Archived Story

Adult foster care on the rise in county

Published 11:44am Friday, May 1, 2009

As the baby boomer population grows older, Otter Tail County commissioners heard Tuesday about the adult foster care homes licensed in the county.

Otter Tail County has about 100 adult foster care homes, which includes family foster care homes and corporate homes, said Jody Dahlen, of the county’s Human Services Department. Adult family foster care is when the adult lives in the home with a family. Corporate foster homes have a home setting but staff do not live in the home.

The population served by the adult foster care homes are those who are elderly, mentally or physically handicapped.

The Otter Tail County Board also proclaimed May foster care month.

Dahlen said the county is fortunate to have 100 homes. A two-year moratorium on corporate foster care homes is being pushed at the Legislature, although Dahlen notes that the proposal has come out of the metro-area counties who have more corporate homes.

The trend supported at the state level is to increase the number elderly being taken care of in their residences rather than in a staffed home, according to Human Services Director John Dinsmore.

The county is also being pressed by the state after an Human Services audit to provide more services in a person’s residence, Dinsmore told Otter Tail commissioners Tuesday.

The issue of not providing enough services in someone’s home is common in counties such as Otter Tail. The Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services finds that counties who have had state institutions typically have a “institutional mindset,” which leads staff to overdevelop the number of corporate foster care homes it has, Dinsmore explained.

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