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Based on years of feedback around needed investments and prioritization of and for children and families of Minnesota and the input of state agency leaders and local service providers, the Walz-Flanagan Administration proposed the creation of a new Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Families and those who work with them have asked for more coordination, engagement, and culturally- and individually- responsive programs that meet their children’s needs throughout their development. Governance reports, work from multiple state agencies, reports from the Office of Legislative Auditor, and learnings from other states have built the case for additional alignment of programs and services.


The goal of creating this new department is to reimagine how our state government is structured, to elevate child, youth, and family priorities and funding needs by providing focused leadership in the state executive branch and with the state Legislature. This is aligned with recent changes in governance in states across the country.

The creation of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families will provide a recognizable public face and a clear front-door in the state’s quest to prioritize children, youth, and families. This will align communication related to services for families, maximize and coordinate funding, align outcomes, and convene leadership to improve access to services for children, youth, and families.

The core programs identified to move into the new agency include:

  • Child care and early learning programs
  • Child Support, Child Safety and Permanency, and other family-focused community programs
  • Economic support and food assistance programs
  • Youth opportunity and older youth investments
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