Project: The children they couldn’t save

A Star Tribune examination found that child-protection authorities have failed to respond to thousands of child-abuse reports while funneling thousands of others into a program where the abuse is never investigated. The system's shortcomings have had deadly results.

A photograph of Eric Dean taken by his special education teacher, Mindy DeGeer, was presented by the prosecution during the trial of Amanda Peltier.

Eric Dean, the boy they couldn't save

Special report: On 15 occasions, day-care workers and others told Pope County's child-protection agency they suspected Eric Dean was being hurt. But it was not enough.
The casket of Demond Reed, 4, during a wake at The Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis on Monday night. He was beaten to death by his aunt.

Counties 'screen out' most child abuse reports

December 26, 2014
Bill would require better tracking of child abuse cases that are screened out without investigation.
Children from an after school program participate in a candlelight vigil commemorating National Child Abuse Prevention Month at Jose Marti Park in Mia

State misses chances to save abused kids' lives

December 26, 2014
In some cases, state says, counties could have done more to save children from abuse and neglect.

Hennepin County judge 'sickened' by abuse program's failures

October 13, 2014
Former advocate of family assessment program says it was never meant for high-risk cases.

Lessons from child abuse deaths go unheeded in Minnesota

November 11, 2014
The deaths of 56 children from maltreatment in Minnesota since 2005 should guide changes in child protection. But the system too often fails to learn from the past.

Child protection systems are in turmoil across the country

November 30, 2014
New York, Florida and Arizona overhauled their child protection systems this year, and now Minnesota is poised to follow their lead.

DHS wants to scrap just-passed law on child protection

December 26, 2014
Legislators want to change bill they voted for, saying they didn't know it would restrict past abuse reports.

Gov. Dayton acts to step up response to child protection

December 26, 2014
Gov. Mark Dayton ordered random checks of county child protection decisions and created a team that can advise counties struggling with those issues.

New official to head Minnesota child protection efforts

November 27, 2014
The appointment of James Koppel comes amid reports of repeated failures of state's child protection system.

Child abuse reports need better response, investigation, task force says

December 12, 2014
More than 30 changes are planned to improve state's child protection system.

Past abuse reports no longer off-limits for Minn. child protection workers

March 23, 2015
In a sweeping reversal, Minnesota child protection workers can now review previous child abuse reports when considering how to respond to a new one. Minnesota was likely the only state in the country that barred intake workers from reviewing past cases.

Task force assails child protection for meager follow-up

October 14, 2014
Task force looks at lack of follow-up from child protection services