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Parent Support Outreach Program

Minnesota’s Parent Support Outreach Program is a voluntary, early intervention program that focuses on a family’s strengths and needs, and aims to help children and parents thrive. The program is available through all Minnesota counties, and the White Earth and Leech Lake reservations. Families can refer themselves, or be referred by community or social service agencies. 

Parent Support Outreach Program workers conduct comprehensive assessments of families’ needs and strengths and, together, make decisions about what services or community resources are the best choices for success. Short-term help may be available to families with concerns regarding:

  • Basic needs (food, clothing and housing)
  • Family health (medical care, mental and chemical health services) 
  • Parenting 
  • Transportation 
  • Child care 
  • Financial needs (budgeting and financial assistance)

The overarching goals of the Parent Support Outreach Program are to enhance the well-being of children and families, ensure and maintain safety for children, and support families so they can meet the needs of their children by themselves and through support systems. Often, referrals are made to community supports such as food shelves, free or low-cost clothing programs, free health clinics, mental health services, parenting classes and support, and child development screening services.

The Parent Support Outreach Program served more than 4,300 families in 2019, including more than 9,800 children. Referrals for the program came from screened-out child maltreatment reports, self-referrals by parent or guardian, and community agencies. After involvement with Parent Support Outreach Program services, 77 percent of families report improvement in their ability to manage household resources, 70 percent report improvement in family relationships, and 56 percent report improvement in their parenting skills.  Over ninety percent of children remain with their families within three years of their involvement in Parent Support Outreach Program services. 

Eligibility

Participation in the Parent Support Outreach Program is voluntary. To be eligible, families must:

  • Have at least one child, age 10 or younger, or be pregnant.
  • Be exposed to two or more child maltreatment risk factors, including but not limited to:
    • Poverty
    • Domestic violence
    •  Alcohol and drug problems
    • Mental health concerns
    • History of child protection involvement
    • Homelessness.
  • Not currently be involved with child protection services.

More Information

The Parent Support Outreach Program brochure DHS-4472A (PDF) explains more.
This brochure is also available in: 

To learn more about the Parent Support Outreach Program or to make a referral, contact your county human services department. Referral forms can be found here:  Fillable Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) Referral Form  DHS-8007 (PDF) or Printable Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) Referral  Form (DHS-8007 (PDF).  Send referral forms directly to your county human services agency. You can also send general questions to DHS.CSP.PSOP@state.mn.us

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