Mountrail County Social Services takes on Region 2 Adult Protection Services
By Mary Kilen
Mountrail County Promoter, Stanley, ND
In a decision made after recent legislative and state changes, Mountrail County Social Services has taken on the contract to cover the Region 2 Vulnerable Adult Protection Services. Essentially, the program is funded through the state with the oversight coming through Social Services and Director Bryan Quigley. Niels Anderson, a Licensed Social Worker, has joined the staff and will lead any investigation into any reports filed.
Anderson will operate from Mountrail County and have office hours in Stanley each Wednesday. The remaining days of the week, he will work from home in Minot as he covers the seven counties in Region 2. He says he knows he will see a lot of windshield time as he works with cases in Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward Counties.
The change to bring the program to administration through the county came after the legislature passed some extensive changes to law. Previously the program was administered through the North Central Human Services, but the changes to law, including the mandatory reporting laws, meant the program made more sense to be administered and contracted through a Social Services office. The state pushed the departments to contract out if possible. Anderson says that the legislature was visionary as far as tightening the requirements to protect those that can’t take care of themselves and this is a good first step. Quigley says that as the director of Social Services, the program will fall under his office and he will supervise the work, while the state supervises the contract.
Anderson brings years of experience with him having worked for North Central Human Services for 15 years working with clients with mental illness and specializing in cases dealing with homelessness and people with addictions. Eight years ago he also took on the position of Ombudsman working with Adult Protection in Regions 1 and 2.