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Crow Wing County reports 33 percent reduction in out-of-home placement costs

Crow Wing County reports expenditures for out-of-home placement costs were down 32.98 percent compared to the same time period last year.

Expenditures paid through June 30 totaled $1,092,808 compared to $1,630,793 for the same time period in 2012, a reduction of $537,985. June 2013 payments were down 16.5 percent compared to June 2012.

Gwen Anderson, Health and Social Services Division manager, said the county has put increased emphasis on early intervention and family preservation efforts.

“Our overall goal is to ensure and maintain the child’s safety while keeping families together. We will do this by linking the family with the community resources that will be most beneficial in helping them thrive and remain healthy. We believe that all families want to be healthy and succeed and sometimes all they need is a little extra support in their lives for a brief time,” Anderson said.

The purpose of child protection services is to help protect children from physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse, and to help families get the services they need to end abusive behavior and/or provide for their children’s needs. The program is mandated by state and federal law (Minnesota Statute 626.556, the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act, and CAPTA, the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act).

Anderson said the county is actively recruiting family foster homes, increasing the number of relative placements and shortening the length of stays in foster homes by providing improved mentoring and transition services.

“With early identification and intervention we can help families manage the problems before they become overwhelming and result in abuse or neglect. This approach increases the odds that the children will be able to safely remain in the home while issues are addressed,” Anderson said.

Based on current expenditures, 2013 projected yearend spending for out-of-home placements is expected to decrease by 22.5 percent.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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