WALKER -- Health, Human and Veterans Services Director Dorothy Opheim presented a plan to the county board Tuesday to re-organize 1.75 full-time equivalent public health nurse positions into a single full-time position.
Duties previously assigned to two public health nurses were one three-fourths time position for a jail health nurse and a full-time nurse assigned to public health preparedness/bioterrorism, youth tobacco prevention and store sales compliance checks, youth risk behavior and family planning.
The county board asked Opheim to reassign duties until she could recommend hiring only a single half-time nurse at a future meeting.
Opheim reported human and veterans services budgets were running 2 percent under projections through May. County costs for out-of-home child placements also were 2 percent under budget through May.
However, in May, there were 149 children in placement, higher than all of last year and previous months this year. Cost for their care ran $278,938, with $124,583 of that for children in correctional facilities.
The county board named Probation Officer Reno Wells to head a screening team to evaluate out-of-home child placement cases.
Other members of the team will be Opheim; a county commissioner; representatives of the county attorney's office and Leech Lake Family Services; Karen Holle, mental health professional; Deborah J. Farrell, guardian ad litem; a parent (when appropriate;) and an individual case manager.
This change forms one screening body from several departments and agencies formerly screening out-of-home placement cases separately.
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