Families and guardians of disabled individuals need information on care for their loved ones

By John Euteneuer, Guest Columnist

If families, guardians, teachers and/or county individuals would like more information about an agency or provider that is providing services to their child or an adult individual regarding any citations or fines, they can go to the Department of Human Services (DHS), Licensing Division Web site www.mn.gov/dhs or www.dhs.state.mn.us. Once you get to this Web site you would go to licensing, DHS licensing information and then the type of services that are provided.

If you do not know the provider’s license number or the type of service, you can either ask your county case manager or the provider for this information.

Families can also contact DHS at 1 (651) 420-6500 to help them look up this information and/or with their licensing concerns.

DHS sent a press release to all papers on this a couple of years ago (July 1, 2010). It did not appear in the Morrison County Record. This is fairly new with DHS, Licensing Division that licensing citations or fines will appear on this Web site. This was shared with me recently by DHS, Licensing Division. They thought it would be helpful if I wrote this information in the local paper to all parents, guardians, teachers and/or county workers. DHS, Licensing Division has gone back recording this information on providers and agencies from 2010 to the current date.

It is extremely helpful for families, guardians, teachers and county individuals to know about their provider and/or agency. If you are told by a county that there is only one choice of service providers in a county you can actually go to this Internet site and see how many providers are licensed in a county.

Families and guardians entrust their loved one (children or adults) to these providers and organizations to take care of them. It is important that families and guardians educate themselves on their existing provider or if they are looking at getting a new provider or want to see how other providers are doing in other counties. Providers and some counties will not share this information with families or guardians.

It is helpful for families to check this Web site several times a year. DHS, Licensing Division will be checking out certain providers more often that have violations and citations. This Web site can indicate a variety of violations that would include minor citations to more serious citations such as abuse and neglect.

The more citations and/or the severity of these violations by a provider or agency, the more concern a parent or guardian should have with having this provider working with their child or adult.

John Euteneuer is a resident of Little Falls and is the parent of a disabled child.