Child Welfare Finance Committee 2007 Report (continued)
The 21 legislators who attended the legislative briefing represented Republicans and Democrats, members from the Twin Cities area and greater Minnesota, and legislators from a wide variety of committee areas. Over 80 citizens from various walks of life were in the audience to demonstrate support and interest in improving our child welfare system.
At the November briefing Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller offered opening remarks followed by St Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Bishop Peter Rogness providing an opening statement and introduction for Tottiana Adams who read her poem entitled: “If home is where the heart is, then I’m heartless.” Staff from the Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Safety and Permanency Division followed with a brief presentation about child welfare in Minnesota. Steve Christian, child welfare expert for the National Conference of State Legislatures, then gave his presentation regarding child welfare funding in Minnesota. Joel Alter from the Minnesota Office of Legislative Auditor (OLA) was the final presenter and covered child welfare issues addressed in the report Human Services Administration from the OLA dated January 2007. The legislators in attendance asked questions of the gathered experts and expressed their interest in improving the child welfare system in Minnesota.
Based upon the information in this report, we make the following recommendations: 1. That Ramsey County should actively lobby state government to increase federal and/or state funding for child welfare in Minnesota.
Current Status of the Committee
The committee intends to continue its work, and will meet soon to discuss next steps.
The Child Welfare Finance Committee intends to continue to work with legislators and county officials to ensure that the child welfare system in Minnesota has adequate financial resources to meet the needs of children and families in the system.