Freeborn County provides the following services for the safety and well-being of families and children. Services offered are in the areas of family support, protection services, nurturing & parenting support for families and teen parents, child care and foster care licensing, foster and substitute care for children and some subsidized services.
Child Protection/Child Welfare Case Management/Assessments
Freeborn County has the responsibility and authority to assure that children alleged to be abused or neglected are protected from harm or danger and that children in need of protection or services receive the appropriate help. This is a major responsibility and is taken very seriously by this department. Safety and well-being is provided by identifying strengths and needs of families, working together to develop goals and coordination of resources to support the needs of the child(ren) and caretakers.
Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP)
Many reports of possible child maltreatment are received but are "screened out" from further action because the reported incident does not meet the legal standards of abuse/neglect criteria. In many of these cases however, there are still factors that put children at potential risk. To help those families and possibly avert future incidents of child maltreatment, the Minnesota Department of Human Services implemented the Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP). PSOP provides early intervention, outreach and supportive services to families with at least one child under the age of 10 who are "screened out" from the child protection system but are still at risk.
PSOP is a voluntary program offering short-term services for parents to access when they need:
- support with tasks such as connecting to community resources and information
- assistance in planning how to meet daily obligations
- parent education and child development
- decision making and case planning
SUPPORT IS VOLUNTARY!
One of the key aspects of PSOP is that participation by families is entirely voluntary. PSOP workers are skilled in family engagement and collaboration techniques.
Nearly 50% of families contacted agree to meet with a PSOP worker and accept services. In these meetings, the PSOP worker conducts a comprehensive assessment of family needs and strengths and together with the family, makes decisions about what services or community-based resources should be accessed to support the family.
Family Group Decision Making is also available to many of these families to assist them in developing or deepening supportive relationships with extended family members and other informal supports. Referrals are frequently made to community-based supports such as food shelves, clothing closets, free health clinics and child development screening services.
Minor Parent Assessments
Minor Parent services were established to assist young mothers in making a plan for themselves and their baby and to make sure needed services are accessed. Every birth is reported to the Child Protection/Child Welfare unit as required by MN State Statute 257.33, Subd. 2.
MINOR PARENT SERVICES ELIGIBILITY:
- Teens who are under the age of 18 and in their third trimester of pregnancy.
- Teens who are under the age of 18 and already parenting.
- Teens who have been identified on the 72-hour birth report.
MINOR PARENT SERVICES PROVIDE:
- Outreach assistance to pregnant or parenting teens for service/resource referrals. Examples of these include: counseling, financial and medical assistance, housing & child care options, paternity and child support services.
- Assistance for a pregnant or parenting teen in establishing a plan for herself and her child.