MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — North Dakota’s Health and Human Services (HHS) agency announced that the Youthworks facility in Minot has become certified to provide temporary shelter for children ages 10-17 to help prevent foster care placements.

According to a news release, the certification means the facility can receive state funding.

During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers were working to expand access to emergency shelter care options for children and youth.

Certification by HHS means youth shelter care providers meet safety and service standards and can be reimbursed by HHS for the service.

Non-certified shelters for children and youth can continue to operate, but they cannot use public funding through the department.

Other certified youth shelter care providers include the Youthworks facilities in Bismarck and Fargo, Sunrise youth Bureau in Dickinson, and the Northwest Youth Assessment Center in Williston.

Certified shelter care providers offer a temporary safe bed for no more than seven days to children and youth during a family crisis.

Announced in January 2022, the use of certified temporary shelter care can prevent foster care placements by addressing immediate needs while support and services are put in place for families.

The goal is to support child safety and well-being while helping to strengthen and stabilize families.

Earlier this year, North Dakota announced $1.5 million in grant funds and invited current and prospective youth shelter care service providers to apply for up to $150,000 each.

Funds can be used to establish a certified shelter care program or enhance existing services and facilities to meet certification and safety requirements.

HHS still has some grant funding available for interested shelter care providers.

Funds can be used for start-up costs, such as initial operating costs, construction, remodeling, payroll, training, staffing ratios, and related costs associated with meeting certification standards.

For more information, contact Brittany Fode at brifode@nd.gov.