The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Representative Dan McElroy on Monday, January 11, 1999 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 107, State Capitol.
|Representative Lynda Boudreau||Senator Bill Belanger|
|Representative Mindy Greiling||Senator Sheila Kiscaden|
|Representative Dan McElroy||Senator Keith Langseth|
|Representative Kathy Tingelstad||Senator James Metzen|
|Senator Deanna Wiener|
Members Not Present:
|Representative Ron Abrams||Senator David Knutson|
|Representative Dave Bishop||Senator Thomas Neuville|
|Representative Kris Hasskamp||Senator Pat Pariseau|
|Representative Mark Holsten||Senator Ember Reichgott Junge|
|Representative Philip Krinkie||Senator Allan Spear|
|Representative Mary Jo McGuire||Representative Tim Pawlenty|
|Representative Thomas Pugh||Representative Ann H. Rest|
|Representative Jim Rhodes||Representative Steve Sviggum|
Representative McElroy indicated the purpose of the meeting was to release and discuss the program evaluation report on Juvenile Out-of-Home Placement and recognized James Nobles, Legislative Auditor. Mr. Nobles reviewed the reasons why this topic had been selected for study by the commission and introduced Joel Alter, project manager, and other evaluation specialists who had worked on the study, Dan Jacobson and John Patterson.
Senator Wiener joined the meeting and assumed the Chair. She recognized Mr. Alter.
Mr. Alter reviewed the issues reviewed in the study and why they were studied. He also gave an overview of the methods used in conducting the study, findings, conclusions, and recommendations contained in the report. He and project members answered questions from members concerning costs and the reasons why some children are placed in facilities outside of Minnesota.
Senator Wiener recognized Erin Sullivan-Sutton, Director of the Family and Children's Services Division in the Department of Human Services. Ms. Sullivan-Sutton indicated her department was working to establish baseline data, indicating that the department did not have the resources to develop this information earlier. Senator Wiener indicated that she found the data on out-of-home placement of minority children disturbing and suggested the department seek guidance from relevant community and ethnic groups on addressing this issue.
Senator Wiener recognized Debbie Eng, Director of Juvenile Services in the Department of Corrections. Ms. Eng indicated that the department was improving both the programs and facilities at several locations in Minnesota in order to place more delinquent children in Minnesota facilities rather than out of state. In response to a question from Representative Greiling, she indicated that the main reason it was cheaper to place children in out-of-state facilities was labor costs.
Senator Wiener asked if it would be helpful if judges' orders included goals of the placement. Ms. Eng thought it would be if the goals were specific. Ms. Sullivan-Sutton indicated that meaningful goals would be helpful. Senator Wiener suggested that both agencies should be looking at programs that are working and make that information available to each other. In response to a question from Representative Greiling, Ms. Eng indicated a federal grant is helping the department to offer mental health and chemical dependency services to children placed in Red Wing and Sauk Centre.
The meeting adjourned at 11:05 AM.
Senator Deanna Wiener, Chair
Jean Barnhill, Acting Recording Secretary