A Social Medical History (SMH) is the term Minnesota uses for our comprehensive social and medical history for children and youth in out of home care.
Other states call this document different things, and include different details in the document.
Minnesota’s Social Medical History is a standardized format, that has been used since 2015, and includes non-identifiable information, placement locations and dates, addresses of schools, diagnoses, doctors, therapists, information about the youth, their birth family, and reasons for placement. And is required for all Minnesota foster youth who are in care six+ months.
- 259.43 BIRTH PARENT HISTORY; COMMISSIONER’S FORM.
- 259.79 ADOPTION RECORDS.
- 259.83 POSTADOPTION SERVICES.
- 260c.212 Subd. 15.Social and medical history.
- 260c.212 Subdivision 1. Out-of-home placement; plan
- 260C.219 Subd. 5.Children reaching age of majority; copies of records.
- 260C.452 SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD
- 260C.609 SOCIAL AND MEDICAL HISTORY.
- 260C.623 ADOPTION PETITION.
- 260E.35 DATA PRACTICES.
This document is used for a variety of purposes and has many benefits.
- Provides a young person with their life history + family, medical, and genetic information
- Provides the young person with an overarching narrative of his/her life history prior to and while in foster care.
- Guides the development of appropriate interventions based on a young person’s history
- Provides positive and nuanced information about their birth family.
- Provides a timeline for past placements and school experiences.
- Has helpful information for birth parents upon reunification.
- Provides a required summary document for the court, that is also shared with the youth after age 14.
- Aids in the adoption matching process
- Provides full disclosure to pre-adoptive parents upon adoption.
- Establishes eligibility for adoption assistance
Since the document serves so many purposes, it is used by different folks.
- Foster Youth – Provided when youth leave care after the age of 14, and can be requested at anytime before or after that.
- Adoptees – Those adopted from MN foster care can requested it at age 19.
- Birth Parents – Provided upon reunification
- Prospective Adoptive Parents – Should be provided prior to adoptive placement, if placement does not move forward, must be returned
- MN DHS – Turned in with signed Adoption Placement Agreement, and reviewed for accuracy and thoroughness
- Court – Turned in with Adoption Petition.
- MN Social and Medical History Template (DOWNLOAD and save to edit/view)
- Instructions for Completing a Social and Medical History for a Child in Foster Care
- Obtaining Background Information on Your Prospective Adopted Child
- Providing Adoptive Parents With Information About Adoptees and Their Birth Families
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Minnesota requires this comprehensive document for children and youth in out of home care. Learn more, see an example, view relevant statues and laws.Tweet