Some of the money is dependent on quick and frequent visits by caseworkers.


The first of several planned overhauls in the state’s child protection system would withhold some county dollars until caseworkers prove they can respond early and often to abuse reports, marking the first time such funding in Minnesota is performance-based.

The plan, unveiled before a key Senate panel Wednesday, comes in the wake of sweeping reforms to the state’s child protection system, the first of which were passed unanimously by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton in March.

The legislation stems from preliminary recommendations by the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children, launched after Star Tribune reports on the death of 4-year-old Eric Dean, who was beaten to death by his stepmother despite 15 reports to Pope County child protection. The new laws will place child health and safety over keeping the family intact when social workers make decisions on how to intervene. It also reverses a law passed last year that barred social workers from taking previously screened-out reports into consideration during investigations of suspected abuse.

With greater demands come an influx of cash to pay for them. Dayton’s supplemental budget includes $22 million for additional child protection staffing statewide. For each county, half will be distributed based on the population of children in the county, 25 percent will be distributed on the number of “screened-in” abuse reports, while another quarter would be distributed based on the number of open child protection cases in the county. Regardless of numbers, no county would be awarded less than $75,000 annually — guaranteeing a funding boost for at least 30 counties. An additional $10 million would be distributed in a similar manner for third-party services like family counseling or mental health screening. Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, author of child protection measures and a task force member, said that spending among the counties was disproportionate — from $99 per child in some counties to $600 in others.

“We want to make sure that we recognize the commitment that some counties made despite deficits and cuts, while recognizing that other counties may have taken money that could have been used somewhere else,” she said.

Each year, 20 percent of each county’s money would be withheld as a “performance allocation.” To receive it, counties must have timely face-to-face contact with at least 90 percent of children in screened-in abuse reports. Second, case managers must make monthly face-to-face visits to children in foster care and kids in the home receiving child protection services 90 percent of the time.

“The concept there is that unless they’re doing the work, they shouldn’t get the full allocation, and the work required by the Task Force is that they see children early — right away if there’s an allegation of abuse, and they see constantly if those children are in need of child protective services,” said Ralph McQuarter, director of management operations for Children and Family Services at the Department of Human Services. “We want to see outcomes for children being improved, not just workers showing up at the door and being visible.”

Last year, nearly a quarter of cases in Minnesota would have failed to meet those criteria. According to DHS statistics, initial contact was made within 24 hours in cases where serious harm was alleged just 76 percent of the time. Statewide, monthly face-to-face visits with a caseworker were also completed 76 percent of the time.

The new standards have broad support from the counties that came to sort out the new terms with DHS, said Rochelle Westlund, a health and human services policy analyst with the Association of Minnesota Counties.

“While not typical, counties have some experience with performance incentives in other human services program areas, and we are confident that counties will strive to achieve these standards.” she said.

Sheran said after years of drastic cuts to the state’s child protective services during lean years, it’s time to recommit to child protection with increases in staffing and services. She said incentive-based funding will likely motivate counties to do better.

“It’s our way of giving them a sense of direction of what’s important,” she said. “It supports the recommendations of the task force, and communicates that by putting money behind it.”









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Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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