Self-Sufficiency Update - May 2018

Key Highlights This Month:  

Child Care Assistance Program/CCAP

 In-person training was offered in March and April across the state. Over 300 workers participated in training.

  •  DHS CCAP recently published an update to the CCAP Policy Manual to incorporate and clarify new policies.
  •  DHS CCAP is creating Guidance for Redetermination Processing and System Functionality that will be issued in a DHS memo this month. The intent of this guidance is to further assist workers in understanding best practices in processing redeterminations in light of system changes. Guidance will expand on information shared at in-person trainings.
  •  County and tribal agencies must report death, maltreatment and serious injury incidents for 1st quarter of 2018. A DHS Memo was issued April 20, 2018. This is the first time DHS has requested information about serious injury incidents. Agencies should submit the report to DHS CCAP by May 18, 2018.
  •  DHS CCAP continues to work towards full compliance with the federal law. Some of these changes are included in the House and Senate HHS Omnibus bills, including a rate increase, provisions for homeless families, extending time on portability pool as long as needed and changing eligibility for TY child care to receipt of an MFIP grant from 3 months to 1 month, to ensure that families who start on CCAP while on MFIP can stay on for 12 months. Language needed to give providers due process rights and require LNL providers to have annual inspections and align training requirements with federally required topics is not in any active legislation. The department will be assessing changes that can be done without legislation if some items do not pass.
  •  DHS drafted Minnesota’s 2019-2021 Federal CCDF plan. Public hearings to discuss Minnesota’s draft plan were held on April 23 (daytime) and April 25 (evening). Public comments will continue to be accepted through June 8. More details is available on the DHS website. People who want to be involved and to receive regular updates can send an email to CCDFReform@state.mn.us and ask to be added to the list serve.
  •  DHS CCAP has implemented Phase 4 – 2017 legislative changes related to program integrity. These changes limit payments:
    • to centers who care for more than 25 children of center employees and
    • to providers designated as a secondary provider

System changes for the 25 children change are available in the system. System changes for the secondary provider change will be available this fall. A bulletin was published in April detailing changes.

 Economic Assistance and Employment Supports:

  • The MFIP Employment Services Manual is half-way through a complete re-write and re-design:  Staff from the MFIP policy team at DHS have been working with representatives of MFIP employment services, including an employment services manager from Ramsey and from Hennepin County, to make the MFIP employment services manual clearer, easier to understand and easier to search.  The workgroup has been meeting every six weeks and will begin meeting every four weeks, with hopes to be finished in January 2019.  The employment services and county staff involved have worked hard and smart and are making a significant difference.
  • Baby’s First Years: a research project examining the effects of low-income environments on children’s cognitive development and brain development. Minnesota will be one of three sites in the nation where a multi-year research project will examine whether extra income to families in poverty with newborns impacts brain development in the first three years of life.  The research team will randomly select 250 families in poverty with newborns.  Half the families will receive $250 a year for the first three years of the child’s life and the other half will receive $333 a month for those first three years.  The researchers wanted to ensure that the income – which is a gift to the family from private foundations –  would not offset other resources that the families might turn to.  Thanks to a special statute, the following programs will not count the income the families will receive: Minnesota Family Investment Program, Diversionary Work Program, Medical Assistance, and Child Care Assistance.  In addition, the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) administered by the MN Department of Commerce will also disregard the income.  Public Housing programs in Saint Paul and Minneapolis will also accommodate program participants.  The families will be recruited at a Saint Paul and a Minneapolis hospital, so Hennepin and Ramsey county staff have been preparing in case any of those families will be receiving or applying for public assistance. The researchers will learn how the families use the additional income and a partnership with a pediatric neurologist will allow them to determine whether there is any impact on brain development after three years. The initial recruitment of families is expected to begin this summer.  DHS will send out additional information.

 Child Support

  • Recent and Upcoming Events
    • Community Outreach
      • The next CSD All-Staff meeting is on May 16
      • CSD staff will attend Spring Re-entry Fairs at the Federal Prison Camps in Duluth and Sandstone on May 16
      • The next Child Support Task Force meeting is on May 30
      • CSD staff will attend the MN Correctional Facility Transitions Resource Fair on June 6
      • CSD staff will attend, exhibit, and present at the National Tribal Child Support Association Annual Tribal Conference from June 10 - 14
      • The next Big Nine meeting is on June 13
      • CSD staff are attending and presenting at the MN County Attorneys Association Conference on June 15
  • Highlights/New Initiatives
    • KMOJ Outreach – Division staff continue to work on the monthly interviews for this campaign to educate listeners on child support and other CFS topics. Although the division and KMOJ have a tentative schedule of interview guests, dates and topics can change. The May 18 guests will be Rose McCullough, from NorthPoint, and Shaneen Moore talking about the new co-parenting initiative.
  • Child Support Task Force – At its January meeting, the task force decided to suspend their monthly meetings until May 2018. The group also decided to form two small groups to focus on key issues like the self-support reserve and adjustments for non-joint children. The small groups will report back to the larger task force on May 30.


  • New Parenting Expense Adjustment Law – CSD staff have been communicating to various stakeholders and training county child support staff at locations around the state on the changes coming with this new law. The new law, which is effective Aug. 1, 2018, changes how courts adjust basic child support amounts for parenting expenses based on the number of overnights parents spend with their children.
  • Ongoing Program Work
    • Division Operations and Grant Management
      • Active budget and contracting reviews are underway to ensure contracts are fully executed and funds are expended as planned before the end of FY18.


  • More than ten counties completed BlueZone script 7.1.5 testing to verify this update allows smoother MAXIS & PRISM script use by case workers, especially in Windows 10 environments. Counties are now cleared to install this upgrade.
  • Systems Modernization – The division submitted the Planning Advanced Planning Document to Administration for Children and Families for funding of a feasibility study on April 13th, and hope to receive approval by mid-June. This will be the first step in the planning phase to develop a new system for Minnesota’s child support program.
  • Regression Model– The division has partnered with Human Services Performance Management and counties to improve performance measures by using a regression model, a statistical process to develop more accurate performance thresholds. A meeting is scheduled on June 7th for counties and DHS to work collaboratively on developing the model.
  • Grants, Contracts, and RFP’s
  • The receipting RFP that CSD has worked to develop is now being reviewed by FOD with a target goal of mid-July for posting with a vendor in place July 1, 2019.
  • Meanwhile, the RFP for the Systems Modernization Feasibility Study is in active development. The hope is to have a vendor in place by mid-fall.
  • Website changes
    • Child Support Task Force website – CSD added content relevant to previous and future meetings including agendas, minutes, presentations and additional resources.

Requested Actions Needed From MACSSA:  

New Trends in This Area:  

This article was submitted by Dave Sayler. This is an excellent article on the Average Cost of Childcare in Each State.  It highlights the following charts:  Average Monthly Cost of Childcare For an Infant and a Toddler; Annual Childcare Costs For an Infant and a Toddler as a Percentage of Average Family Income; How Much More Expensive is Center-Based Childcare Than Home-Based Care; and Average Annual Childcare Costs for an Infant and a Toddler.   


Issues/Concerns Regarding This Topic:  

Legislative Impacts:  

Supporting Materials:  

 See Bulletin # 17-68-19 for changes that took effect September 25, 2017:  Federal and State Changes to the Child Care Assistance Program – Phase 1

 See Bulletin # 17-68-22 for changes that took effect October 23, 2017: Federal and State Changes to the Child Care Assistance Program - Phase 2

 See Bulletin # 17-68-26 for changes that took effect December 18, 2017: Federal and State Changes to the Child Care Assistance Program - Phase 3

 See Bulletin # 18-68-07 for changes that took effect April 23, 2018: Federal and State Changes to the Child Care Assistance Program - Phase 4

Contact(s):  Barb Dahl, Brad Thiel

© Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators

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