Promising trends in Beltrami County’s child placement crisis

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– Beltrami County’s out of home placements appear to be on a downward trend, based on the most recent data.

]Health and Human Services directors Becky Secore and Jeff Lind presented to the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners yesterday for an annual update.

In 2017, there were 1,262 out of home placement cases in the county and in 2018, that number dropped to 1,158. 

Even though out of home placements appear to be dropping, the root causes of why these children are removed from their homes does not seem to be going away, with Lind citing several examples of methamphetamine use in the home being a main driver of placements.

Jeff Lind, Beltrami County Health and Human Services

This past legislative session the Red Lake Initiative funding was passed, which will allow Red Lake to take over the legal and financial services for out of home placements.

Beltrami County also received $3 million in tax relief from the state to support the loss of funding through out of home placements.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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