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256E.08 Duties of county boards.

Subdivision 1. Responsibilities. The county board of each county shall be responsible for administration, planning and funding of community social services. Each county board shall singly or in combination with other county boards as provided in section 256E.09 prepare a social services plan and shall update the plan biennially. Upon final approval of the plan by the county board or boards, the plan shall be submitted to the commissioner. The county board shall distribute money available pursuant to sections 256E.06 and 256E.07 for community social services.

The authority and responsibilities of county boards for social services for groups of persons identified in section 256E.03, subdivision 2, shall include contracting for or directly providing:

(1) information about the symptoms and characteristics of specific problems of the identified groups to increase understanding and acceptance by the general public, to help alleviate fears of seeking help, and to enable access to appropriate assistance;

(2) an assessment of the needs of each person applying for assistance which estimates the nature and extent of the problem to be addressed and identifies the means available to meet the person's needs. These diagnostic and evaluation activities shall evaluate the functioning of each person with regard to an illness or disability, screen for placement, and determine the need for services;

(3) protection aimed at alleviating urgent needs of each person by determining urgent need, shielding persons in hazardous conditions when they are unable to care for themselves, and providing urgently needed assistance;

(4) supportive and rehabilitative activities that assist each person to function at the highest level of independence possible for the person, preferably without removing the person from home. These activities include coordinating with local public rehabilitation agencies, local education agencies, and other agencies, both to increase the client's level of functioning and to maintain current levels of functioning;

(5) a means of facilitating access of physically handicapped or impaired persons to activities appropriate to their needs; and

(6) administrative activities to coordinate and facilitate the effective use of formal and informal helping systems to best address client needs and goals. This includes assisting the client in making informed decisions about opportunities and services, assuring timely access to needed assistance, providing opportunities and encouragement for self-help activities, and coordinating all services to meet the client's needs and goals. County case management shall be responsible for determining appropriate care and activities.

A county board may delegate to a local social services agency established under chapter 393 authority to provide or approve contracts for the purchase of the kinds of community social services that were provided or contracted for by the county welfare boards before the enactment of Laws 1979, chapter 324. The county board must determine how citizens will participate in the planning process, give final approval to the community social services plan, and distribute community social services money.

Subd. 2. County staff. The board may appoint a director of community social services to serve at the pleasure of the board and to perform the administrative functions required of the board by sections 256E.01 to 256E.12. The board may assign to the director of community social services the duties of the welfare director as described in section 393.04.

Subd. 3. Administration of income maintenance programs. The county board may designate itself, a human services board, or a local social services agency to perform the functions of local social services agencies as prescribed in chapter 393 and assigned to county agencies in other law which pertains to the administration of income maintenance programs known as aid to families with dependent children, Minnesota family investment program-statewide, general assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid, medical assistance, general assistance medical care, and emergency assistance.

Subd. 4. Contracts for services. The county board may contract for community social services programs with a human services board, a multicounty board established by a joint powers agreement, other political subdivisions, or private organizations. The final approval of the community social services plan required in section 256E.09 shall be made by the county board of each county. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to negate any collective bargaining unit agreements that are operative on July 1, 1979 between currently existing exclusive representatives and the county.

Subd. 5. Community social services fund. In the accounts and records of each county there shall be created a community social services fund. All money provided for community social services programs under sections 256E.06 and 256E.07 and all other revenues; fees; grants-in-aid, including those from public assistance programs identified in section 256E.03, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), that pay for services such as child care, waivered services under the medical assistance programs, alternative care grants, and other services funded by these programs through federal or state waivers; gifts; or bequests designated for community social services purposes shall be identified in the record of the fund and in the report required in subdivision 8. This fund shall be used exclusively for planning and delivery of community social services as defined in section 256E.03, subdivision 2. If county boards have joined for purposes of administering community social services, the county boards may create a joint community social services fund. If a human services board has been established, the human services board shall account for community social services money as required in chapter 402.

Subd. 6. Fees for services. The county board may establish a schedule of fees based upon clients' ability to pay to be charged to recipients of community social services. Payment, in whole or in part, for services may be accepted from any person except that no fee may be charged to persons or families whose adjusted gross household income is below the federal poverty level. When services are provided to any person, including a recipient of aids administered by the federal, state or county government, payment of any charges due may be billed to and accepted from a public assistance agency or from any public or private corporation.

Subd. 7. Repealed, 1987 c 363 s 14

Subd. 8. Reporting by counties. Beginning in calendar year 1980 each county shall submit to the commissioner of human services a financial accounting of the county's community social services fund, and other data required by the commissioner under section 256E.05, subdivision 3, paragraph (g), shall include:

(a) A detailed statement of income and expenses attributable to the fund in the preceding quarter; and

(b) A statement of the source and application of all money used for social services programs by the county during the preceding quarter, including the expenditures for each service provided, as required by the commissioner of human services.

In addition, each county shall submit to the commissioner of human services no later than February 15 of each year, a detailed balance sheet of the community social development fund for the preceding calendar year.

If county boards have joined or designated human service boards for purposes of providing community social services programs, the county boards may submit a joint statement or the human service board shall submit the statement, as applicable.

Subd. 9. Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1

Subd. 10. Intercounty cooperation. Two or more contiguous counties that are situated within the boundaries of the same region designated pursuant to sections 462.381 to 462.396 or the metropolitan area as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, and that have not established a human services board may, by resolution of their respective county boards, agree to combine into one board for social service purposes to serve the counties that enter into the agreement. The joint board shall have the same powers, duties, and functions as the individual county boards. The term of the joint board, withdrawal from the joint board, composition of the board, and contribution to the expenses of the board shall be according to the terms of the agreement. Nothing in this section shall prevent a county board from purchasing services from an agency outside the boundaries of the Minnesota economic development region in which it is situated. A joint board established pursuant to this section may encompass completely two regions. Insofar as possible, social services which are jointly administered shall be equally accessible to all residents of the counties that are party to the agreement.

Subd. 11. Use of community social services funds for foster care. If foster care services are described in a county's community social services plan, the county may use funds from its community social services fund to provide foster care benefits on behalf of children for whom the county has legal placement responsibility pursuant to court order or voluntary placement agreement.

HIST: 1979 c 324 s 8; 1981 c 355 s 12-14; 1983 c 10 s 1; 1983 c 151 s 4; 1984 c 378 s 1; 1984 c 609 s 19; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1Sp1985 c 9 art 2 s 67; 1986 c 394 s 20; 1986 c 413 s 3; 1986 c 444; 1989 c 89 s 18,19; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 128; 1990 c 426 art 1 s 30; 1991 c 94 s 18; 1994 c 631 s 31; 1995 c 207 art 11 s 7; 1996 c 416 s 2; 1996 c 465 art 3 s 40; 1997 c 85 art 4 s 19

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes