How do I report suspected child abuse?

Law Enforcement Departments and Mille Lacs County Child Protection are the agencies charged with receiving reports of child abuse occurring in Mille Lacs County. These agencies are also responsible for the joint investigation of child abuse allegations. You may report suspicions of child abuse to Law Enforcement Departments 24 hours a day by calling 911. The operator will ask you to describe the circumstances. You may also call Mille Lacs County Child Protection at 320-983-8208.

Provide as Much Information as Possible

When reporting suspicions of child abuse, be prepared to provide as much information as you have including the names and addresses of the child and parents and specific data about what happened, who was involved, and when and where the events took place. Other helpful information is what school the child attends, who else might have information about the child’s situation, where the child is now, and the names of siblings or other members of the household.

  • If you believe a child is in imminent danger of injury, death or sexual abuse, call 911 and describe the situation to the operator with as much detail as you can. Law Enforcement has the ability to remove a child from a dangerous situation while a child protection investigation is completed.
  • If you believe that a child has injuries that need medical attention, call 911 and provide as much information as possible. The operator may dispatch paramedics and Law Enforcement to ensure that the child receives needed medical care.
  • If you believe that the child would not be safe returning or remaining at home, call 911. Law Enforcement Department and Child Protection can make arrangements for the temporary care of a child when their home is unsafe.
  • If a child has disclosed a sexual assault incident that occurred within the last 72 hours, call 911 for Law Enforcement to respond. It is very important to alert Law Enforcement promptly to ensure immediate safety of the child and also, as time passes, the chance of obtaining physical evidence diminishes. In the case of a sexual assault that occurred outside of the 72-hour window, calling 911 for Law Enforcement response is still appropriate as the officers will take the report to begin an investigation.

Where Reports Go

Any report made to the Law Enforcement Department will automatically be cross-reported to Mille Lacs County Child Protection, as any report made to Mille Lacs County Child Protection will be sent to the Law Enforcement Department. This is included in the Minnesota State Statutes outlining requirements for child abuse investigations.

Show All Answers

1. How do I recognize child abuse?
2. Why should I report child abuse?
3. What if I'm not sure if the situation is serious enough to report?
4. How do I report suspected child abuse?
5. Who must report child abuse?
6. Are there penalties for a mandated reporter who fails to report child abuse?
7. If the allegation of child abuse cannot be proven, will I get into trouble for making the report?
8. What should I do if a child tells me about abuse?
9. As a parent, what can I do to prevent child abuse?
10. I don't want to make my children fearful by talking about sexual abuse or I don't want to talk to my children about sexual abuse because they are too young. Is it really necessary?