About DHS

The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.


Signature Initiatives

Signature Initiatives highlight the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ priority projects and key activities.

Signature Initiatives

Parent Aware for high quality care

Parent Aware helps parents find high-quality child care and early learning programs, like Amanda Rupar’s Family Child Care, that prepare children for kindergarten. Commissioner Lucinda Jesson recently visited the four-star-rated center in Sartell, Minn.

Adoption: All about family

Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea and Commissioner Lucinda Jesson recognized 524 families who adopted children from the foster care system, including Cora and Chris, and encouraged others to consider adoption of 520 children still waiting at the Celebrate Adoption: A Circus of the Heart event to launch Adoption Month in November.

September is Recovery Month

The Department of Human Services kicked off Recovery Month Sept. 4 with an evening of speakers focused on recovery from substance use for service members and others.

MNsure marketplace

MNsure is a new one-stop health insurance marketplace where Minnesotans can compare and choose coverage from multiple insurance companies, and see if they qualify for a low-cost or free plan.

Bonus helps serve up healthy food

The Minnesota Department of Human Services launched four initiatives this summer to help put healthy food on low-income Minnesotans’ tables. Funding for the projects came from a $1.2 million federal bonus for Minnesota’s work to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use among eligible residents.

A better budget that works for Minnesotans

Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson writes about the 2014-2015 human services budget: "The budget approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Dayton is a significant step forward for the people of Minnesota."

Reform 2020 helps older Minnesotans remain in their homes

Reform 2020, which advanced through the Legislature and received funding this session, transforms Minnesota’s Medicaid program to better meet the challenges of rising health care costs and a growing aging population while better serving Minnesotans’ long-term care needs.

SNAP+ helps Minnesotans eat healthier

This summer, the SNAP+ pilot project is helping Minnesotans eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. It is one of four initiatives the Department of Human Services is funding through a federal bonus to help put healthy food on the tables of low-income Minnesotans, particularly kids and seniors. 

Heroin at Home

The Department of Human Services and Twin Cities Public Television have produced a documentary series, “Heroin at Home,” about the rise of heroin and opiate use in Minnesota and what’s being done to address it. View the series online.

Youth group promotes Positive Community Norms

Gov. Mark Dayton visited a youth group working to prevent underage drinking at their booth at the Governor’s Fishing Opener festival in Park Rapids May 9-12.

Investing in Minnesota's Future

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson is touring the state in support of Gov. Mark Dayton's proposed FY 2014-2015 budget for human services, which aims to build on past accomplishments, put the needs of Minnesotans first, and reinvest existing resources more effectively.

State announces new way to pay for quality health care

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is partnering with six major health care providers to test a new payment model that rewards quality care and health outcomes.

Child care center works to close the achievement gap

Minnesota does best when every child in the state has an opportunity reach their highest potential. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson recently visited Northside Child Development Center in Minneapolis to learn about its work to prepare children to succeed in school and life.

2012 Commissioner Awards

The 2012 Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards honored seven organizations for their outstanding contributions to human services clients.

Own Your Future

Own Your Future, a state and federal initiative, seeks to make Minnesotans aware of the importance of planning now to meet their future long-term care needs.

State announces comprehensive substance abuse strategy

DHS and other state agencies recently released the Minnesota State Substance Abuse Strategy, the first-ever statewide plan to tackle substance abuse and addiction in Minnesota.

Safe Place for Newborns law protects babies, parents

DHS is spreading the word about the recently expanded Safe Place for Newborns law, which gives parents more time and ways to safely surrender a newborn without fear of prosecution.


ApplyMN is the state’s website for Minnesotans to apply for the help they need. It provides a secure, easy and more consistent way for applicants and enrollees to apply for assistance across numerous programs. ApplyMN improves access to various assistance programs for low income Minnesotans, while streamlining the application process.

Commissioner visits Health Commons at Dar Ul-Quba

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson visited Health Commons at the Dar Ul-Quba Cultural Center in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood June 29. The drop-in health and wellness center offers nutrition and parenting classes, health consultations and alternative health therapies to the community free of charge.

DHS unveils Reform 2020: Pathways to Independence

DHS has developed Reform 2020: Pathways to Independence, a plan to redesign Minnesota's Medicaid program to create a simpler, more sustainable system.

Foster parents recognized

Hundreds of foster children and their families participated in the Second Annual Celebrate Foster Families with the St. Paul Saints event May 20 at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. Sponsored by the St. Paul Saints and supported by Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Scott counties and DHS, the event was held to recognize the commitment of foster families.

Commissioner connects with Housing Access Services

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson met with staff and clients of Housing Access Services, a partnership between The Arc of Minnesota and DHS, Friday, May 4, in St. Paul. Housing Access Services supports people with disabilities move to homes of their own.

Anoka County receives Hunger Champions Award

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson presented the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services Outreach Coalition 2011 Hunger Champions Award to Anoka County at the Nutritious Food Coalition meeting held at DHS April 10.

MFIP participants on FastTRAC to economic stability

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson met with FastTRAC students and staff Feb. 10, 2012, at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park. The Minnesota Department of Human Services is one of several agencies behind the FastTRAC program, which combines basic skills education with career-specific training for high-demand fields.

Father Project helps overcome barriers to parenting

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson met Dec. 12 with representatives of the Father Project, a Minneapolis organization that helps low-income, noncustodial fathers become more involved in their children’s lives.

2011 Commissioner Awards

The Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award winners stand out among the many individuals and organizations on the front lines throughout the state.

2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Priorities

2011 was a year of accomplishments for the Department of Human Services. DHS kicked off the year with early expansion of Medicaid and closed out the year with the transition to managed care contracts negotiated through competitive bidding.

Report/Rate this pageReport/Rate this page