Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Mental health is a top concern for children entering Hennepin County foster care

It was among the top primary reasons children were placed in foster care in 2021, along with caretaker drug abuse and alleged physical abuse


December 28, 2021

Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

Hennepin County Child protection workers shown in 2017.

While reports of child maltreatment have dropped in Hennepin County since the start of the pandemic, a larger share of foster care placements has resulted from families unable to care for children because of mental illness.

In 2019, when the county handled just over 1,000 foster care entries, 8.3% were primarily mental health-related. In 2021, that percentage nearly doubled, meaning mental health was among the top reasons children were placed in foster care - along with caretaker drug abuse and physical abuse.

The county handled 537 foster care entries this year, and more than 80 were mental health-related, according to county-provided data as of Dec. 6.


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