The federal government recently released the (poorly formatted, nearly impenetrable) Child and Family Services Review, an audit of Minnesota’s child welfare programs.
The state lost ground on most practice standards, including caseworker visits and safety management, compared to audits in 2001 and 2007.
Particularly noteworthy were findings on systemic problems. Support services needed to implement case plans were available for only 50% of cases compared to 79% previously. The report also criticized inadequate Quality Assurance, staff training, and information technology.
The Department of Human Services requested resources to address these deficiencies in their proposed budget, but the legislature zeroed them out.
This is short-sighted. Minnesota’s metrics are now so poor that we risk substantial federal fines, which would be more costly than giving DHS adequate resources to do its job.
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children
Safe Passage and our partners – MinneMinds and the Targeted Home Visiting Coalition – aren’t alone in advocating for children this legislative session. Here’s what some other colleagues are proposing. Their bills and Days on the Hill are here.
Voices and Choices for Children is leaders from American Indian and communities of color promoting early childhood development, including more subsidized child care, credentialing changes to bring more people of color into the field, and funding for start-ups.
NAACP Child Protection Committee is raising awareness of racial disparities in child welfare and developing legislation to increase African American foster care providers.
ASPIRE wants to expand services to foster children 18-21.
Children’s Law Center has a bill to inform children of their right to a lawyer.
These partners deserve our support!