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What’s new for: CountyLink

Training on mental health challenges of adopted children coming in March

Minnesota county, tribal and private mental health practitioners are invited to participate in a new web-based training initiative on the unique mental health challenges of children adopted from foster care. Pilot testing of the National Adoption Mental Health Training Initiative begins in March. The course is intended to equip mental health practitioners with tools to better assess and help adoptive families. Minnesota is one of nine pilot sites for the training. Those interested can sign up for more information about the training on the Center for Adoption Support and Education website.

DHS seeking Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards nominations

Nominations are being accepted for the annual Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards, which recognize excellence among human services providers, counties, tribes, advocacy groups and other organizations that work in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to help people meet their basic needs so they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential. The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28. For more information and to access the nomination form, visit the Commissioner’s Awards page.

County Human Service Cost Report is available online

The annual Minnesota County Human Service Cost Report for Calendar Year 2016 (PDF) is available on DHS’ public website. The report, compiled by the Financial Operations Division, contains statewide and county-specific costs and revenue shares for economic support, health and social service programs.

New video details options for mothers, fathers for establishing parentage

Many parents don’t know their options or understand the benefits of determining parentage when their child is born. The Minnesota Department of Human Services created a new video, “Establishing Parentage — What Every Mother and Father Should Know,” to help new, unmarried parents decide how they want to establish parentage and understand the benefits. The video focuses on two ways to establish parents, signing the Recognition of Parentage form or genetic testing. The video also covers related subjects, such as child support, custody and parenting time. DHS translated the eight-minute video into four languages. More information is available on the recognition of parentage page.

DHS, counties reach out to parents to reinstate driver’s licenses

During Child Support Awareness Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and county support offices are sending letters to parents who have fallen behind on child support to help them start paying again and get their driver’s licenses back. The goal is to help parents get back on track and help their children get the financial support they need. Last August, Ramsey County implemented a similar project. Since then, parents owing child support have paid $330,000 million in support. DHS and other counties will institute a similar project across the state. More information is on the child support website page.

Task force working to improve child support guidelines

Established by the 2016 Minnesota Legislature, the Child Support Task Force is working to develop recommendations to improve Minnesota’s child support guidelines. The task force includes parents, legislators, court and child support professionals, and staff from organizations that work with parents who pay or receive child support. Starting in September, the task force will feature expanded time for public comments at its next four meetings for parents to share their experiences, challenges and make suggestions for program improvements. The meetings with time for public comments will end in December. More information about the child support task force is on the department’s website.

DHS interpreter poster now features 15 languages

Minnesotans are speaking more languages, which is why DHS’ interpreter poster (PDF) (DHS-4739-ENG) has recently been updated. The new poster features six new languages: Amharic, Burmese, Cantonese/Traditional Chinese, French, Karen and Korean. These languages are in addition to the previous languages, which are: Arabic, Hmong, Cambodian/Khmer, Lao, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. More information is in a story about the interpreter poster.

Background documents analyze child care access, monitoring, oversight

The licensed child care issue brief, Understanding Licensed Child Care in Minnesota (PDF), provides licensing data along with an analysis of issues facing licensed child care in Minnesota. These issues include monitoring and oversight activities as well as the availability of licensed care in the state in 2016. The fact sheets address commonly asked questions and provide insight on trends in licensed care. These resources are intended to inform families, licensed providers, policy makers and other key stakeholders about licensed child care in Minnesota.

DHS launches Olmstead web page and email news service

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan now has a home on the DHS website. Through the Olmstead Plan, Minnesota is paving the way for people with disabilities to express their preferences for how they choose to live, learn, work and engage in community life, while receiving the supports they need to be safe and successful. DHS is working closely with community partners and other state agencies to make Minnesota a leader in supporting choice for people with disabilities. The “Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Olmstead Plan” page contains DHS-specific news, information and materials about the plan, including successes, fact sheets, and other materials of interest to a wide range of audiences.

Videos to help SNAP Employment and Training participants

The Minnesota Department of Human Services, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, has produced two orientation videos for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) participants. The videos, produced in English and Spanish, introduce viewers to what SNAP Employment and Training does to help Minnesotans transition from public assistance to self-sufficiency by preparing for and obtaining gainful employment. A Somali language video is currently in production and will be published later in 2016. More information can be found on the department’s SNAP Employment and Training Program webpage.

'Follow' DHS page on Facebook

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has a departmentwide Facebook page that will feature a variety of content helping to share the DHS mission. DHS invites Facebook users to share constructive ideas, information, opinions and stories. Social media guidelines and links to all official DHS social media accounts can be found in the social media statement.

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