North Dakota’s Health and Human Services (HHS) agency announced that the Grand Forks County Youth Shelter has become certified to provide temporary shelter for children ages 10-17 to help prevent foster care placements. The goal is child safety and well-being, while strengthening and stabilizing families.
Certified shelters offer a temporary safe bed for no more than seven days to children and youth during a family crisis. Announced in January 2022, certified temporary shelter care helps meet immediate needs while support and services are put in place for families.
Certification enables shelter providers to receive state funding for the care of children.
The Grand Forks County certified youth shelter program can currently serve up to four children, with an expansion to six beds planned. It will primarily serve children from Grand Forks, Walsh, Ramsey, Pembina, Nelson, Steele, Traill, Cavalier, Benson, Towner, Richland, Ransom, Sargent, Rolette and Cass counties.
During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers expanded access to emergency shelter care options for children and youth. Certification means youth shelter care providers meet safety and service standards.
Other certified youth shelter care providers in North Dakota include the Sunrise Youth Bureau in Dickinson, Northwest Youth Assessment Center in Williston and Youthworks in Minot.
In 2022, HHS offered $1.5 million in grant funds to existing and prospective youth shelter providers to establish certified shelter care programs or enhance services and facilities to meet certification requirements. Grand Forks applied for and received grant funding to establish a program. Funds were used for start-up costs, including initial operating costs, remodeling and other costs related to meeting certification standards.