Mark Ponsolle, Human Services Director
The Child Protection Unit provides legal representation to the social workers and staff of the Ramsey County Community Human Services Department (RCCHSD). The attorneys give legal advice on a wide variety of child protection and adoption issues and serve as legal counsel for the RCCHSD on cases filed in Ramsey County Juvenile Court. Most of the laws governing child protection can be found in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 260C.
It is the role of the RCCHSD Intake Unit social workers to assess reports of alleged abuse and neglect of children and to determine whether child protection services are required. The Intake Unit can be contacted at (651) 266-4500.
If RCCHSD determines that abuse or neglect occurred, a child protection social worker is assigned to work with the family to provide services and to monitor the safety of the children. In cases where the child is in immediate danger or the parent fails to work cooperatively with RCCHSD, the RCCHSD may file a Child in Need of Protection Services (CHIPS) petition in Ramsey County Juvenile Court to remove the child from the home.
After a hearing in which the parent admits or the RCCHSD proves that the child needs protection or services, the RCCHSD prepares a case plan which outlines the goals that the parent must meet before the child is returned to the parent's care. Case plan requirements may include services such as chemical dependency treatment, parenting classes, adequate housing, regular visitation, etc.
If the parent complies with the conditions outlined in the case plan, the child may be returned home. If the parent is unable or unwilling to meet the case plan goals, the RCCHSD develops a long range plan for the child such as transfer of custody of the child to a relative, long term foster care or termination of parental rights and adoption.
For more information, please contact the Ramsey County Attorney's Office at (651) 266-3222 and ask for the Child Protection Unit.