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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Human Services and the Roles of Federal, State, and Local Governments

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The Minnesota House Research Department has published a Short Subject entitled Human Services Programs: The Relationship Between Federal, State, and Local Governments. The point of this Short Subject is to make clear what each government's role is in terms of the administration of Minnesota's human services programs.

Federal Government's Role
The federal government appropriates money and sets broad standards and requirements for some Human Services Programs.

Example: The federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (FCSIAA) of 2008 gives states the ability to collect Title IV-E funding for children in foster care (including supervised independent living) up until age 21.

It also often requires states to pass certain legislation in order to receive federal funds.

Example: In the FCSIAA, there is a requirement for a 90-day transition plan and it broadens eligibility for Educational and Training Voucher Programs and Chafee Programs.

Minnesota State Government

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MN DHS) sets state policy on human services, which is often greatly influenced by federal policy. This includes promulgating (or writing out detailed policy) rules and statutes, creating publications, and providing training.

Example: Minnesota passed legislation in 2010 and 2011 that allows foster care placement until age 21 as long as the criteria laid out in the FCSIAA are followed. MN DHS created supporting documentation, training, and a bulletin regarding best practices to support this new service.

Local Governments

Counties in Minnesota provide direct services to clients through their individual human service programs.

Example: Each county is in charge of how they will implement foster care services for 18- to 21-year-olds. Statutes passed by the state legislature require that services be offered, but counties actually provide the services and have some discretion on what these services look like for their clients.

Counties also contribute their own funding from local taxes, such as property taxes, to help run human services programs. chart for county costs.PNG

Example: In 2010, counties paid for 49 percent of Children's Services costs, while the state paid for 16 percent. See pie chart at right for a complete breakdown.

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