Parent Support Outreach Program
Minnesota’s Parent Support Outreach Program is a voluntary, early intervention program that focuses on a family’s strengths and needs and aims to help children and parents thrive. The program is available throughout all Minnesota counties and the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Families can refer themselves or be referred by community or social service agencies.
Parent Support Outreach Program workers conduct comprehensive assessments of families’ needs and strengths and, together, make decisions about what services or community resources are the best choices for success. Short-term help may be available to families with concerns regarding:
- Basic needs (food, clothing and housing)
- Family health (medical care, mental and chemical health services)
- Child care
- Financial needs (budgeting and financial assistance).
The overarching goals of the Parent Support Outreach Program are to enhance the well-being of children and families, ensure and maintain safety for children and support families so they can meet the needs of their children by themselves and through support systems. Often, referrals are made to community supports such as food shelves, free or low-cost clothing programs, free health clinics, mental health services, parenting classes and child development screening services.
Participating in the Parent Support Outreach Program is voluntary. To be eligible, families must not currently be involved with child protection services, and:
Have at least one:
- child age 10 or younger
Have two or more identified stress factors, including, but not limited to:
- School/education concerns
- Mental health concerns (parent or child)
- Parenting challenges
- Child behavior concerns
- Limited support system
- Disability (parent or child)
- Low income/poverty
- Homelessness/housing concerns
- Chemical use concerns (parent or child)
- Domestic violence concerns
- Parent/caregiver separation
- Prior child protection history
- Human/sex trafficking concerns
- Legal issues
- Medical concerns (parent or child)
- Trauma exposure
Family Support Services
Family Support Services (FSS) are available to families with children on a request/voluntary basis, who are experiencing problems in family functioning, children’s behaviors, family stressors, children’s mental health concerns, minor parenting, or other related issues, and when there are no evident child protection concerns. FSS works to assess family needs, connect families with needed resources, and provides solution based supports. FSS is a voluntary, time limited program aimed at assisting families to be healthy, safe, and to remain together.
- Assist families to establish and function independently in their community.
- Keep families together.
- Prevent child maltreatment.
- Prevent out of home placement.
- Promote healthy family relationships.
- Help families with stressors such as parent disabilities, child behavior problems, unmet basic needs, parent-child conflict, and children's special needs.
- Connect families to community resources.
Any family with children under the age of 18 years, that live in St. Louis County, regardless of income, is eligible for Family Support Services.
*Referrals for Family Support Services are accepted from parent/caregiver or self-referral only.