Concern for Child
Note that e-mailed information cannot be made totally secure from unauthorized persons who use the internet. As a result, Olmsted County cannot ensure the confidentiality of any information submitted in this manner as required by Minnesota law and Olmsted County waives all liability for unauthorized use or distribution of any information submitted in this manner.
3. What to expect
In addition to the police, many other agencies work together to investigate a report about a child’s safety. The safety of the child is the most important. This means that many questions will be asked and then maybe, asked again in a different way.
What you will be asked:
- Your name, phone number and how you know the child (your relationship to the family of the child).
- Where is the child right now?
- Do you think the child is in immediate danger?
If the child is not in immediate danger:
- Describe any injuries, or the condition of the child now.
- What do you think happened to the child?
- Where do you think this happened?
- When do you think this happened?
If this happened at a school, daycare, or other business:
- The name and address of this school, or business.
- Can you tell us about any action the school or business took when this happened?
- The names and address of the child, parents, or caregivers
- The names of any other witnesses
- Any other information you have about the child, family, or caregivers that might be helpful
Please submit any reports involving abuse or maltreatment of a child only to child protection intake workers in the community services department by phone, by mail, or orally in person. Your cooperation with this request is appreciated.
Mandated Reporter Information
Target Population: Children aged 0 to 18 years and their families.
Crisis Response: Is available 24 hours a day to respond to reports of child abuse and child welfare concerns. Staff assist with questions and referrals to appropriate programs and services within Community Services and the Olmsted County service community.
By providing prevention and early intervention services, Intake assists individuals and families with issues before they escalate into dangerous situations, to possibly prevent individuals from becoming more deeply involved with the system.
Child Abuse: Any physical or mental injury or threatened injury inflicted by a person responsible for the child's care on a child other than by accidental means; or physical injury that cannot reasonably be explained by the child's history of injuries. (MN Statute: 626.556 Subd. 2d)
Child Neglect: Failure by a person responsible for a child's care to supply a child necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical care when reasonably able to do so; or failure to protect a child from actions or conditions which imminently and seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health when reasonable able to do so; or failure to take steps to ensure that a child is educated in accordance with state law. Neglect also includes prenatal exposure to a controlled substance. (MN Statue 626.556, Subd. 2c)
Note that a mandated reporter can't be anonymous.
When to Report Abuse or Neglect
Anyone who has reason to believe a child has been maltreated can report maltreatment.
Immediate danger - If you know or suspect that a child is in immediate danger (such as recent sexual assault or serious physical assault) or the child is abandoned:
- Contact your local law enforcement agency 911 right away
- Law enforcement officers can remove a child from a threatening environment to protect the child
No immediate danger – If the child is not in immediate danger, as soon as you have reason to believe a child has been maltreated:
- If the alleged perpetrator is a parent, guardian, family childcare provider, family foster care provider, or juvenile correctional facility staff person:
If the alleged maltreatment was committed by a staff person at a childcare center, residential treatment center (children's mental health), group home for children, minor parent program, shelter for children, chemical dependency treatment program for adolescents, waivered services program for children, crisis respite service program for children, or residential service program for children with developmental disabilities
Contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Division of Licensing at 651-297-4123
If the alleged maltreatment occurred in a home health care setting, hospital, regional treatment center, nursing home, or intermediate care facility for the intellectually disabled
If the alleged perpetrator is employed by a public pre-school, elementary school, middle school, secondary school, or charter school and the child is a student in the school
Contact the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning at 651-582-8546 or by fax at 651-634-2277
If the alleged perpetrator is someone outside the family and not a staff person at a facility. Examples of non-family, non-facility caretakers include club athletics staff and babysitters
Contact either the Rochester Police Department of Olmsted County Sheriff's Department
If you are unsure whether you should make a report
If you are a mandated reporter, you must file a written report within 72 hours of your oral report, excluding weekends and holidays.
Parent Support and Outreach Program of Olmsted County, (PSOP)
PSOP is a voluntary program offering short term services for parents to access when they need:
- support with tasks such as connecting to community resources and information
- assistance in planning how to meet daily obligations
- parent education and child development
- decision making and case planning
To make a referral please call Olmsted County Child and Family Services intake at 507-328-6130.
For more information on PSOP visit Minnesota Department of Health Services PSOP website or
Families Seeking Short Term Services
PSOP social workers assist families in connecting to community resources and information, assistance in planning how to meet daily obligations, parent education and child development, decision making and case planning.
Alcohol & Drug Concerns
PSOP social workers work with parents who are expecting a baby who are also struggling with substance use. This service is typically offered from the time of referral and continued through the time of delivery. Length of service is driven by family. The goal is to plan for a healthy birth as well as create a safety network of family supports to ensure that parent’s and baby’s needs are met.• The social worker can engage with the parents from very early in the pregnancy, even if there are no other children in the home.
Expectant & Post-Partum Parents
PSOP also focuses on working with parents who are expecting a child or have recently delivered a child and are experiencing difficulties in coping ,meeting baby’s physical, emotional, and/or basic needs.
Parents with Past History of Child Protection Involvement
PSOP joins with parents who want to parent, but are worried about previous child protection involvement and influence on future parenting. The focus of the work is to demonstrate what has changed for the family since last involvement and create a plan of support and safe care for the family.
See below for additional PSOP Information:
- Hmong - Nyem qhov no mus saib tau PSOP ntawv nthuav qhia
- русский - Нажмите здесь, чтобы получить доступ к брошюре PSOP
- Soomaali - Halkan guji si aad uhesho qoraalka yar ee loo yaqaan PSOP
- Español - Haga clic aquí para acceder al folleto de PSOP
- Tiếng Việt - Nhấn vào đây để truy cập tài liệu PSOP
C.A.R.E. (Child Adult Relationship Enrichment Program)
C.A.R.E is a voluntary two-year early intervention/prevention program designed to work on improving family stability, parent-child attachment, and safety in homes where a parent has been diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness and there is a child/children between the ages of 0-5.
In order to make a referral to either program, please call Olmsted County Child and Family Services intake at 507-328-6130.
Child Care Provider Complaint
If you suspect a child care provider of abuse or neglect, please file a complaint.
Family Access Center (FAC)
The Family Access Center offers a safe and secure setting for children to maintain relationships with parents and other significant adults. Trained staff provide supervised parenting times, monitored parenting times and supervised exchanges. They serve families experiencing safety or conflict concerns in need of a setting where they can safely exchange or spend time with their children.
For information call 507-328-6400.
This program is in collaboration with Family Service Rochester.
PACE (Parents and Children Excel)
From its inception, PACE was designed to address disparities and disproportionality that manifests in the form of negative educational outcomes for children of color.
Social workers partner with families to help foster a positive working relationship between the family and school, as well as to support and empower families to provide stability, safety, and well-being for their children, through targeted case management services and mentorship programming.
For information call 507-328-6400.
This program is in collaboration with Family Service Rochester.
Guidelines for Children Home Alone
As a parent, you often wonder at what age your child can be left unsupervised or babysit other children. The following are some guidelines to consider for leaving your child unattended or allowing them to babysit other children.
- The age and maturity of your child.
- The availability of parent, guardian, or caretaker by phone or in person.
- A child’s awareness of reacting to an emergency may include fire, severe weather, injury to self or others, etc.
- The health status of your child.
- Child’s awareness of the dangers of appliance use (stove, iron) or unusual hazards in the house.
- What is your child’s reaction to being left alone?
- What is your child’s response to a babysitter?
Age Specific Guidelines
- Children 7 years of age and younger should not be left alone for any period.
- Children 8 to 10 years of age should not be left alone for more than 3 hours.
- Children 11 to 13 years of age should not be left alone for more than 12 hours.
Supervision by Older Children Guidelines
- A child aged 11 to 13 may babysit with the expectation that the parent, guardian, or caretaker will be returning within 12 hours to supervise the children.
- Adolescents aged 14 to 15 can babysit for up to 24 hours as long as they can contact their parent, guardian, or another responsible adult.
- An adolescent 16 years of age or older providing babysitting for younger children for more than 24 hours must know the parents' whereabouts when they will return and have an adult backup.
- Consider enrolling your child in a babysitting clinic. Check your community education booklet or call your child’s school.
Guidelines for Car Safety with Children
Parents often mistake that it is safe to leave a child in the vehicle alone for just a quick errand or a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, leaving a child alone for just a few short minutes can lead to a tragedy (hyperthermia, hypothermia, kidnapping, etc.) In addition, heat is much more dangerous to children than to adults. When left in a hot vehicle, a child’s body temperature may increase to three to five times faster than adults, which could cause permanent injury or death.
Leaving a child in a vehicle is a citable offense with Law Enforcement, and child protection services may become involved. If a child is locked inside the car, get them out immediately! If a child is hot or appears sick, call 911!
- Teach children never to play in or around vehicles.
- Keep car doors locked, even while parked in a garage.
- Keep keys out of reach of children.
- Watch children closely around cars, particularly when loading and unloading.
- Check to make sure all children are out of the vehicle when your reach your destination. Do not overlook sleeping children or infants.
- Secure children properly in their children's restraints, car seats, or seat belts.
- The back seat is the safest for all children.
- Keep children 12 and under in the backseat.
- Every child should have a safety restraint.