When Parents Are the Threat

Minnesota social workers are finding that the best way to fight child abuse is to stop it before it starts

The baby girl named Chloe was born prematurely, and when routine tests showed that she had been exposed to cocaine, a staff member at Rochester Methodist Hospital in Olmsted County, Minn., contacted local child-protection officials. In the past, Chloe would simply have been moved into the foster-care system, and her mother Oksana, 34, who immigrated to the U.S. from Belarus nine years ago, would have had a tough time getting her out. But Minnesota is taking a new approach toward parents who are deemed to be a threat to their children. Social workers met with Oksana, who has asked that her...

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