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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

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DHS initiative: Reform 2020 Reform 2020 is a 2011 legislative directive for DHS to reform Minnesota's Medicaid program, Medical Assistance (MA), so as to improve outcomes for people with disabilities, seniors, and other enrollees. Specifically, Reform 2020 focuses on community integration and independence, improved health, reduced reliance on institutional care, attainment of housing and employment, and reduced use of services...
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One of the Minnesota legislature's areas of interest this past legislative session was mental health services, particularly school-based/school-linked services. Several of the bills that were introduced that focused on mental health services for children were included in either the education or health and human services omnibus bills. Funding for school-linked mental health services The education omnibus bill that was signed...
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May: A Month of Awareness

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May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. This is a way to bring awareness and attention to the needs of foster youths, foster parents, adoptive parents, and so many other individuals who work to help these children succeed. Interestingly, May is also National Mental Health Awareness Month per a presidential proclamation signed by President Barack Obama. This was done with...
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In a previous post, I wrote about a number of bills introduced that aimed to address children's mental health. The introduction of the Education (SF 978) and Health & Human Services (SF1034) omnibus bills featured several mental health provisions that were originally proposed within individual bills. Inclusion of these provisions in the omnibus bills increases the chances that they will...
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New Legislation Proposed This legislative session has seen mental health, particularly children's mental health, emerge as a pressing issue. Another bill currently being debated would change the ways in which Minnesota deals with the issue of maternal depression and provides for the care of new and expectant mothers and their babies. This bill, HF1047/SF582, would do the following: Attempt to...
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Since this is my first guest post, I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Kelly and I am in my second year as a graduate assistant with the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare and a current MSW student. My field placement with a private agency providing children's mental health services has reinforced my interest in education...
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The title of this blog post lists some of the potential policy solutions I've seen in policy discussions on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As with most violent acts that catch the eye of the nation, advocates are calling for policy solutions that span the liberal-conservative political spectrum. Such knee-jerk solutions include stronger gun control laws (ranging from increasing...
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In recognition of Veterans Day, the House of Representatives introduced a bill that encourages every civilian to observe today by offering to listen, with respect and without judgment, to a veteran tell the story of the veteran's time at war and experience since returning home. Most veteran legislation reflects the need for policies on provision of adequate mental and physical...
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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month so CASCW is taking this opportunity to highlight the intersection of DV and child welfare. Minnesota's Domestic Abuse Act defines domestic violence as the infliction of physical harm, infliction of the fear of imminent physical harm, terrorist threats, criminal sexual conduct, and interference with a 911 call, committed by "one family or household...
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Today is World Mental Health Day. This year's theme is "The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health," with a call for governments and others to invest in policies and approaches for removing barriers to mental health services and investing in prevention efforts as a cost-savings measure. In observance of this day, I feel it is important to highlight the need...
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Dr. Jack Shonkoff, co-editor of From Neurons to Neighborhoods, spoke at the symposium "Applying the Science of Early Childhood Development to Child Welfare Policy and Practices" in Oregon last month. Shonkoff, along with Philip A. Fisher a University of Oregon psychology professor, emphasized the neurological basis for the developmental, social, and behavioral problems of very young children experiencing toxic stress....
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On the 21st and 22nd the House and Senate, respectively, passed H.R. 2883: Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act. H.R. 2883 was sponsored by Geoff Davis [R-KY4] and cosponsored by 16 additional legislators (listed at the end of this post). This bill's companion legislation is S. 1542, which was introduced by Max Baucus [D-MT] and passed the Senate...
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This week on our Facebook page we began highlighting current child welfare-related legislation in the U.S. Congress as a way to keep our readers informed about legislation that, if enacted, may impact their work with clients involved in the child welfare system. As an extension of this service, we will be recapping our Facebook highlights each Friday with additional commentary...
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In light of the Summer Institute in American Indian Child Welfare held this week in Walker, MN, I thought it would be good (and relevant!) to discuss the importance of collaboration between early childhood and child welfare agencies for American Indian children. Since the majority of the speakers during this conference were from the Ojibwe (or Anishinaabe) tribe, what is...
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State Policies That Require or Recommend Child Welfare/Early Childhood Collaboration for Intervention ServicesInteragency Early Childhood Intervention SystemThis system is federally mandated by Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part B is special education services for children ages 3 to 21, whereas Part C is early intervention services for infants and toddlers birth-2 years of age....
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Our next summer topic is on the youngest of children involved in child welfare, those aged 0-5 years. We chose to focus on this topic not only because of the attention early childhood experiences has been getting lately from state and federal legislators (e.g. U.S. Senator Al Franken, MN Representative Nora Slawik, and MN Senator Geoff Michel) (and governors!), but...
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To wrap up the month of June's focus on international adoption, I'd like to discuss illegal international adoptions, as well as what happens when international adoptions are disrupted. It is important to understand the issues these can cause for the field of child welfare in the United States. Illegal International Adoptions An international adoption can quickly and sometimes inadvertently become...
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My apologies for staying quiet the past couple of weeks as the transition Katie mentioned in the previous entry has taken place. I am hoping to get you caught up on what has been happening at the legislature in this entry, so it will be a little long. The Budget Over the past couple of weeks, the political talk has...
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Legislators slogged through more conference committee meetings this week, debating the state budget. Most of the conversation in Health and Human Services committees has been focused on health care and disability services, with citizen activism disrupting one session. Child welfare issues have not risen to the surface of debates, but they remain very susceptible to the proposed budget cuts. From...
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Less than three weeks until the legislature has to adjoin, but there are huge distances to cover. The Governor called for the Senate and the House to put forth a single budget bill by May 6th, but that deadline was not reached. Budget conference committees continued to meet this week in an effort to resolve the differences between the House...
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It is a contentious week at the Capitol in the high-stakes budget debate. Health care is the main focus of the Health and Human Service discussions, since it comprises the majority of spending in that portion of our state's budget. Child Welfare elements of the bills appear to have moved through unchanged*. So that you don't have to scour the...
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