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S.F. No. 958 - Child welfare workforce stability, Minn-LInK, and caseload studies; Child Welfare Training System modification requirement; reporting, rulemaking, and appropriation - The First Engrossment
Author: Senator Andrew Mathews
Prepared By: Patrick Hauswald, Senate Counsel (651/296-5079)
Date: March 14, 2019


S.F. No. 958 requires the commissioner of human services to conduct studies to evaluate the state child care system, and to establish a Child Welfare Training Academy to provide updated, region-specific training to child welfare workers across the state.

Section 1 (260C.81) directs the commissioner of human services to study and develop strategies to address the following workforce issues in the child welfare system every two years, beginning June 30, 2021: (1) workforce intent to remain in child welfare, (2) statewide turnover rates, and (3) barriers to retention. It also directs the commissioner of human services to conduct an annual "Minn-LInK" study of the characteristics, experiences, and outcomes of children and families serviced by the child welfare system.

Section 2 directs the commissioner of human services to propose to the legislature a new training system, to be called the Child Welfare Training Academy, to replace the Child Welfare Training System. Using methods best suited to the training content, and national best practices in adult learning, the Academy will deliver targeted child welfare training to child welfare workers, supervisors, and out-of-home placement providers, through five regional hubs across the state. The training will include resources for worker well-being and secondary traumatic stress. Training recipients must complete a certification, including a competency-based knowledge test and a skills demonstration, upon completion of the worker’s initial training and then every two years.

The commissioner must partner with the University of Minnesota to administer the workforce training, and must partner with agencies to provide consultation, subject matter expertise, and capacity building in organizational resilience and child welfare workforce well-being.

Section 3 directs the commissioner of human services to study child welfare worker caseloads by July 1, 2020, report the results to the legislature by December 1, 2020, and to develop a process to monitor child welfare worker caseloads.

Section 4 increases the base appropriation for children's services grants, to accommodate the workforce study.

Section 5 appropriates ongoing funds for the Child Welfare Training Academy and onetime funds for the Minn-LInK and worker caseload studies.

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