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256J.575 FAMILY STABILIZATION SERVICES.
    Subdivision 1. Purpose. (a) The family stabilization services serve families who are not
making significant progress within the Minnesota family investment program (MFIP) due to a
variety of barriers to employment.
    (b) The goal of the services is to stabilize and improve the lives of families at risk of
long-term welfare dependency or family instability due to employment barriers such as physical
disability, mental disability, age, or providing care for a disabled household member. These
services promote and support families to achieve the greatest possible degree of self-sufficiency.
    Subd. 2. Definitions. The terms used in this section have the meanings given them in
paragraphs (a) to (d).
    (a) "Case manager" means the county-designated staff person or employment services
counselor.
    (b) "Case management" means the services provided by or through the county agency
or through the employment services agency to participating families, including assessment,
information, referrals, and assistance in the preparation and implementation of a family
stabilization plan under subdivision 5.
    (c) "Family stabilization plan" means a plan developed by a case manager and the participant,
which identifies the participant's most appropriate path to unsubsidized employment, family
stability, and barrier reduction, taking into account the family's circumstances.
    (d) "Family stabilization services" means programs, activities, and services in this section
that provide participants and their family members with assistance regarding, but not limited to:
    (1) obtaining and retaining unsubsidized employment;
    (2) family stability;
    (3) economic stability; and
    (4) barrier reduction.
    The goal of the services is to achieve the greatest degree of economic self-sufficiency and
family well-being possible for the family under the circumstances.
    Subd. 3. Eligibility. (a) The following MFIP or diversionary work program (DWP)
participants are eligible for the services under this section:
    (1) a participant who meets the requirements for or has been granted a hardship extension
under section 256J.425, subdivision 2 or 3, except that it is not necessary for the participant to
have reached or be approaching 60 months of eligibility for this section to apply;
    (2) a participant who is applying for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security
disability insurance; and
    (3) a participant who is a noncitizen who has been in the United States for 12 or fewer months.
    (b) Families must meet all other eligibility requirements for MFIP established in this chapter.
Families are eligible for financial assistance to the same extent as if they were participating in
MFIP.
    (c) A participant under paragraph (a), clause (3), must be provided with English as a second
language opportunities and skills training for up to 12 months. After 12 months, the case manager
and participant must determine whether the participant should continue with English as a second
language classes or skills training, or both, and continue to receive family stabilization services.
    Subd. 4. Universal participation. All caregivers must participate in family stabilization
services as defined in subdivision 2.
    Subd. 5. Case management; family stabilization plans; coordinated services. (a) The
county agency or employment services provider shall provide family stabilization services
to families through a case management model. A case manager shall be assigned to each
participating family within 30 days after the family is determined to be eligible for family
stabilization services. The case manager, with the full involvement of the participant, shall
recommend, and the county agency shall establish and modify as necessary, a family stabilization
plan for each participating family. If a participant is already assigned to a county case manager or
a county-designated case manager in social services, disability services, or housing services that
case manager already assigned may be the case manager for purposes of these services.
    (b) The family stabilization plan must include:
    (1) each participant's plan for long-term self-sufficiency, including an employment goal
where applicable;
    (2) an assessment of each participant's strengths and barriers, and any special circumstances
of the participant's family that impact, or are likely to impact, the participant's progress towards
the goals in the plan; and
    (3) an identification of the services, supports, education, training, and accommodations
needed to reduce or overcome any barriers to enable the family to achieve self-sufficiency and
to fulfill each caregiver's personal and family responsibilities.
    (c) The case manager and the participant shall meet within 30 days of the family's referral
to the case manager. The initial family stabilization plan must be completed within 30 days of
the first meeting with the case manager. The case manager shall establish a schedule for periodic
review of the family stabilization plan that includes personal contact with the participant at least
once per month. In addition, the case manager shall review and, if necessary, modify the plan
under the following circumstances:
    (1) there is a lack of satisfactory progress in achieving the goals of the plan;
    (2) the participant has lost unsubsidized or subsidized employment;
    (3) a family member has failed or is unable to comply with a family stabilization plan
requirement;
    (4) services, supports, or other activities required by the plan are unavailable;
    (5) changes to the plan are needed to promote the well-being of the children; or
    (6) the participant and case manager determine that the plan is no longer appropriate for
any other reason.
    Subd. 6. Cooperation with services requirements. (a) To be eligible, a participant shall
comply with paragraphs (b) to (d).
    (b) Participants shall engage in family stabilization plan services for the appropriate number
of hours per week that the activities are scheduled and available, unless good cause exists for not
doing so, as defined in section 256J.57, subdivision 1. The appropriate number of hours must
be based on the participant's plan.
    (c) The case manager shall review the participant's progress toward the goals in the family
stabilization plan every six months to determine whether conditions have changed, including
whether revisions to the plan are needed.
    (d) A participant's requirement to comply with any or all family stabilization plan
requirements under this subdivision is excused when the case management services, training and
educational services, or family support services identified in the participant's family stabilization
plan are unavailable for reasons beyond the control of the participant, including when money
appropriated is not sufficient to provide the services.
    Subd. 7. Sanctions. (a) The financial assistance grant of a participating family is reduced
according to section 256J.46, if a participating adult fails without good cause to comply or
continue to comply with the family stabilization plan requirements in this subdivision, unless
compliance has been excused under subdivision 6, paragraph (d).
    (b) Given the purpose of the family stabilization services in this section and the nature of
the underlying family circumstances that act as barriers to both employment and full compliance
with program requirements, there must be a review by the county agency prior to imposing a
sanction to determine whether the plan was appropriated to the needs of the participant and
family, and that the participant in all ways had the ability to comply with the plan, as confirmed
by a behavioral health or medical professional.
    (c) Prior to the imposition of a sanction, the county agency or employment services
provider shall review the participant's case to determine if the family stabilization plan is still
appropriate and meet with the participant face-to-face. The participant may bring an advocate
to the face-to-face meeting.
    During the face-to-face meeting, the county agency shall:
    (1) determine whether the continued noncompliance can be explained and mitigated by
providing a needed family stabilization service, as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (d);
    (2) determine whether the participant qualifies for a good cause exception under section
256J.57, or if the sanction is for noncooperation with child support requirements, determine if the
participant qualifies for a good cause exemption under section 256.741, subdivision 10;
    (3) determine whether activities in the family stabilization plan are appropriate based on
the family's circumstances;
    (4) explain the consequences of continuing noncompliance;
    (5) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the needs of
the family; and
    (6) inform the participant of the right to appeal under section 256J.40.
    If the lack of an identified activity or service can explain the noncompliance, the county shall
work with the participant to provide the identified activity.
    (d) If the participant fails to come to the face-to-face meeting, the case manager or a designee
shall attempt at least one home visit. If a face-to-face meeting is not conducted, the county agency
shall send the participant a written notice that includes the information under paragraph (c).
    (e) After the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) are met and prior to imposition of a
sanction, the county agency shall provide a notice of intent to sanction under section 256J.57,
subdivision 2
, and, when applicable, a notice of adverse action under section 256J.31.
    (f) Section 256J.57 applies to this section except to the extent that it is modified by this
subdivision.
    Subd. 8. Funding. (a) The commissioner of human services shall treat MFIP expenditures
made to or on behalf of any minor child under this section, who is part of a household that
meets criteria in subdivision 3, as expenditures under a separately funded state program. These
expenditures shall not count toward the state's maintenance of effort requirements under the
federal TANF program.
    (b) A family is no longer part of a separately funded program under this section if the
caregiver no longer meets the criteria for family stabilization services in subdivision 3, or if it is
determined at recertification that a caregiver with a child under the age of six is working at least 87
hours per month in paid or unpaid employment, or a caregiver without a child under the age of six
is working at least 130 hours per month in paid or unpaid employment, whichever occurs sooner.
History: 2007 c 147 art 2 s 37
NOTE:This section as added by Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section 37, is effective
February 1, 2008. Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section 37, the effective date.