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Chisago County Citizen Review Panel Activities (continued)

At our November meeting the Chisago Citizen Review Panel unanimously joined with the other three Minnesota Citizen Review Panels in adopting a resolution supporting the efforts of the A Minnesota Without Poverty Initiative. This initiative encourages Minnesota citizens and legislators to leverage knowledge and more resources to better care for and protect children.

The Chisago County Citizen Review Panel (CRP) continued to monitor the impact of lost staff and contract positions that occurred in December 2006. The CRP gathered information and data pertaining to numbers of cases, caseload size, and impact this has on providing services to children and families in the community. Long term effects are still unknown as the county continues to re- assign and reclassify positions to accommodate for fewer staff.

The Chisago County Citizen Review Panel continued to participate in Chisago County’s redetermination process by reviewing requests for reconsideration of maltreatment findings. The panel members were again asked to participate in infant and child mortality reviews.

During discussions about child welfare financing in Minnesota and the impact on local services, our panel began to wonder if the general public understands the extent of services provided through this financing. We decided that one of the roles of our panel might be to assist in educating the public on the value of the services and necessity to adequately finance them. Thus, we’ve begun to plan a forum to address these issues.

Chisago County Citizen Review Panel established a budget and welcomed two new members, bringing the membership total to eight.

Carl Andor and Katie Maier are serving on the planning committee for the Seventh Annual National Citizen Review Panel Conference, which will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota in May 2008.

Committees

Given the nature of the panel’s activities this year, there has not been a need for separate committees.

Recommendations

In order to continue to monitor the impact of lost positions on child and family services in Chisago County, we would ask that Chisago County Health and Human Services continue to update us on how they are responding to these cuts. Specifically, what programs, services and resources are being provided differently or not at all, and how are caseload sizes, children and families being impacted.

It is requested that Chisago County Health and Human Services continue to provide quarterly progress reports on their Program Improvement Plan (PIP).

In addition, we would like to be advised what effect A Minnesota Without Poverty Initiative (an initiative we support) has on child welfare financing statewide.

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