News from DHS for May 2017

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News from DHS

May 2017

News from DHS archive

In this issue:

Commissioner Emily Piper issues statement on approval of state budget

On Tuesday, May 30, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill to fund the Minnesota Department of Human Services for the next two years, as well as a bonding bill to pay for needed construction. DHS Commissioner Emily Piper issued a statement about the approval of the state budget, which can be found on the DHS website.

More foster homes needed as demand grows

With more children in the foster care system, the need for foster parents is great. The number of children in foster care on an average day increased by 51 percent from almost 6,200 in 2013 to almost 9,400 in 2016. The growing numbers of children in the child protection system are due, in part, to increased awareness about child protection issues, changes in how reports are reviewed, a growing opioid crisis, and children staying in care longer. All of these factors have led to an increased number of foster children. Read more in a news release about Foster Care Month.

Minnesota prevention effort reduces teen drinking

Challenging misconceptions and talking about what teens are doing right can result in real reductions in teen alcohol use. This is one of the findings of a new report from the Minnesota Department of Human Services: “Youth Alcohol Prevention That Works: Reducing Youth Alcohol Use Through Positive Community Norms in Minnesota.” Positive Community Norms, funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a 10-year-old initiative offering grants to school districts and communities to decrease teen alcohol consumption. Read more in a news release about Positive Community Norms.

‘Mental Health is Health’ reminds us that mental health is a critical part of health care

“Mental health is health” is the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ theme for May’s Mental Health Month. That slogan reminds Minnesotans that not only are mental illnesses common and treatable, but access to mental and chemical health care is an essential part of everyone’s health. Each year, one in five Minnesotans experience mental illness, and one in 25 people live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Fortunately, there are more treatments, services and community support than ever before, and, as a result, many people with mental illness can and do recover. Read more in a news release about Mental Health Month.

Rural Minnesotans saw biggest insurance gains from Affordable Care Act

New analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health shows the number of Minnesotans without health insurance dropped more sharply in Greater Minnesota than in urban areas since 2011. The MDH analysis also found that rural Minnesota continues to have a higher proportion of residents enrolled in the state’s public insurance programs (Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare). By 2015, 28 percent of rural Minnesotans under 65 were covered by public insurance, compared to 22 percent of those in urban areas. While insurance coverage improved, some residents still struggled to access and pay for health care services. Nearly a quarter of rural Minnesotans had difficulty paying medical bills and 1 in 5 did not get needed health services because of cost. More information is on the DHS website.

DHS launches Outstanding Refugee Awards

The Minnesota Department of Human Services recently accepted nominations for its first annual Outstanding Refugee Awards to celebrate the strength, courage and resilience of people who have had refugee status in Minnesota or are the children of refugees, and to recognize their contributions to our state. The award winners will be announced this summer. Outstanding individuals will be recognized in each region, and awards will be presented in three categories: Entrepreneurship Award, Civic Leadership Awards and Youth Leadership Award. Read more on the DHS website.

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DHS in the community

Foster care and adoption rally

DHS Children and Family Services Assistant Commissioner Jim Koppel and Jessica Rogers, Connections to Independence executive director, at the Annual Foster Care and Adoption Awareness Rally on Saturday, May 20 in Minneapolis.

Foster care night with the Saints

Foster parents Joe Hrbacek, Hennepin County, and Jonathan Parnell, Ramsey County, threw out ceremonial first pitches, along with other foster parents, before the St. Paul Saints took on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Monday, May 15, during an event to recognize Foster Care Month.

In the news

Links to some news articles about DHS during May:

Fact sheets updated during May

Fact sheets about DHS programs were updated during May: