Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

Partnership recognized as category winner


January 18, 2018

Left to right: Pamela Lonne, Carlton County Family Services Case Aide; Dave Lee, Carlton County PHHS Director; Lisa Edmundson, Carlton County Family Services Investigator; Jay Kiedrowski, Senior Fellow, Hubert Humphrey Public Nonprofit Leadership Center; Carol J. DeVerney, FDL Behavioral Health Assistant Administrator; Lisa Follett Pollak, Fond du Lac Social Services Department Coordinator; and Eileen Briggs, Native Nation Building Initiative, Bush Foundation.

Across the state of Minnesota, local governments are finding creative ways to deliver services to their residents with greater impact and at lower cost. Examples include expanding broadband access in Greater Minnesota communities, improving educational outcomes for Native students, and enhancing emergency response to people with mental health issues.

Those projects and nearly two dozen others, including the Fond du Lac and Carlton County partnership, are being recognized by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, as recipients of its 11th annual Local Government Innovation Awards (LGIA).

The Fond du Lac Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa and Carlton County Public Health & Human Services partnership keeps the children of their community safe. Through the Tribal/County Agreement, recognized by the Sixth Judicial District, tribal and county social workers collaborate to divert the more complicated child protection cases away from the historical path involving courtroom-based trials. For the past 12 years, a strengths-based process called the Parallel Protection Plan has been utilized to resolve the more complex child protection cases, utilizing a trained facilitator from Fond du Lac. As a result, over 90 percent of child maltreatment cases have been resolved with mutual agreement and joint planning.

The strong collaboration that occurs between the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Carlton County has a long history. In order to have strong collaboration, there needed to be strong relationships. Strong relationships developed because of mutually respectful attitudes - this is the historic foundation in the working relationship between Fond du Lac and Carlton County. Collaboration occurs in many levels of government, however, health and human services is one of the most important areas that impact the lives of people every day. Joint efforts occur in mental health, chemical health, child protection, adult services, public health programs and emergency preparedness, among many others. Representatives from both public health and human service agencies form a larger "team" to address the concerns they jointly face.

Dave Lee, director of Carlton County Public Health and Human Services shares, "We appreciate our long history of close collaboration with Fond du Lac with our public health and human service programs. Jointly working together in keeping our children safe has shown positive results over many years."

A panel of judges considered over 100 submissions for their creativity, sustainability and collaboration. The overall winners of the five categories will receive a grant from the Bush Foundation to continue their work and a professionally produced video to use for marketing and awareness. The winners in the city, county, township and school categories will receive a $5,000 grant. The Local Government and Native Nations Collaboration Award winner will receive a $10,000 grant. All 25 awardees were formally recognized at an awards ceremony and reception on December 7, 2017, at the Humphrey School. More information about the 2017 winners can be found at


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