Commissioners to hear of human services challenges

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will hear a report of human services challenges, including child placements, at its meeting Tuesday, March 28.

An increase in placement of children for child protection, particularly sibling groups, has filled foster homes and led to a higher need for treatment foster homes that come with a higher administrative fee to the agency providing supervision. Discussions are underway regarding efforts to bring more resources to the county and region.

Other agenda items include:

• Fraud/Collections Investigator Preston Cowing’s 2022 report including $723,306.50 collected, the highest collected since at least 2016. More than $8.8 million has been collected by the county since the program began in 1994. More than $3.2 million has been retained by the county.

Brown County had about $620,000 in outstanding collections at the end of 2022. The largest of those is $163,000 in MA (medical assistance) recoveries, $319,930 in detox bills and $148,355 in out of home placement costs.

• Brown County Human Services Director Barb Dietz reports that family facilitators Jennifer Winters, Sandi Koop, Kristen Forstner and Kami Castleman were awarded the Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA) Community Collaboration Award March 15 at the Celebration for Excellence Award Ceremony in Minneapolis.

They were nominated for the award by supervisor Denise Kamm and won the regional award last fall.

The board meeting begins at 9 a.m. March 28 in the courthouse commissioner’s room.


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