In 2012 Hennepin County launched Hennepin Health, a program to improve health care for homeless people by integrating services across county agencies. It’s the kind of ‘breaking down silos’ objective that is often discussed but seldom achieved.
This article describes how Hennepin successfully improved services while reducing costs 72% for inpatient stays and 52% for ER visits. They accomplished this largely by addressing debilitating housing problems, which are also a major driver of child maltreatment.
Now Hennepin is starting a similar project for child protection. Comparable success would significantly reduce child abuse and foster care placements. Prospects are promising because the initiative is led by the same managers who built Hennepin Health, and because the County approved $13.2 million in new child protection funding, much of it targeted to prevention.