myU OneStop


Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Recently in MN Legislature Category

As promised from yesterday, I am continuing my "brief bill descriptions" post regarding child welfare-related bills introduced during the interim of Minnesota's 88th legislative session. Early Learning H.F. 1880: Introduced by Rep. Ryan Winkler and others, this bill would ensure that each eligible child receives an early learning scholarship. Beginning in FY2015, funding for this program would increase from $23...
Read the full article »
Although the Minnesota legislative session does not officially begin until February 25, quite a few bills were introduced in the interim on Monday. Because there are several that may impact children, youth, and families involved in child welfare (or at risk of involvement), I have decided to write two posts providing brief descriptions of these bills. Bills are sorted according...
Read the full article »
Yesterday I attended the 2014 Children and Youth Issues Briefing at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Paul, MN. This briefing is held annually prior to the start of the Minnesota legislative session to discuss emerging legislative issues and initiatives that will impact children and youth in Minnesota. The event was well attended (as usual) and featured (among others) Melvin...
Read the full article »
Policymakers in Minnesota have increasingly been focusing on policies that positively impact young children and promote overall child well-being. Not only did the House of Representatives create a committee devoted to early childhood and youth development policy in 2013, but both the education and health and human services omnibus bills included several large provisions that seek to enhance child well-being;...
Read the full article »
Minnesota Statute 257.0725 requires the Department of Human Services to make available annually a report on child maltreatment and children in out-of-home placement. This report for the year 2012 is now available online. Federal Safety Measures In terms of Federal Safety Measures, Minnesota did better than the national standard for: absence of repeat maltreatmenttime to reunification (within 12 months)median months...
Read the full article »
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry estimates that ten million children witness incidences of domestic violence between their caregivers (or intimate partner violence [IPV]) each year. In addition, a recent U.S. survey showed that more than half of youth exposed to IPV had also been maltreated. Such exposure can result in manifestation of serious emotional and behavioral problems....
Read the full article »
This blog post was originally posted by JaeRan Kim in our Stability, Permanency, & Adoption Blog on August 5, 2013. As of last Thursday, August 1 2013, the Family Reunification Act went into effect. This law allows foster youth 15 and older who were never adopted to have the option to reunite with their birth parents. The law stipulates that...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
The main piece (in my opinion) of Chapter 108 (the session law that was the omnibus Health & Human Services Finance bill) is Article 17, which establishes Chapter 256N in Minnesota Statutes, Northstar Care for Children. As I said in an earlier blog post on Northstar Care for Children, this program will make foster care, relative guardian/custody assistance (guardianship assistance),...
Read the full article »
In addition to Article 3 and Article 17 (Northstar Care for Children), there are other areas within Chapter 108 (the omnibus Health and Human Services finance bill) that are directly applicable to children and families involved in the child welfare system. These are just a few. Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth The Safe Harbor bill I highlighted back in...
Read the full article »
Last year I blogged about recommendations for state-level changes regarding Minnesota's parental recognition laws as they pertain to adoption and foster care by same-sex couples. As it stands, Minnesota law is unclear on the legality of joint adoptions and second-parent adoptions; these issues have instead been left up to individual courts to decide. Last week Minnesota became the 12th state...
Read the full article »
Yesterday Governor Dayton signed the omnibus Health & Human Services (HHS) Finance bill, making it Chapter 108 in the 2013 Session Laws. The main point of this bill was to establish the HHS budget, but there are also policy changes that will impact child welfare. One big change from earlier versions of the bill is the inclusion of Northstar Care...
Read the full article »
On Sunday Governor Dayton and House and Senate leaders announced that they had come to an agreement on budget targets for the next biennium. This announcement was particularly important for those of us in the health and human services field, as Governor Dayton and the legislative leaders had different ideas regarding the budget target for health and human services. House...
Read the full article »
Early Childhood Education Emerges as Important Issue The E-12 Omnibus bill (HF630), as it currently stands, makes early childhood education a clear priority. Both the House and Senate files include funding for all day kindergarten beginning in 2015 and expand scholarships for children ages 3-5 to attend quality child care facilities. The House bill also increases funding to Head Start,...
Read the full article »
On May 1, 2013, the Family Reunification Act of 2013 was signed into law by Governor Dayton. The Family Reunification Act would allow under certain circumstances the reestablishment of legal parent and child relationships. The goal is to provide permanency for certain youth in foster care who would otherwise age out of the system. Under the new law, the county...
Read the full article »
The Health & Human Services Omnibus bill (H.F. 1233) in the Minnesota legislature has been slowly moving forward. Because the Senate and House did not agree on the bill text of H.F. 1233, there is a conference committee for the bill. This morning the HHS Conference Committee met from 8 AM to 10 AM and they will reconvene again at...
Read the full article »
Guest blog post by Caitlin Magistad. The transition to adulthood has become longer, more expensive, and increasingly complex; yet vulnerable populations including homeless, foster care, and juvenile justice youth are expected to transition to adulthood abruptly on their own. Trends in legislation and funding regarding disconnected youth illustrate both federal and state commitment to helping vulnerable youth make the transition...
Read the full article »
Update 4/16/13, 11:09 AM - Content clarification Update 4/5/13, 11:05 AM - Content clarification On Wednesday in the House Health and Human Services (HHS) Finance committee, Assistant Commissioner of Child and Family Services Erin Sullivan Sutton provided a walk-through of Governor Dayton's updated HHS budget recommendations from his supplemental budget as they pertain to children and families. The HHS omnibus...
Read the full article »
Two weeks ago DFL leaders announced their plans to cut $150 million from the base of the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget for the current biennium. This is in direct contrast to both Governor Dayton's proposal, which would have increased the HHS budget by $170 million, and the House and Senate DFL proposal to increase revenue by $2 billion...
Read the full article »
In February of 2012, the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released its findings on child protection screening and provided recommendations for the State to improve this process. As a response to the OLA recommendations, Sen. Jeff Hayden and Rep. Susan Allen introduced legislation this year to establish a child protection screening work group and require counties to follow the...
Read the full article »
Guest blog post by Caitlin Magistad. My name is Caitlin Magistad, and I'm excited to be a new guest blogger for the CASCW Child Welfare Policy blog! I'm a third year MSW student here at the University of Minnesota. I currently work as a case manager at a local family homeless shelter, and am doing my second field placement at...
Read the full article »

Northstar Care for Children

| No Comments
Northstar Care for Children is a proposed program in Minnesota that consolidates Adoption Assistance, Relative Custody Assistance, and family foster care into just one program that would equalize payments for these programs for children ages 6 and older. This program aims to increase permanency through adoption or legal guardianship by a relative, recognizing that current payment rates provide monetary disincentives...
Read the full article »
We recently updated our first Child Welfare Policy Brief, which was a primer for Minnesota's 2011 legislative session, to reflect changes in statistics and funding between then and now. It is available on our child welfare policy section of our website. You can also click here for the PDF. More information CASCW publishes policy briefs to share research and...
Read the full article »
On Monday, March 11, the House introduced its version of the omnibus health and human services finance budget bill, H.F. 1233; the Senate version, S.F. 1034, had been introduced March 4. As this is a budget year, this bill will be a main focus of our blogging, if not the main focus. Next week I will provide a more in-depth...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
Studies have found that children with disabilities experience a higher rate of maltreatment than children without disabilities, and that they are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. For example, a study in 2000 by Sullivan and Knutsen showed that youth with disabilities were 3.4 times more likely to be maltreated. Last year, CASCW released two policy briefs on youth...
Read the full article »
In the 2011 legislative special session, the legislature passed a Safe Harbor law that began addressing how sexually exploited youth are viewed in the eyes of the law in Minnesota. Under this law, sexually exploited youth under age 18 are viewed as victims of crime (children in need of protection) rather than juvenile delinquents, at least for their first encounter...
Read the full article »
On February 13, the Family Reunification Act was introduced in Minnesota's Senate as S.F. 422. The Family Reunification Act would allow parents whose parental rights have been terminated to have their rights restored, under certain circumstances. This Act had been introduced last year and was one of the bills we were tracking. There are two major changes between last year's...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
Remember to follow our bill tracking efforts! UPDATED 2-19-2013, 12:30 PM Senate will be in session at 11:00 AM on Monday, February 18 and 11:00 AM on Thursday, February 21.House meets in session at 3:00 PM on Monday, February 18 and 12:00 PM on Wednesday, February 20. Child Welfare2/18, 12:00 PM, 15 Capitol: Senate Health, Human Services & Housing—SF 460,...
Read the full article »
Remember to follow our bill tracking efforts! Senate will be in session at 11:00 AM on Monday, February 11.House meets in session at 3:00 PM on Monday, February 11. Governor's budget 2/12, 10:00 AM, 200 SOB: House Health & Human Services Finance Committee—MDH to present the Governor's budget proposals.2/13, 10:00 AM, 200 SOB: House Health & Human Services Finance Committee—Public...
Read the full article »
I will try to post as early as I can in the week about child welfare-relevant upcoming committee hearings during Minnesota's 88th legislative session. I thought it would be a good idea to organize based on topic, rather than date. Let me know what you think of my methods. As always, remember to follow our bill tracking efforts! Governor's budget...
Read the full article »
Yesterday Minnesota's 88th legislative session convened. This blog post is really more about providing information regarding new leadership and committee makeup, not child welfare-related items. Remember, we are tracking child welfare-related bills. As of right now, we are only set up to follow Minnesota-specific child welfare legislation. In the future we hope to change this to include relevant federal-level legislation....
Read the full article »
On Friday, December 6, at 9am, the two House Health & Human Services (HHS) committees (Reform and Finance) will meet jointly to discuss the November forecast, the fiscal cliff and its impact on the Depts. of Health and Human Services, and methadone as a chemical dependency treatment. It will be held in room 10 of the State Office Building. The...
Read the full article »
As of August 1, the new Safe Place for Newborns law in Minnesota went into effect. Since 2000, Minnesota has had a Safe Place for Newborns law that allowed a mother (or her official representative) to bring her newborn infant to a hospital within 3 days of birth for the purpose of relinquishing her rights to the child without prosecution...
Read the full article »
One of the new laws that went into effect last Wednesday was regarding unreasonable child restraint. Although we've posted on this in the past (Criminal Neglect Penalties for Unreasonable Restraint of Children added to the Vulnerable Adult Bill), I recently saw an article that discussed this new law as a policy change for general child abuse, when in fact it...
Read the full article »
The 2012 legislative session concluded with several changes to Minnesota child welfare policy. This has been covered extensively in past blog posts, but I thought the topic of sibling placement and separation was important to highlight. New statutory language related to siblings involved in child welfare Overall, the new statutory language indicates that keeping siblings together is preferred over the...
Read the full article »
Over the past few months we've highlighted some of the changes in Minnesota's foster care policies resulting from the 2012 legislative session. Here are some of our posts on the topic: New foster care legislation in Minnesota, part 2(Stability, Permanency, & Adoption Blog, July 18, 2012)Keywords: relative search, definition of family to a child, paternal relatives, relative/kin engagement, best interests...
Read the full article »
A new report authored by Movement Advancement Project, Family Equality Council, and Center for American Progress discusses how legal recognition of LGBT parents is important for their children's social, emotional, and physical well-being. Specifically, this report, entitled Securing Legal Ties for Children Living in LGBT Families, focuses on how marriage and parenting laws impact children in LGBT households, and it...
Read the full article »
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has just released two bulletins summarizing the 2012 children and family services legislation & the 2012 adoption assistance legislation. Most of the new changes are effective August 1 or 2, 2012, with the exception of Jacob's Law, which is effective July 1, 2012. For our child welfare-related summaries of this legislation, see our S.F....
Read the full article »
On June 7, 2012, CASCW co-sponsored a reflective seminar on the role of supportive housing in the lives of at-risk adolescents and vulnerable families. For a summary of the seminar, as well as implications for children & families experiencing homelessness (in terms of supportive housing as a tool to increase permanency and stability), please see our Stability, Permanency, and Adoption...
Read the full article »
This blog post will look at Article 5 and Article 6 of S.F. 1675. Article 5: Child Support Definition Change: American Indian Child- means a person under 21 years old (previously 18 years old) Recognition of Parentage (ROP): Hospital and the Department of Health must provide notary services and file the ROP with the Office of the State Registrar of...
Read the full article »
Minnesota's 87th legislative session adjourned May 10th, 2012. This blog post will review the final child welfare-related actions taken by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Dayton, including one new law and one pocket veto. (As this is the second year of the biennium, any bills presented to Governor Dayton in the last three days of session that he does not...
Read the full article »
This blog post will address child welfare modifications from Articles 3 and 4 of S.F. 1675, which was recently signed into law by Governor Dayton. Article 3: Adoption Assistance Language from the adoption statute 260 was moved to 259A to create a more seamless process from child protection. Article 4: Child Protection Reasonable efforts for reunification: Exemptions added:If a parent...
Read the full article »
This blog post will take a look at Article 2 of S.F. 1675. This article addresses the expansion of Safe Place for Newborns. Give Life a Chance; Safe Place for Newborns, Duties; Immunity Safe Place language has been expanded to include not only hospitals but health care providers who provide urgent care medical services and ambulance services dispatched in...
Read the full article »
On April 23, 2012, Governor Dayton signed S.F. 1675/ H.F. 1967 into law. This blog post will take an in depth look into Article 1. Future blog posts will address the remaining articles. Article 1: Children and Families Policy Provisions Child Maltreatment Review Panel has been eliminated.MFIP transitional standard breakdown of food and cash has been taken out of statute...
Read the full article »
Apologies for our LONG absence these past couple of weeks. First we were at the 18th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington, D.C. (held April 16-20), and then we were preparing for our 13th Annual Child Welfare Conference (held yesterday, May 1, in Minneapolis). Many child welfare-related bills have been signed into law, and the point of...
Read the full article »

MN Legislative Updates

| No Comments
Legislative Updates: Do you ever wonder what happens to the bills after we blog about them? Here are some bills that recently had some movement in the House and Senate. Criminal Neglect Penalties for Unreasonable Restraint of Children was signed by Governor Dayton on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. For details check out the CASCW blog post from April 12, 2012....
Read the full article »
Earlier this month, the House Research and Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis legislative offices published "side-by-side" comparisons of the House and Senate Health and Human Service Omnibus bills. As of last week the Senate File (2039) has been absorbed by the House File (2294). Because of this, the following overview of the side-by-side comparison will be examining how the...
Read the full article »
Welcome back to session, Minnesota legislature! With just a few weeks left, there's a lot to do. This week appears to be pretty quiet regarding hearings of child welfare-related legislation. As of today, there is just one bill related to child welfare that's being heard. However, should this change, we will of course update this post and let you all...
Read the full article »
S.F. 1586/ H.F. 1945 was revised on April 9, 2012, adding additional penalties for parents, guardians or caregivers who confine or restraint children which results in demonstrable bodily harm. Demonstrable bodily harm is bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim. These penalties include up to 2 years in prison, or a fine up to...
Read the full article »
S.F. 2297 and H.F. 1899 were signed into law by Governor Dayton on April 4, 2012. This law, known as Jacob's Law, requires both parents to be notified if their child is a possible victim of abuse, neglect or sexual assault. This petition was brought forth by Sarah Guggisberg of Clara City, MN whose son was abused by a neighbor....
Read the full article »
S.F. 753 was introduced by Senator Rosen on March 14, 2011. If enacted, this law would require those who engage in social work or are presented to the public as a social worker become licensed by the MN Board of Social Work by July 1, 2016. This would apply to those who are newly employed by a Minnesota city or...
Read the full article »
This month the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare has three new Policy Briefs available online. CASCW's Policy Briefs aim to explore how the field of child welfare interacts with policy and research. The Briefs serve as a "user's guide" for policy makers and advocates, pointing to the articles most directly linked to policy problems and promising solutions. Links...
Read the full article »
Rep. Jim Abeler, chair of House HHS Finance Committee, and Sen. David Hann, chair of Senate HHS Committee. Photo courtesy of MN House of Representatives This week has been fairly quiet regarding child welfare legislative hearings. On Monday, the Senate HHS Committee held a hearing on the recent Office of the Legislative Auditor's Child Protection Screening evaluation (audio), and yesterday...
Read the full article »
On March 7, 2012, Representative Liebling introduced H.F. 2713 which would prohibit smoking in a residence that provides licensed foster care for children. Senator Hayden introduced the companion bill S.F. 2376 on March 12, 2012. As you may be aware, additional smoking bans have been implemented over the past 5 years regarding smoking in public establishments. Over the past 10...
Read the full article »
Hope you're enjoying the excellent weather we've been having here in Minnesota. As the weather gets nicer and the urge to go outside becomes stronger, check out some of the committee hearings pertaining to child welfare at the Capitol building and State Office Building. If you'd like more information about these bills and their relevance to child welfare policy, make...
Read the full article »
On Monday, March 12th S.F. 1165 was heard in the Health and Human Services Committee. This bill was introduced to amend language in 125A.30 Interagency Early Intervention Committees. This language would prompt a referral for an early intervention screening for children under age 3 who are subject of an accepted report for investigation or family assessment by a local child...
Read the full article »
Happy Monday! Here are this week's legislative committee hearings as they relate to child welfare legislation. If you'd like more information about these bills and their relevance to child welfare policy, make sure to review our bill tracking sheet. Monday, March 12 12:30 PM: House Civil Law, 10 State Office Building (SOB)HF2009 (Abeler) Human services legal provisions changed; human services...
Read the full article »
On Monday, March 5th the Minnesota Senate held a hearing on S.F. 1412 which was introduced by Senator Senjem. The purpose of the bill is to create an exception to the foster care moratorium to allow the licensing of facilities that serve children with severe autism. *A moratorium on new child and adult corporate foster homes was enacted in July...
Read the full article »

Quick Review - H.F. 2080

| No Comments
H.F. 2080 (S.F. 1883) is an MFIP ineligibility and sanctions bill that made the legislative committee rounds during February. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-17A) and has 12 cosponsors. As of today, 2080 is waiting to be heard in the House Health and Human Service Finance Committee, but that hearing has not been scheduled as of yet....
Read the full article »
Several committee hearings related to child welfare legislation are occurring this week. Remember, most, if not all, can be viewed live online at either the Senate or House websites, and often they archive their videos fairly quickly to be viewed later. You can also follow the Twitter hashtag #mnleg to see the community discussing activity in committee meetings. Tuesday, February...
Read the full article »
On Tuesday, February 21, the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released their evaluation report on Child Protection Screening. That same day,The Health and Human Services Reform Committee heard testimony from eight individuals representing agencies ranging from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to local nonprofits. The purpose of the Committee hearing was to present the report's findings and recommendations...
Read the full article »
Minnesota Senate File 1675 was heard on February 15th and February 21st. This bill has a number of amendments that affect child welfare. Click here to see the full bill text. This bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here are a few of the pieces of the bill that were discussed in the hearing: Expand Safe Place...
Read the full article »
There are a few hearings this week in both the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives that are of interest to those in the child welfare field. You can attend in person, or check to see if you can watch them live via the Senate Media Services. Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, Room 15 Capitol February 13 (today),...
Read the full article »

Ready... Set... ADVOCATE!

| No Comments
(written by Lindsay Brekke) The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits held an Advanced Advocacy training on February 8, 2012, which outlined a number of resources right here at our state Capitol for advocacy work by nonprofits. This post is a recap of this training and is meant to help others in their advocacy work. First is the Legislative Reference Library. This...
Read the full article »
Today (Wednesday, February 1) there will be a hearing in the Minnesota House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee at 10:15 AM in Room 10 State Office Building. The agenda includes several items, but the one most relevant to child welfare is Jacob's Law (HF 1899), whose short description is "Jacob's law established requiring notice of crime...
Read the full article »

2012 Session Line Up...Rundown

| No Comments
On Friday, January 27, 2012 the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council on Foundations hosted the 2012 Session Line Up, speakers included Governor Mark Dayton, Representative Paul Thissen, Representative Kurt Zellers, Senator John Marty and Senator David Senjem. Although this is a bonding year and not a budget year there are a number of important issues being brought...
Read the full article »
Tomorrow at noon the Minnesota legislative session will begin. We will be providing regular updates on bills and committee hearings throughout the session, just like we did last year. In addition, we will be updating our webpage on child welfare policy to include separate pages on Policy Resources, Live Federal Bill Tracking, and Live Minnesota Bill Tracking. New This Week...
Read the full article »
Our new Minn-LInK report (full version and brief) highlights a study conducted through our Center, in partnership with Hearth Connection, that shows the positive impact supportive housing has on educational outcomes and overall child well being for children in homeless families. The children involved in this study were enrolled in Hearth Connection's supportive housing program across Minnesota. Over time, these...
Read the full article »
Because the Minnesota legislative session will begin in a couple of weeks, I'd like to focus this blog post on a Minnesota-specific bill related to child welfare. Last April, the Minnesota House (HF 0749) and Senate (SF 1339) introduced a bill called the Family Reunification Act of 2011. The bill would reestablish legal rights between a parent and child which...
Read the full article »
On January 11, United Front hosted the 2012 Children and Youth Issues Briefing in St. Paul, which was described as an event to "celebrate recent successes, identify issues of importance for the 2012 legislative session and learn more about innovative initiatives making a difference in our communities." The briefing began with an overview of the state's budget from Christina Wessel...
Read the full article »
UPDATE: Check out Child Welfare Information Gateway's webpage providing resources on the use of psychotropic medicines for children and youth in fostercare. With the newly-released Government Accountability Office report, "Foster Children: HHS Guidance Could Help States Improve Oversight of Psychotropic Prescriptions," there has been a flurry of activity recently on the issue of over-medicating youth in foster care. I don't...
Read the full article »

Prematurity & Child Maltreatment

| No Comments
Today is the last day of National Prematurity Awareness Month where the issue of births prior to 37 weeks gestation are highlighted. In approximately 50 percent of all premature births, there is no definite cause for spontaneous preterm labor. Sometimes infections and maternal health conditions, such as diabetes and preeclampsia, are the cause. Some women may also have elective inductions,...
Read the full article »
The Minnesota Family Investment Program is often viewed as a program for parents. But how does it impact the children in families receiving this assistance? Like the juvenile court reforms discussed at the CEED Round Table last month, the Minnesota Family Investment Program may benefit from a change in perspective. That is, what does the program look like when it...
Read the full article »
On November 15th, 2011 the House and Senate introduced the Stillbirth and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID, or also known as SIDS) Prevention, Education, and Awareness Act of 2011 (H.R.3418 and S. 1862, respectively). If enacted, these bills would help us better understand causes and prevent stillbirths and SUID by:Expanding data collection activities & establishing a national database to track...
Read the full article »
Tomorrow, several states and counties across the United States will finalize adoptions as part of National Adoption Day 2011, the day designated each year to bring awareness and recognition of foster care adoption in the United States (for more information about Adoption Day events in Minnesota click here). Over the past month, two bills have been introduced to support the...
Read the full article »

More on Mandated Reporting

| No Comments
(Updated November 26 with new legislation. -HNO) Due to the intense media coverage of the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, it seems that a blog post on mandated reporting in child welfare might be quite relevant and useful. Although the media can be helpful in bringing child welfare issues to the top of policymakers' priority lists (remember Caylee...
Read the full article »
With November being Native American Heritage Month it is important to examine not only what we know about this history but also what we know about the policies affecting Native Americans. Danielle mentioned the current disproportionality rates for Native children in the child welfare system in Part 1 of the blog. This disproportionality was evident in the 1970s, which eventually...
Read the full article »
Minnesota Law defining marriage as a civil contract between a man and a woman was established in 1976. In 1996 the federal government signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The act defined 'marriage' as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and 'spouse' as a person of the opposite sex who is...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
Governor Dayton issued a statement last night that the State Capitol would reopen this morning at 9am. This is a result of Governor Dayton's acceptance of the June 30 GOP budget offer last Friday (7/14), which offered to balance the budget with borrowing from future tobacco settlement payments and shifts in school aid. However, Governor Dayton's (reluctant) acceptance of the...
Read the full article »
As of today, Judge Gearin has ordered continued funding of additional programs and grants from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, based on Special Master Kathleen Blatz's recommendations from July 11: MFIP Consolidated Support Services Grants & MFIP Consolidated Support Services Grants T01, F640These two grants provide support services for MFIP/DWP recipients, including job skills training and job-search assistance Food...
Read the full article »
As I'm sure you know by now, the Minnesota government began its shutdown on July 1 due to a budget impasse between the governor and the legislature. It is now Day 6 and no deal is in sight. Several news outlets (see below for links) have reported that the two sides did not meet over the 4th of July weekend,...
Read the full article »
As the July 1 deadline for the governor and legislature to come up with a budget solution draws nearer, many people are wondering how a government shutdown could affect them. In addition to the previous post highlighting the two different petitions filed by the Attorney General and Governor Dayton, there are several other great resources for information on this topic....
Read the full article »
This week two petitions were filed in Ramsey County Court regarding continued funding for core functions of the state should a government shutdown occur. The first petition was filed on Monday, June 13, by the Minnesota Attorney General's office. This petition stated that in order to protect the constitutional rights of Minnesotans on a state and federal level, certain core...
Read the full article »
'Budget Solution' Meetings The legislature and Governor Dayton have scheduled meetings throughout June to discuss budget solutions to prevent a government shutdown beginning July 1. The two sides met a few times this past week; so far, the GOP-led legislature has offered to increase spending in K-12 education, public safety, and the courts, but will not increase revenue. Governor Dayton...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
By now, you've probably heard the news about the May 23rd legislative deadline that came and went this week. Minnesota Public Radio sums it up in a nutshell: "Gov. Dayton vetoed nine budget bills assuring a special session will be called to pass a two-year budget. Dayton also said there's a "strong likelihood" that a government shutdown will occur." For...
Read the full article »
Minnesota is racing toward the Monday, May 23rd, deadline. Governor Dayton has indicated that he will reject any legislative budget proposals that resolve the deficit using cuts only; Dayton is calling for an approach that includes cuts and increased revenue. See Politics in Minnesota and MPR. Yesterday, the legislators passed to Governor Dayton their final budget proposal, which does not...
Read the full article »
The conference committees have been bustling in advance of the session deadline. House and Senate conference committee members agreed to the Health & Human Services budget amongst other budget areas. The Conference Committee Working Targets spreadsheet shows how each budget area's current proposal compares to the other policy areas, as well as how each compares to related proposals from earlier...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
Back into the swing of things, the legislature reconvened this week after a recess. There's very little consensus at the Capitol these days, but everyone seems to agree that there is a long way to go before a budget solution is reached. And time is beginning to run short. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits writes very helpful, accessible and in-depth...
Read the full article »
On Monday April 18th, the bill known as the Family Reunification Act of 2011(HF 749) had a hearing in the Civil Law Committee. The discussion of the bill was fascinating and contentious, with very different views from people concerned about child well-being. You can listen here. The committee voted to pass the bill and refer to the Judiciary Committee. The...
Read the full article »
The MN Legislature is on recess this week in observance of religious holidays. During the break in action, we thought you might like to hear more about the Northstar bill. Most years, the MN Department of Human Services puts forth its own bill regarding child welfare policy. This stands separate from the main DHS bill - it shows just how...
Read the full article »
We're so proud! In a time of budget crisis, our legislature is setting aside partisan politics and protecting some of Minnesota's most vulnerable. The Safe Harbor bill that we've been following is moving forward. It corrects problems in criminal law so that sexually exploited children are directed to support services rather than charged with crimes. The Star Tribune wrote a...
Read the full article »
This post will be updated with the upcoming hearings related to the Health and Human Services or the Conference Committee that is streamlining the HHS budget bill. We'll also keep a log at the bottom of this post so that you can watch video/listen to audio of the proceedings at a later date. Upcoming Hearings Thursday, May 12, 2011 -...
Read the full article »
The House passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill this week, SF760. Here are some of the key Child Welfare elements: Streamlining the Children and Community Services Act (CCSA), see line 30.21 Appropriation of $64.3 million for each biennium. For American Indian Child Welfare projects, see line 281.10 Subd. 14b. The amounts of the Children's Services Grants can be...
Read the full article »
Wednesday, April 6th, the full Minnesota House of Representatives voted on and passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill, SF760. The passage of the bill is a step toward major budget cuts to social service and health care programs across the state. For details of the debate, the vote, the bill's contents and next steps, you can read Minnesota...
Read the full article »
Monday April 4th was the 15th Annual Social Work Day at the Capitol. The local Fox 9 News covered the social workers' rally. Here's the short video: Social Workers' Rally Supports Dayton's Wealthy Tax: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com The MN Social Service Association put out a call to action. The full MN House, on April 6th, will begin debate on HF 927 (the...
Read the full article »
Social Work Day at the Capitol! Monday April 4th! Social workers have a lot to say about the major Health & Human Service policy and budget decisions at the capitol this session. Are you already planning to be there? Why don't you join in? Details about this important event here. Feeling down about the news coming out of the Capitol...
Read the full article »
A 3 minute update on the Senate's passage of the Health & Human Services Omnibus bill, with "deep cuts health, welfare programs": From Senator Hann, Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee: "The Minnesota Senate passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus Budget Bill today following a rigorous floor debate. The Senate Republicans' proposal offers a 6 percent...
Read the full article »
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...
Read the full article »
Below are a few Child Welfare snippets of the HF927 Omnibus Budget Bill, which is being heard this week in the House Health and Human Service Finance Committee. The omnibus bill is enormous (2011_HF927DeleteAll.pdf). House Research did a bill summary that highlights a few areas - a little easier to digest than 350 pages (review the bill summary here). Three...
Read the full article »
Wednesday, March 23, is a major day for public testimony on the proposed state budget solutions regarding Health and Human Services. Of the long list of testifiers (90!), I have highlighted four that are closely related to Child Welfare: Lucinda Jesson, Commissioner, Department of Human Services Mary Regan, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies Eric Ratzmann, Minnesota Association...
Read the full article »
This week is crunch time for budget decisions at the Capitol. As we learn of hearing schedules and budget decisions for the House and Senate, we'll keep this blog up-to-date. The House Health & Human Service Finance Committee HF927 Omnibus bill text and spread sheet are available to the public now on their website. More info will be forth coming....
Read the full article »
This week was interesting, but next week is sure to be busier! Why? There is a March 25th deadline for budget decisions, which will bring a flurry of activity next week. Child Welfare matters will arise in the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee, where the GOP budget bill will be unveiled on Tuesday, March 22. The committee will...
Read the full article »
There is a lot happening at the Capitol related to our field of Child Welfare! CASCW is keeping tabs on 40 bills that are related to child welfare, and watching 16 of these with a close eye. The majority of these bills have seen no action since they were introduced, when things start moving we'll update you. The focus now...
Read the full article »
Welcome back for another Child Welfare Week in Review! This week the US Supreme Court heard a case involving child abuse investigations at schools, regarding whether parent's consent is required before a child can be questioned at school by a child care worker or a police officer. Read mainstream media coverage, and in-depth legal analysis. In the MN House Health...
Read the full article »
As expected in a budget year, debates about spending continue to dominate this legislative session. So you think you can fix the Minnesota deficit? Give the budget your best shot with this online trial from MinnPost. Can you balance it? If you're reading this blog, chances are good that you have some opinions about the Child Welfare elements of the...
Read the full article »
Among many advocates who provided public testimony in the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee, two individuals spoke specifically about Child Welfare elements of the budget. This testimony took place on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. You can listen to the audio or view the video recordings at this link. The advocates who spoke about Child Welfare issues each have...
Read the full article »
Let's dig a little deeper into the Governor's budget recommendations, specifically the CCSA allocation and adoption assistance. The Children and Community Services Act is the bulk of the state's contribution to Child Protection. Since last year's reduction was passed as a one-time cut, and since the proposal to make last year's cuts to CCSA permanent were vetoed by the Governor,...
Read the full article »
This week, Governor Dayton released his budget proposal. Keep in mind that the legislature and the Governor are taking opposing approaches to resolving this budget deficit. So don't get too attached to the details within this budget, as it's very likely to change through the legislative process. That said, this link will take you to several resources about the Governor's...
Read the full article »
The Senate passed HF 130, the budget proposal cutting $900 million in state spending. This was a fast turnaround following the House passage of the bill late on 2/9. The bill was sent to the Governor, and he vetoed the bill within a couple hours of receiving it. You can read coverage here, here and here. And the Governor's veto...
Read the full article »
Yesterday afternoon was a busy one for Minnesota politics. The Senate passed HF 130, the budget proposal cutting $900 million in state spending. Read Senator Claire Robling's statement - she's the Senate Finance Chair, author of the Senate's companion bill to HF130 and a member of CASCW's Advisory Board. This was a pretty quick turnaround following the House passage of...
Read the full article »
Yesterday the House passed the first round of budget cuts on a 68-61 floor vote. Today, the Senate will vote on the same conference committee report. Though the timing isn't certain, it appears the floor vote will happen at 11:00 am. You can attend in person, or you can stream the vote online. While the bill is expected to pass,...
Read the full article »
House and Senate Conference Committee members worked fast to reach agreement on cuts of $1 billion dollars in state spending. As MPR News put it, "Child protection among losers in first round of budget cuts." The reductions to funding for Child and Community Service Assistance grants ($13.7 million a year, or 21%) have remained unchanged in recent weeks as the...
Read the full article »
The Minnesota Senate approved a first round of budget cuts today, including permanent reductions to the state's funding of the Child Protection System. Here's a quick bit of coverage. If you've been reading this blog, this is same bill we've been covering for the last couple weeks. The budget proposal passed the House (HF 130), now the Senate (SF 60)....
Read the full article »
It's looking very likely that the Senate will pass the proposed budget cuts to Child Welfare funding, part of the $1 billion budget cut proposed and passed by the House last week. So just what does a $13.6 million reduction mean for Minnesota's Child Welfare system? There are a few ways to look at this. Below is a basic overview...
Read the full article »
Where to begin? This was a fast-paced week for policy decisions impacting the Child Welfare field. So fast-paced that the Minnesota State Legislature's website couldn't even keep up with hearings, amendments, schedules and votes. Sources like MN Public Radio and the MN Budget Project have had up-to-date information and analysis. As noted in previous entries, the state's contribution to Child...
Read the full article »
HF 130, a bill that includes a 21% reduction to the Children and Community Services Assistance grants (the primary source of state funding for Child Protection services), passed the House in a close 68-63 vote yesterday. A floor vote on the companion bill in the Senate (SF 60) is anticipated on Monday, January 31. Tweet...
Read the full article »
This morning, SF 60, containing proposed cuts to the Children and Community Services Assistance (CCSA) grants, passed out of committee on a 9-6 roll call vote. Author, Sen. Robling, did propose amendments to the bill before the vote, including a reduction of the CCSA cut from $19.2 million (30% reduction) to $13.6 million (21% reduction). The next stop for this...
Read the full article »
You probably heard that Child Welfare (Child Protection) funds were included in the $1 billion spending cuts proposed by the legislature last week*. Maybe you also heard that HF 128 passed out of committee, and was referred to Ways and Means. This means that bill moved forward, but the action isn't done. Currently, three bills are bouncing around with the...
Read the full article »
On January 18th, legislators in the MN House and Senate introduced bills (HF 128, HF 130 and SF 60) that propose substantial cuts to Child Welfare funding in the state. State dollars are 15% of child welfare funding in Minnesota, and are mostly allocated through the Children and Community Services Act (CCSA). These bills propose a cut of $19 million...
Read the full article »

Archives