A range of social services are available to children and their families to ensure children are healthy, safe and taken care of. Brown County Human Services works in partnership with other organizations to ensure families receive the support they need.
It can be difficult reaching out and asking for help. It can also be intimidating if you are not familiar with the resources and services that are available.
The children’s social services department offers a number of voluntary services to provide early intervention and support to families. The Parent Support Outreach Program is available to enhance the well-being of children and families by making connections with community resources to meet the specific needs of a family.
Referrals or direct services are often provided to assist with mental health services, medical needs, parenting support or child development screenings. The program can also address barriers such as financial stressors, transportation issues or child care needs.
To be eligible for this program, families must have at least one child age 10 or younger or be pregnant and be experiencing current stressors. A family can request these services by contacting BCHS or be referred by another agency.
BCHS also provides a Family Facilitator program, which helps bridge services between the school, community and home. This is also a voluntary program providing supports for children with behavior concerns, mental health concerns, experiencing family changes or needing assistance with social skills.
The program helps parents develop effective strategies to utilize at home, as well as communicating this information with the school to provide consistent supports.
The Family Facilitator Program provides programming during the summer to provide routine and structure as well as opportunities for social interaction. The program is available to families with children ages 0-18.
Local schools can assist with making a referral, or those seeking program assistance can directly contact an intake worker at Human Services.
The Human Services agency is also responsible for responding to child protection concerns. Child protection reports are screened daily to determine if they meet criteria established by the state Department of Human Services.
If a report meets criteria for abuse, neglect or threatened injury, an assessment will be completed by a social worker. The worker will meet with the children and parents to discuss the report and determine if there are available resources and services to meet the needs of the family.
Brown County does have family-based workers who are able to provide direct services in the home specific to the individual needs of the family. Staff attempts to work with families voluntarily unless there is a safety concern. If necessary, BCHS will work with the County Attorney’s Office to determine next steps.
Brown County Human Services also provides licensing for child care and foster care programs. Licensing staff supervise family child care programs, family child and adult foster care homes and corporate child and adult foster homes.
There continues to be a high need for child care providers and child foster care providers in the region. If you are interested in becoming licensed, you can find information on the Human Services website, or call the agency and request to speak with a licensor.
Brown County has dedicated staff wanting to make a difference. If you would like to request services or have questions on any of these programs, you can contact Brown County Human Services at 507-359-6500 and ask to speak with the social services intake worker.