Community Resources & Education

Community resources

With so many people struggling from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are updating this list of resources regularly. If you don’t find what you need here, please call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 877-211-9274. You can also search their online database.

Con tanta gente luchando por el impacto financiero de la pandemia de COVID-19, estamos actualizando esta lista de recursos regularmente. Si no encuentra lo que necesita aquí, llame al 2-1-1 o envíe un mensaje de texto con su código postal al 877-211-9274. También puede buscar en la base de datos en línea.

The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for Minnesotans facing food insecurity and for Minnesota’s food producers. Minnesota has existing programs to help Minnesotans receive emergency food support, along with information about safely handling produce during this time.

  • Emergency food support –  Information from the Department of Human Services.
  • Free Meals for Kids app –  The Minnesota Department of Education is partnering with Hunger Impact Partners to help students find free, nutritious school meals at nearly 400 schools and other sites during the distance learning period.
  • SNAP Outreach Specialists –  If you need food assistance, specialists can give you more information about receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Learn how to enroll and use the benefit to make informed decisions about buying healthy, nutritious food.
  • Food shelves. If you have an immediate need for food or are experiencing economic hardships that prevent you from being able to purchase food, your local food shelf can help. Many food shelves provide drive thru, or other alternatives pick up options for your safety. More information can be found on Second Harvest Heartland’s website.

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic may create instability for those facing housing hardships. It’s critical that Minnesotans have access to the resources and programs available to help them remain safely in their homes during this time.

  • Housing Discrimination & Eviction Protections. The State of Minnesota is here to help you maintain stable housing. Resources are available to you from the Department of Human Rights if you are a tenant or homeowner in Minnesota and are facing hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Housing Assistance. Minnesota Housing is the state’s housing finance agency. For more than 40 years, we’ve worked to provide access to safe, decent and affordable housing and to build stronger communities across the state. (More information about COVID-19 and Housing.)
  • Housing Assistance and Resources from the Department of Human Services.
  • Emergency Assistance. If you are a renter and need emergency assistance, talk to your landlord. You can also contact your county’s human services agency, Community Action Agency, or the Department of Human Services.
  • Legal assistance. If you’re a renter, you can get legal help on a wide range of issues, including repairs, evictions, security deposits, landlord invasion of privacy, and more. Call HOME Line’s hotline at 612-728-5767.
  • If you receive an eviction notice. If you receive an eviction notice during peacetime emergency, you may contact the Attorney General’s office to submit a complaint.
  • Homeowners. If you’re a homeowner experiencing difficult making on-time mortgage payments, there may be options for you. Information is available on the Consumer Financial Bureau’s website.

Utilities

  • Energy Assistance Program. Pay for energy bills, home heating and furnace repairs for income-qualified households.
  • Comcast. Comcast is opening its Xfinity Wi-Fi Network nationally for free, connecting low-income families to free internet to support them with distance learning during school closures.

The uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic creates financial instability for many Minnesotans. The following resources are available if you, your family, or someone you know needs economic assistance.

  • Bridge to Benefits. This web-based screening tool can help you identify if you’re eligible for public works programs, including SNAP, WIC, School Meal Program, Minnesota Health Care Programs, Energy Assistance, and Child Care Assistance.
  • ApplyMN. This web application can connect you with state and county services to help meet your and your family’s basic needs. Use it to apply for cash assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, child care assistance, and Emergency Assistance. Call 651-431-4000 for questions.
  • Emergency Assistance. Your household may be eligible for assistance to cover emergency needs, such as help paying rent or utility bills. Contact your county or tribal human services agency to learn about availability, eligibility, and how to apply.
  • Community Action Agencies. This site gathers local, state, federal, and private resources that can help individuals and families with low incomes.
  • Grants for Veterans. A variety of grants are available for veterans, and their spouses, who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Services

Job Opportunities

  • Search job postings, get help with resume writing, participate in virtual workshops and more on CareerForceMN.com.
  • Amazon has 100,000 new roles to support people relying on Amazon’s service in this stressful time. 
  • Dominos pizza is looking to hire more full-time and part-time workers as more people are ordering in.
  • Grocery stores are hiring people to staff busy sections and fulfill online orders.

Unemployment Services

More than ever, it’s important for Minnesotans to have access to healthcare. Minnesota’s programs enable families and individuals to seek the care they need to stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Health care program for people with low to no incomes. Information about Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare and other programs for people who otherwise might not be able to afford health care.
  • American Indian Tribal Members. Members of a federally recognized American Indian tribe can also sign up at any time year-round on MNsure.org.
  • COVID-19 Coverage on MNsure. All four medical insurance companies selling private health insurance plans on MNsure are waiving co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and cost sharing for in-network COVID-19 hospitalization.
  • Get free help. MNsure has a statewide network of expert assisters who can help Minnesotans apply and enroll, free of charge and the Department of Human Services has more resources on health assistance.
  • Office of Insurance CommissionerThis link will take you away from uwkc.org will waive copays/deductibles for those whom meet the CDC requirement for testing. Insurance: must allow a one-time 30-day “early refill” for prescription drugs as per the Office of Insurance Commissioner.
Mental Health
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a tremendous amount of stress, fear and anxiety for many people. It’s important that families have access to the mental health care resources they need to stay well during this challenging time. Resources for supporting mental well-being during COVID-19 are available on the Minnesota Department of Health website. Mental health hotlines provide free support to Minnesotans experiencing mental distress are below. 
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota: Connect for help, to navigate the mental health system, and for support and for resources. Call: 1-888-NAMI-Helps / 1-888-626-4435 
  • Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health: Connect for help, to navigate the mental health system, and for support and for resources. Call: 1-800-528-4511 
  • Crisis Text Line: The 24/7 emergency service is available if you or someone you know is experiencing a psychiatric or mental health crisis. Text: “MN” to 741741 
  • Crisis Services: Call **CRISIS (274747) from a mobile phone to talk to your county mental health crisis team. From a landline, find your county mental health crisis phone number here:
  • Minnesota Warmline: Are you an adult needing support? Talk to a specialist who has firsthand experience living with a mental health condition. Call: 651-288-0400. Text: “Support” to 85511
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The 24/7 lifeline provides support when in distress, has prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and resources for professionals. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: Offers crisis counseling and support if you or a family member is experiencing emotional distress related to a disaster. Call: 1-800-985-5990
  • Peer Support Connection Warmlines: Peer-to-peer telephone support that’s safe and supportive. Open 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. Call or text: 1-844-739-6369
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 — This 24/7/365 service from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides crisis counseling for people going through both natural and human-caused disasters. It’s free, multi-lingual and confidential. You can also text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • LGBTQ SupportThis link will take you away from uwkc.org: The Trevor Project has launched TrevorSpace, a safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth. And if they feel hopeless, alone, or have thoughts of suicide, please have them call the TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. They can also connect with trained counselors every day 24/7 by texting 678-678 or via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help.
  • Coping with Stress:
  • Alcoholic Anonymous Support:This link will take you away from uwkc.org AA meetings have moved online – with around 415 meetings available to access. Visit In The Rooms websiteThis link will take you away from uwkc.org for more options and details.
For parents or caregivers (especially those who have children with special health needs or different abilities) looking to talk to other parents for emotional support or one-on-one help in navigating resources, Minnesota has a number of organizations to help including:
  • Disability Hub MN. Provides free, statewide, information, referral and assistance service to help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and their representatives connect to community services.
  • Family Voices of Minnesota. A parent-run organization providing information, resources, and peer-to-peer support for families who have children with special health needs or disabilities.
  • PACER. A resource for families of children with disabilities, including parent advocates and staff available to assist families at 952-838-9000 or pacer@pacer.org.

Families seeking Child Care

Online Learning Opportunities

Education & Training

Abuse Prevention

  • Talk About Touches by Zero Abuse Project – Does your profession provide opportunities to talk to children about abuse prevention? This short overview for professionals (health care, law enforcement, etc.) provides tools and vocabulary to talk about touches.
  • Disclosures by Zero Abuse Project – Most children don’t disclose when being victimized online or in-person. This webinar for caregivers and professionals goes into detail about why kids and teens don’t usually disclose, the process of disclosing, and how caring adults can make telling easier.
  • Empower Me: An Overview for Parents by Zero Abuse Project – This short webinar goes over best practices for parents and those who work with youth about how to make personal body safety messages empowering and effective.

Classes

  • Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) – Presents a multilevel parenting and family support strategy that aims to prevent severe behavioral, emotional, and developmental problems in children by enhancing the knowledge, skills, and confidence of parents.
  • Tuning in to Kids – Describes a parenting program that helps children learn to understand and regulate their emotions to improve the well-being of children and decrease behavioral difficulties as they age.
  • The Incredible Years – Describes a research-based program for reducing children’s aggression and behavior problems and increasing social competence at home and at school.
  • The Circle of Security – Increases parent-child interactions and parental awareness to enhance attachment security between parents and children. The highlighted interventions expand parents’ choices on reactions and raising their children.
  • ACT-Raising Safe Kids (ACT-RSK) program – Outlines the ACT/Parents Raising Safe Kids program that focuses on educating parents and caregivers to create early environments to protect children from violence and maltreatment.

Financial Empowerment

  • Financial Empowerment Toolkit (National Resource Center for Youth Services) – Provides information and tools for financial education aimed at youth in care and those transitioning out of foster care. The guide includes resources to promote financial understanding and literacy for youth and young adults.
  • Helping Your Child Become a Good Money Manager (University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, 2012) – Presents strategies for parents on how to teach their children about money management and how to be in control of their finances. It includes tips on modeling smart money decisions and how to guide children to make their own smart money decisions. This factsheet also offers different options for how to teach children to manage their money well. 
  • How to Create and Manage a Budget (Debt.org) – Reviews best practices for budgeting and gives advice on how to manage a budget and prevent overspending. 
  • Learning to Manage the Family Money (American College of Pediatrics, 2017) – Provides tips to help manage money, create a budget, pay off debt, and build an emergency fund and gives advice on how to teach kids to manage their own money as they grow into adults. 
  • Systems to Family Stability National Policy Academy (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Family Assistance) –  Presents an 18-month initiative during which eight teams designed and built collaborative systems within and across government agencies to improve family economic security. 
  • Tips to Teach Your Kids About Smart Money Management (My Money Coach, 2018) – Outlines tips for parents to help their kids learn to be smart about managing money. The advice includes real world examples on how to prepare children for self-sufficiency. 
  • Ultimate Resources for Teaching Kids About Money (Mint.com) – Provides a list of resources and websites for parents to use to help their children learn about money and a variety of aspects of finances including budgeting, earning, and saving. 
  • Youth Financial Education (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) – Provides tools and resources to teach youth and their parents financial capability. The information is designed to help develop financial knowledge, skills, and habits, which is an important stepping stone on the path to adult financial well-being. 

Online Schooling & Mental Health

Blogs

For families involved with Child Welfare Services

Media & News

Online Learning

  • CK-12 (Grades: Pre-K-12): Super STEM, social studies resource with highly customizable content. Making content accessible to kids with different learning styles, CK-12 could be the key to mastery for some students.
  • PBS Kids provides educational programs, resources for parents and teachers, and a thorough list of STEM games for children ages 2–8. Resources are built around all STEM subjects and encourage students to problem solve through activities that include characters from PBS’s televised programs. www.pbskids.org 
  • PBS LearningMedia direct access to thousands of classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted digital resources aligned to Common Core and national and state standards. Spur your students’ achievement and engagement through the use of: audio recordings. Documents.

Games & Apps

  • Blue-Bot (Grades: Pre-K-2): Simple robot ideal for introducing programming to young learners,
  • Tynker Junior (Grades: Pre-K-2): Picture-based coding app piques early learners’ interest.
  • Codeable Crafts (Grades: Pre-K-3): Animate stories with accessible drawing tools and coding blocks
  • Code.org (Grades: Pre-K-12): A well-planned, -produced, and -curated set of free resources bound to get kids hooked on learning to code.
  • SAM Labs (Grades: 2-8): Kids use block code and wireless blocks to program, design, and create
  • Talk About Touches by Zero Abuse Project – Does your profession provide opportunities to talk to children about abuse prevention? This short overview for professionals (health care, law enforcement, etc.) provides tools and vocabulary to talk about touches.
  • Disclosures by Zero Abuse Project – Most children don’t disclose when being victimized online or in-person. This webinar for caregivers and professionals goes into detail about why kids and teens don’t usually disclose, the process of disclosing, and how caring adults can make telling easier.
  • Empower Me: An Overview for Parents by Zero Abuse Project – This short webinar goes over best practices for parents and those who work with youth about how to make personal body safety messages empowering and effective.
  • Webinar Recording: Racial Justice, Equity and the Role of Child Care – a conversation on fixing the child care system to ensure equal access to both tools and opportunities. In this three-part series, we engage in honest dialogue about the state of our country, CCAoA’s position, mental health and health trauma that exists as a result of systemic racism and how we create an equitable system to support providers, children and families.

Research & Information

Prevention is the best hope for reducing child abuse and neglect and improving the lives of children and families. Strengthening families and preventing child abuse requires a shared commitment of individuals and organizations in every community. The following studies discuss the impact of child abuse and neglect and the framework for prevention.

Impacts of Child Abuse 

  • Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect – Presents a review of evidence with respect to key neurobiological systems that are altered as a result of abuse and neglect early in life. Also finds children who experience abuse and neglect appear to be especially at risk for deficits in executive functioning, which have implications for behavioral regulation. In their most extreme forms, abuse and neglect are associated with stunted growth. Child abuse and neglect have been linked to various forms of physical illness as well as various indicators of physical health problems. Findings from the Adverse Childhood Experiences study indicate a heightened risk for liver disease, lung cancer, and ischemic heart disease among adults who report multiple adverse experiences in childhood (Brown et al., 2010; Dong et al., 2003, 2004). Risk and protective factors across multiple levels of a child’s ecology interact to influence outcomes related to child abuse and neglect. Factors that influence resilience across these domains are important to an understanding of how to protect children from the adverse outcomes discussed in this review.
  • The Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention, found the total lifetime estimated financial costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) is approximately $124 billion.
  • Child Welfare: Inventory & Benefit Cost Analysis – benefit-cost analyses for state investments, conducted by the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB), using the Pew-MacArthur Results First framework. This framework allows Minnesota to estimate the cost effectiveness of select services using national evidence. 

Prevention overview 

  • Toxic Stress: Effects, Prevention and Treatment – Children who experience early life toxic stress are at risk of long-term adverse health effects that may not manifest until adulthood. This article briefly summarizes the findings in recent studies on toxic stress and childhood adversity following the publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Report on the effects of toxic stress. A review of toxic stress and its effects is described, including factors of vulnerability, resilience, and the relaxation response. An integrative approach to the prevention and treatment of toxic stress necessitates individual, community and national focus.
  • Strengthening Families and the Protective Factors Framework – Provides an overview of the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework, a research-informed approach to increase family strengths and promote child development while reducing the likelihood of child maltreatment.
  • Child Maltreatment Prevention: Past, Present, and Future – This issue brief presents prevention as the most important means of keeping children safe from abuse and neglect and highlights current best practices and emerging trends in the child protection field.
  • Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect – This factsheet provides information on how communities, community leaders, and individual citizens can strengthen families, protect children, and prevent child abuse and neglect.
  • Results from a Randomized Control Trial of a Parenting Intervention for Highly Stressed Families: Make Parenting a Pleasure (PDF – 266 KB) Parenting Now (2016) Evaluates the efficacy of a group-based parenting education curriculum, Make Parenting a Pleasure, which assists highly stressed families in improving protective factors that are associated with