Flex Admin

Pennington County Human Services

We are responsible for administering financial programs, child support services and social services under state supervision. The Department assists indigent and low-income families and individuals to meet their basic needs or become self sufficient, provides child support services to custodial and non-custodial parents, and provides protective services to vulnerable adults and children and assists the elderly and the disabled to achieve their highest level of independence.

Business Hours

Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Information and Resources

Financial Assistance

  • Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP): A combination of both cash and food assistance, MFIP provides temporary assistance to qualifying families. MFIP is a work focused program with the goal of moving families toward self-suffeciency through employment.
  • General Assistance (GA): Provides monthly cash assistance to people who cannot work due to disability or illness.
  • Minnesota Supplemental Assistance (MSA): MSA provides monthly cash assistance to people over age 65, blind or disables and who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security payments.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Support): Assistance to supplement individual or family food budgets and improve nutrition. Benefits cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages, tobacco, pet food or non-food items.

Program Eligibility

Varies for each program and is based on income, assets and other qualifying factors. Individuals must complete a formal application to determine eligibility.


Online application for financial assistance


2018-2019 County MFIP Biennial Service Agreement

Medical Programs

Programs Available

  • Medical Assistance (MA): Nationally called Medicaid, this program pays for necessary medical care for low-income families, children, pregnant women, people over 65 and people with disabilities.


Online application for medical


2018-2019 County Health Care Access Services Plan

Child Support Services

Services Available

  • Locating parents.
  • Establishing parentage.
  • Establishing and enforcing court orders for child support, medical support and child care support.
  • Adjusting court orders based on a Cost-of-living index.
  • Working with other states to enforce support when one parent does not live in Minnesota.
  • Collecting and processing payments.

Either parent of a child may receive certain support services.

Parents who do not receive public assistance can apply for services at their county child support office. They are charged a one-time fee.

Parents who receive public assistance for a child whose other parent does not live with them are automatically referred for child support services. These parents do not pay a fee.

Services we cannot help with

  • Legal seperation and divorce.
  • Visitation and custody.
  • We cannot answer legal questions about custody and visitation.
  • Spousal maintenance (alimony) establishment or enforcement.
  • collection of unpaid bills, property settlements or other debts not related to support obligations.
  • Legal advice or counsel.

You may wish to consult an attorney for assistance with the above issues.

For more detailed information you may call the Minnesota Department of Human Services Interactive Voice Response
case and payment information line at:
(651)215-5630 (Twin Cities Area)
1(800)657-3512 (outside Twin Cities calling area)

Fraud Prevention

Program Description

Fraud Prevention is a program designed to resolve issues in cases that meet criterial for potential fraud. Resolving these discrepancies maintains program integrity, resulting in a savings to the taxpayers in program costs by ensuring that funds are available to those who truly need assistance. Pennington County usually receives allegations of welfare fraud either from case workers who regularly work with recipients of public assistance or from the general public. If an investigation finds that a violation was intentional, the case is referred for administrative process or for criminal prosecution.

Children's services are provided to: Families with children under the age of 18 who are experiencing neglect or abuse, pregnant adolescents, adolescent parents under age 18 and their children, adolescents under the guardianship of the Commissioner of Human Services as state wards, emotionally distrubed children and adolescents and children and adolescents involved in or at risk of involvement with criminal activity.


Services Available

  • Child Protection Services: Screening reports of suspected abuse or neglect, conduct investigations, arrange for safe placement out of home when a child(ren) are in imminent danger of maltreatment and conduct case management and permanency planning activities in active cases.
  • Foster Care: Recruitment, licensing and continuing training of individuals to provide foster care for children who have been abused or neglected by their parents and canot safely remain at home.
  • Children's Mental Health Services: Provision of mental health services to children with emotional disturbance and their families.
  • Family Preservation Services: In-home services to prevent out-of-home placement or to help facilitate the safe return of the child(ren) to their parent(s). This service is provided to families who are at high risk of entering the child protection system and to families who are presently in the system due to substantiated maltreatment.
  • Adoption Services: Conducting home studies and placement in an adoptive home of children who are wards of the state (parental rights have been terminated by the court).
  • Child Placement: Out-of-home placement of children from abuse or neglect, for treatment of emotional disorders or chemical depencendy or placement due to deliquent acts committed by a juvenile.
  • Minor Parent Services: Services provided to a minor, who has a child, to develop a plan to ensure their safety and self-sufficiency.
  • Licensing Family Daycare Providers

Adult Services

Adult Services are provided to: Persons age 60 and over who are experiencing difficulty living independently and are unable to provide for their own needs; adults who are in need of protection and vulnerable: persons with developmental disabilities or a related condition; chronically and acutely mentally ill persons who are unable to provide for their own needs or to independently engage in ordinary community activities; persons whose chemical use patterns are either inappropriate or harmful.


Services Available

  • Services to elderly
  • Vulnerable adult protective services
  • Services to individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • Services to persons with Mental Illness
  • Chemical Depencency Services


Services to the Elderly: Long-term care consultation for individuals 65 or older and their families including screening prior to admission to a nursing facility; eligibility for home and community-based services; case management for individuals receiving assistance through Alternative Care and Elderly Waiver programs.

Vulnerable Adult Protective Services: Investigation of reports of maltreatment of frail elderly and adults who have physical or developmental disabilities, are mentally ill or chemicaly dependent.

Licensing of Adult Foster Homes: Recruit, license and train foster care providers for adults.

Licensing of Family Day Care Homes: Provide information and an orientation for individuals interested in providing child care; license and re-license family day care providers.

Services to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities:Provides case management to eligible children and adults with developmental disabilities to help them obtain services to meet their individual needs.

Services to Persons with Mental Illness: Provide case management to adults with mental illness to help them obtain necessary mental health services, financial assistance and other supports.

Chemical Dependency Services: Chemical dependency assessments, determination of eligibility for program funding, referrals to detoxification, treatment, aftercare and other service supports.



MN Adult Abuse Reporting Center
Adult Local Advisory Council (LAC)

Child Care Assistance

Child Care Assistance is available to:Employed parents who are receiving assistance under the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and parents whose income is at or below 70 percent of the state medial income and who are in need of childcare services in order to secure or retain employment or to obtain training and education necessary to secure employment. Individuals must complete a formal application in order to determine eligibility.

Programs Available

  • MFIP Childcare:MFIP participants who are employed or participating in work activities that are approved by a job counselor in a job search or employment plan can receive assistance in paying for childcare. MFIP families can get transitional childcare for up to one year after they go off MFIP.
  • Basic sliding Fee(BSF) Child care:Provides a subsidy for childcare costs for income eligible parents to work, look for work or obtain training and education for employment. Based on income, parents pay a portion of the childcare costs directly to their childcare provider.


2020-2021 Child Care Assistance Plan


Online application for child care

Julie Sjostrand

Director of Human Services
PO Box 340
318 Knight Ave N
Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Phone: 218-681-2880 ext. 227
Fax: 218-683-7013

Email: jasjostrand@co.pennington.mn.us

Maureen Monson

Aging and Disability Services Supervisor

Email: mrmonson@co.pennington.mn.us

Charles Ludgren

Fiscal Supervisor

Email: cmlundgren@co.pennington.mn.us

Tammy Johnson

Financial Assistance Supervisor

Email: tmjohnson@co.pennington.mn.us

© 2020 Pennington County, Minnesota. All Rights Reserved.