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Western North Dakota leads the state in certified shelter care sites

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Western North Dakota currently leads the state in certified shelter care sites for children and youth. Cory Pedersen is Director of Children and Family Services for the North Dakota Department of Human services.

"North Dakota has always had shelter care sites in the state. What we're doing in this, is we are certifying them to fall under the state regulations so we can use public funds to help support safe places for children ages ten to seventeen. This gives communities opportunities to have a local resource to have temporary safe housing for children in crisis, for families in need, and to support this stabilization quickly so that we don't have to use foster care. "

In North Dakota, there are certified shelter care providers in Williston and Dickinson. Pederson says they are working to certify providers in Fargo, Minot, Bismarck and Grand Forks.

"Historically, North Dakota has done a really nice job at keeping kids safe, and we want to continue this work, to prevent children from having to go to foster care or a long term facility. Certified shelters are a way communities can have a resource for safe places for children and we hope to collaborate locally with those agencies, local professionals, and community stakeholders to build those in any community that is interested in having this resource for children."