SS Update - October 2017

Key Highlights This Month:  

Economic Assistance and Employment Supports Division

  • DHS has issued guidance through SIR on how to handle SNAP and MFIP applications from Hurricane evacuees.  The process will be to use regular rules, including to use expedited SNAP rules when appropriate.
  • Washington County and Legal Aid will be chairing a workgroup develop recommendations to exempt homeless able bodied adults from SNAP’s mandatory work requirements and time limits.  This work group replaces the ABAWD task force that had been meeting and convened by DHS.
  • In a little over a year, on December 1, 2018,  MFIP will disregard the income of a new spouse for the first 12 months of a new marriage, if a parent marries while receiving MFIP assistance. An internal DHS workgroup has begun the planning for MAXIS reprogramming, issuing detailed policy guidance, revising curriculum and the combined manual.  This new policy comes from a law passed during the 2017 legislative session.  (If the family is receiving MFIP child care assistance during those 12 months, the new spouse’s income will also not count for that program.)
  • The MFIP team will be collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Health on issuing an RFP to counties and local public health agencies, seeking sites that want to integrate home visiting and MFIP services for teen parents.  That RFP should be out in the next month.

Child Care Assistance Program/CCAP

  • Each agencies’ 2018-2019 County and Tribal Child Care Fund Plan was due 9/19/17.
  • Information about CCAP changes was presented at a MACSSA forum on 9/20/17.
  • A memo was sent to CCAP administrative and client access contacts on 10/9/17 providing information about CCAP policies related to the licensing provision for age flexibility without a licensing variance. This describes when care can be paid at a different age-category rate without a licensing variance.
  • CCAP manual changes to support Phase 1 changes effective in September was published. Manual changes to support Phase 2 changes effective 10/23/17 are expected to be published later this month.
  • A Bulletin describing the Phase 2 changes that take effect on 10/23/17 is expected to be published this week.
  • Information about Phase 2 changes will be presented at the MEC2 Mentor Meeting on 10/11/17.
  • A CCAP memo will be sent to county and tribal agencies this week with detail about upcoming training opportunities, including information about in-person training throughout the state beginning in November.
  • Information related to the reauthorization changes (Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3) will be posted to SIR in the Training Toolkit. A SIR login ID is required

Child Support Division (CSD)

Highlights/New Initiatives

KMOJ Outreach – CSD signed an agreement with KMOJ radio for an awareness campaign for child support and related topics that includes a series of monthly interviews, announcements, and website banners, to educate listeners on a child support and other CFS topics.

Department of Correction Visitation Video – As a result of strategic review of CSD’s use of Access and Visitation Grant funding, the Department of Correction identified a need for a video to help children feel more comfortable when they visit non-custodial parents. The intent is that parents could view it with children and talk about what they will see and experience. This unique video is currently being scripted. When completed, it will be reproduced and shared with partners around the state.

Minnesota Family Support and Recovery Council - The annual statewide conference that brings together case workers and managers from Minnesota counties and CSD staff to learn about and discuss pertinent topics, took place the first week of October in St. Cloud. CSD presented a range of topics including the federal final rule, parenting expense adjustment changes, BlueZone scripts and others.

National Child Support Enforcement Association 2019 Conference: NCSEA will be hold their annual conference in the Minnesota in 2019.  More information including how to volunteer will be forthcoming.


Ongoing Program Work

Child Support Task Force Meetings

A reporter from Lakeland Public Television News covered the task force meeting in Brainerd on September 27. Here’s a link to the story - https://lptv.org/child-support-task-force-visits-brainerd/

Minnesota Public Radio interviewed Jimmy Loyd, task force chairperson, about the role of the task force and the public comment meetings. Here’s the text of what aired…”A legislative task force is asking people to share their experiences with the state's child support system.  This fall the group is holding public hearings to help come up with recommendations to change the system. Task force chairman Jimmy Lloyd represents parents.  He says they're hearing from many parents about unfair payment orders. “The orders are disproportionate to the income, they're having a hard time getting the orders changed to reflect their current income”. Lloyd says they also have to balance protecting the financial stability of parents who have chief custody of their children. The panel is required to submit a list of recommendations to the legislature by February of next year.”


Contracts, Grants and RFP’s

The Access and Visitation Grant (AV) contracts were renewed for federal fiscal year (FFY)18 with Family Wise and Central MN Legal Services.

Website change

Child Support Task Force website – CSD added content relevant to previous and future meetings including agendas, minutes, presentations and additional resources.

Child Support – Partners and Providers website – CSD and the other CFS divisions updated and migrated content from the DHS Partners and Providers section of the public website to the new content management system.

Requested Actions Needed From MACSSA:  

New Trends in This Area:  

Issues/Concerns Regarding This Topic:  

Legislative Impacts:  

Supporting Materials:  


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