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

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Shortage of child protection social workers in Carlton Co.


March 22, 2018

“It takes two years of experience to make an effective child protection officer,” Director of Health and Human Services Dave Lee pointed out at a regular Carlton County board meeting on March 13. “There is a shortage of experienced child protection officers. Not enough have the educational background with experience, and there is a serious burnout rate for those in that field. Unless something changes, we will need to take a social worker candidate and provide the two year experience in order to make an effective child protection officer.”

“To help staff cope with the stress of the job and avoid burnout,” commissioner Gary Peterson asked, “can we rotate staff members in and out of child protection?”

Lee responded, “The training and experience for an effective child protection officer is so specialized that it would be difficult to do.”

County Coordinator Dennis Genereau commented, “A successful child protection social worker needs a strong, able county attorney to share the load in these cases.”

The child protection social worker/investigator will be posted and advertised as soon as possible.

County Board Chair Sue Zmyslony commended the county’s Health and Human Services for their excellent financial reporting for 2017. A letter from Emily Piper, commissioner for Minnesota HHS read: “It is my pleasure to commend you and your staff for perfect performance in meeting the Department of Human Services financial reporting requirements for 2017. All key quarterly fiscal reports for programs your county participates in were submitted to our Financial Operations Division on or before the report deadlines and in perfect order. This effort required submission of 32 major reports covering the four calendar quarters of 2017.”

Administrator for Zoning and Environmental Services Heather Cunningham gave her annual report. Chub and Bear Lakes are the only known lakes in Carlton County with infestation from Eurasian watermilfoil and have been treated at a cost of $20,629. A proactive inspection plan will be done this year.

Cunningham also reported that hauling the Carlton Transfer Station solid waste to the Superior land fill is being done by Shamrock. The cost of hauling has increased $150,000 probably because there is no competition. Cunningham said their department is analyzing the cost benefit for discontinuing contracting out the operation and hauling for the Transfer Station.

Tax forfeit lands in Carlton County managed by the County Land and Forestry Department have had a dual certification process for several years. Improvement of timber stands through controlled timber harvesting, planting and guidelines to protect any environmental impact are necessary for this certification. Timber products produced off county-managed lands have a certification that enables companies to open up particular markets that want to use certified wood products. Sappi is one of those firms. The cellulose produced at the Cloquet plant is in-demand in overseas sales that use the product for clothing material. According to Land Commissioner Greg Bernu, Carlton County-managed lands will continue to follow guidelines and produce product that is dually certified.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019