Out-of-home placements rising, YMC report shows

GRANITE FALLS — Yellow Medicine County Service Center Director Rae Ann Keeler-Aus is reporting today to the board of commissioners an overall increase of out-of-home placements (OHP) from 2016 to 2017.

The rising child protection case numbers are resulting in adoptions.

“In January 2017, Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) was ordered on two kids with pending adoption,” Keeler-Aus said. “Five children were on Trial Home Visit (TVH) so there is no payment for foster care (FC).”

In February, the adoption on the two children was still pending because the state requires a 6-month waiting period.

“Termination of parental rights proceeded on three children,” Keeler-Aus said. “Five children on THV, so there is no payment for FC.

“All child protection in March 2017 were drug related,” she said. “Five of the 14 children were pending adoption.”

In May, two new sibling groups entered child protection foster care due to drug use. Two children were pending adoption in early June. Three children were starting adoptions process, Keeler-Aus said.

“Twelve families of the 23 in child protection in June were families involved in child protection,” Keeler-Aus said. “They were all drug-related.”

Six children in June were pending adoption, two of which were adopted on July 6.

Two sibling groups were pending adoption in the following three months.

“In August, all child protection placements were related to drug use,” Keeler-Aus said.

With four children in facility placements, the cost was $22,420, she said.

In September, sibling groups were still pending adoption. Three children with parents were under a THV.

Keeler-Aus said that in October, out-of-home placements were avoided by using alcohol home monitoring PBT tests.

They also avoided seven kids in OHP by relocating with other family.

“The sibling groups pending adoption are hopeful for January 2018,” she said. “Three children we don’t pay OHP.”

In November, two CP children were reunified with their parent. Four CP kids are scheduled for adoption in December and two kids left CP on Nov. 7.

The increase in each month’s total had an average of 7.58 increase in OHP in 2017 over the corresponding month in 2016, with child protection seeing the largest increase of 23 in June and again in July.

“Each family situation is unique and the need for out of home placement isn’t determined by the type of case (child protection or children’s mental health or delinquency) but rather determined by the situation/need of the families that we serve,” Keeler-Aus said.

“We have seen an increase in child protection intakes (reports) in 2017, which is a trend statewide. The more intakes equals more open cases, which equals more in out-of-home placement.”

Other topics to come before the YMC Board today include a request from Neighbors United Resource Center, a presentation from Mental Health Local Advisory and a report from Sharon Hendrichs on Restorative Justice.