WALKER -- The Cass County Board voted Wednesday to accept two grants to focus on youth tobacco use prevention and on correcting youth risk factors.
As one public health nurse drops back to four-day weeks to have more time to seek a master's degree, Ane Rogers, supervisor, said these grants will enable the county to hire another full-time nurse to do part of her former work and to implement new programs.
"We are going for more health promotion programs," Health and Human Services Director Dorothy Opheim noted.
The part-time nurse will continue to oversee tobacco sales compliance checks at county businesses, assist with family planning, conduct health promotion programs and handle a case load of medical assistance and insurance reimbursement clients.
Added to her duties will be a youth tobacco prevention program and youth risk behavior prevention activities.
The new nurse will assume the women, infants and children program; child and teen check-up clinics and outreach; temporary assistance for needy families programs; a home visit caseload; immunizations; and early childhood screening.
Opheim reported to the board social services expenditures after half the year are running at 49 percent of budget.
While costs for placing children outside their own home ran 51 percent of budget projections after half the year, the cost to Cass County was only 46 percent of budget.
Payments reducing county costs came from parents and federal reimbursements, she said.
In June, costs for placing 113 children in emergency shelters, foster homes, group homes and correctional facilities hit a high for the last 18 months of $269,237, she reported.
Corrections costs billed in June hit $153,846, $50,000 more than any other month since January 1999. Emergency shelter costs billed in June were $11,235. Only two other months in the last 18 hit a $7,000 billing.
June costs billed for foster home and group home services were on a par with or lower than preceding months.
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