About DHS

The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.

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What we do

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) helps provide essential services to Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents. Working with many others, including counties, tribes and non-profits, DHS helps ensure that Minnesota seniors, people with disabilities, children and others meet their basic needs and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

While the vast majority of human services in Minnesota are provided by our partners, DHS (at the direction of the Governor and Legislature) sets policies and directs the payments for many of the services delivered. As the largest state agency, DHS administers about one-third of the state budget.

As a steward of a significant amount of public dollars, DHS takes very seriously our responsibility to provide Minnesotans with high value in terms of both the quality and cost of services.

Our largest financial responsibility is to provide health care coverage for low-income Minnesotans. We are also responsible for securing economic assistance for struggling families, providing food support, overseeing child protection and child welfare services, enforcing child support, and providing services for people with mental illness, chemical dependency, or physical or developmental disabilities. 

Through our licensing services, we ensure that certain minimum standards of care are met in private and public settings for children and vulnerable adults. DHS also provides direct service through our regional offices for the deaf and hard of hearing; through State Operated Services (SOS), which provides direct care to people with disabilities; and through the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.


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