Child Wellbeing Update - August 2018

Key Highlights This Month:  

  • DHS Bulletin 18-68-14--MN Proof of Foster Care:   According to the Family First Prevention Services Act, (Public Law 115-123) as of February 9, 2018, a Title IV-E agency responsible for placement must provide a youth in foster care with any official documentation necessary to prove that they were previously in foster care. This must be done before a youth ages out of care.  The bulletin includes a form to be used for this purpose.  MACSSA CWB has requested this be added to eDocs and/or SSIS.  (See below for link to bulletin).
  • Foster Care Sibling Bill of Right:  The Bill of Rights was passed by the legislature.  Social Workers are to provide to children in foster care effective 8-1-18.  DHS is working on a bulletin with sample documents, to be released by the end of August.  MACSSA CWB has requested the forms be added to eDocs and/or SSIS. 
  • Systems of Care Grant:  DHS is reviewing the grant proposals from counties/tribes on 8-13 and expect to award the grants in September.  Requests surpassed available Grant and additional DHS funding.  DHS and county members attended the SOC national conference in July.  There was substantial information on residential treatment, PRTFs, impact of Families First Act, etc.  MACSSA may wish to consider asking DHS to request specific technical assistance to assist counties with planning.  
  • Wilder Center has been awarded the contract to work on the CMH Intensive Needs Study.  MACSSA is asking this include data on expenditures from counties.  (See below for link to overview of the study).
  • QPI event/training held in July.  Training focused on ABC Visitation (Attachment Bio behavioral Catch Up) and how foster parents can provide critical support during supervised visits.  ABC visitation is an evidenced-based intervention.  Current efforts to explore how implementation of ABC Visitation could be implemented in MN.  QPI forum being developed for fall 2018. 

Requested Actions Needed From MACSSA:  Based on recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on CP, DHS is making changes on how services are tracked in SSIS.  The first step is to have a more comprehensive list of services.  DHS is developing a new list of recommended services for review.  DHS will send to the CWB topic leads for distribution to the CWB email list (contact Brenda or Suzanne if you want to be added to the list).  After feedback is received the next step will be to develop a process for documenting and tracking services across program areas.  DHS wants to develop a process that auto-fills into case plans so not duplicate entry.  

New Trends in This Area:  

Families First Act continues to be a concern at the county and state level as we work through the potential impacts and opportunities.  Most states are waiting for the release from the feds of the list of services that will be included for potential funding under prevention services before determining whether to ask for the two year extension for compliance with the act.  There are many variables.  For instance, to qualify for IV-E, congregate care facilities must qualify as QRTPs.  To do so would require a licensing body to complete the accreditation and states feel this may overload current licensing bodies.  In addition, QRTPs must meet other requirements such as 24 hour nursing staff availability.  DHS wants to create a forum/process to regularly meet with and collaborate with counties on the Act.  MACSSA is working on a forum for September related to the Families First Act to assure all counties have information and for discussion of potential direction. 

Issues/Concerns Regarding This Topic:  Families First Act:  The Act requires background checks on ALL employees in congregate care institutes, including those not having direct child contact (janitor, cook).  This required legislative changes in the next session after the Act passed on Feb. 1. MN Legislative Session started later in Feb and this did not occur.  DHS is asking for a PIP to allow time to have legislative action in the 2019 session.  If the PIP is not approved, IV-E funding for any facility other than foster care would end 10/1/18.  DHS estimates a $7 million impact.  

Legislative Impacts:  Developing legislative priorities related to CWB and CMH.  This will a topic at the August MACSSA meetings so please bring your ideas!  Also, we will be seeking assistance in writing any legislative proposals.  Thank you!

Supporting Materials:  
Bulletin 18-68-14 Proof of Foster Care
Intensive MH Study

Contact(s):  Brenda Mahoney, Suzanne Arntson

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125 Charles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103

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