Effective January 1, 2004, and each two-year period thereafter, each county must have a biennial service plan approved by the commissioner in order to receive funds. Counties may submit multicounty or regional service plans.
The service plan shall be completed in a form prescribed by the commissioner. The plan must include:
(1) a statement of the needs of the children, adolescents, and adults who experience the conditions defined in section 256M.10, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), and strengths and resources available in the community to address those needs;
(2) strategies the county will pursue to achieve the performance targets. Strategies must include specification of how funds under this section and other community resources will be used to achieve desired performance targets;
(3) a description of the county's process to solicit public input and a summary of that input;
(4) beginning with the service plans submitted for the period from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2007, performance targets on statewide indicators for each county to measure outcomes of children's mental health, and child safety, permanency, and well-being. The commissioner shall consult with counties and other stakeholders to develop these indicators and collect baseline data to inform the establishment of individual county performance targets for the 2006-2007 biennium and subsequent plans; and
(5) a budget for services to be provided with funds under this section. The county must budget at least 40 percent of funds appropriated under sections 256M.01 to 256M.80 for services to ensure the mental health, safety, permanency, and well-being of children from low-income families. The commissioner may reduce the portion of child and community services funds that must be budgeted by a county for services to children in low-income families if:
(i) the incidence of children in low-income families within the county's population is significantly below the statewide median; or
(ii) the county has successfully achieved past performance targets for children's mental health, and child safety, permanency, and well-being and its proposed service plan is judged by the commissioner to provide an adequate level of service to the population with less funding.
In developing the plan required under this section, a county shall endeavor, within the limits of funds available, to consider the continuing need for services and programs for children and persons with disabilities that were funded by the former children's services and community service grants.
The commissioner shall provide each county with information and technical assistance needed to complete the service plan, including: information on children's mental health, and child safety, permanency, and well-being in the county; comparisons with other counties; baseline performance on outcome measures; and promising program practices.
The preliminary service plan must be submitted to the commissioner by October 15, 2003, and October 15 of every two years thereafter.
The county board must determine how citizens in the county will participate in the development of the service plan and provide opportunities for such participation. The county must allow a period of no less than 30 days prior to the submission of the plan to the commissioner to solicit comments from the public on the contents of the plan.
The commissioner must, within 60 days of receiving each county service plan, inform the county if the service plan has been approved. If the service plan is not approved, the commissioner must inform the county of any revisions needed for approval.