BUILDing Strong Foundations

In the News: Minnesota Re-Launches Children’s Cabinet

8/9/2019 12:00:00 AM
Posted by: Build Initiative

On August 7th, 2019, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz publicly announced the state’s commitment to children with the re-launch of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet. Minnesota is a BUILD Initiative partner state. Through the executive order, the Children’s Cabinet is charged with taking a data-driven and results-oriented approach to ensuring Minnesota’s systems are equitably aligned around services and opportunities for Minnesota’s children as well as the adults in their lives. This updated body of work reflects the priorities of the BUILD Initiative, with a primary focus on the value of families, communities, and equity in integrated child-serving systems.

With new governors in twenty states, there has been a renewed emphasis in state-level children’s coordinating bodies. At least four states (Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico) have since launched their own Children’s Cabinets, while others are updating their leadership and goals. Children’s Cabinets are typically made up of state government agencies that have a role in serving children. Cabinets coordinate services, develop a common set of outcomes, and implement plans to foster child and family well-being.

The Minnesota Children’s Cabinet will:

  • Utilize a results-based accountability lens in four priority areas:
  1. Healthy beginnings (from the prenatal period).
  2. Child care and education (beginning with early childhood).
  3. Mental health and well-being.
  4. Housing stability for children, youth, and families.
  • Take a data-driven and results-oriented approach to aligning programs and strategies to ensure that every Minnesota child, no matter their race or zip code, is prepared to participate in the state's future workforce and to be the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Examine programs, policies, practices, and services to ensure that Minnesota promotes equity for children and families, and make recommendations on how to improve Minnesota's systems to prevent the need for involvement with the child welfare, public safety, and criminal justice systems. The Cabinet will engage the perspectives of families from varied populations, including children of color, indigenous children, children in greater Minnesota, military-connected families, LGBTQ children, and children who have disabilities, among others.

The Children's Cabinet will consist of a cross-systems team, including the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and commissioners of the following agencies:

  • Department of Administration
  • Department of Corrections
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Department of Health
  • Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Management and Budget
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Department of Transportation

Image result for erin bailey children's cabinetThe cabinet will be led by Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and staffed by Erin Bailey, Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director of the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. Erin is a key partner with the BUILD Initiative team, representing the governor’s office. She has been a lifelong advocate for children and health care for underserved communities. Most recently, Erin served as the Director of Executive Initiatives at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. As a member of the senior team, Erin worked on a variety of strategic initiatives, including advocating for children who have disabilities and complex medical conditions.


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