Hennepin County, Minnesota, has been working towards an overhaul of its child protective services for the past few years, hoping to create a model for other counties across the country. Beginning with an assessment by a national child welfare organization in 2015, the county is now launching a $26 million multi-year project aimed at turning the focus of their efforts from reaction to prevention.
The new model will add over 200 employees to the county staff. This increase in staff will allow more manageable caseloads, improve communications between the county, police, and schools, and better connect families to mental health or employment services as needed.
Along with improving the welfare of children and families in the county, the new model is ultimately expected to reduce overall expenses by reducing the high costs of foster care and relocation programs which have been rapidly increasing in recent years.