Cass County Board: Out-of-home placements remain consistent

In 2022 a total of 34 juveniles/children who were screened went into an out-of-home placement for over 30 days, which is the same number as 2021.

Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Tim Speier / Brainerd Dispatch

WALKER — Out-of-home placements of children in 2022 in Cass County remained consistent with what the county handled the previous year.

Michele Piprude, Cass County’s Health, Human and Veterans Services director, presented that information during her department’s annual screening team report Tuesday, March 7, to Cass County commissioners.

Piprude delivered the report with Jim Schneider, Cass County’s director of probation.

In 2022, a total of 34 juveniles/children, who were screened, went into an out-of-home placement for over 30 days, which is the same number as 2021. Piprude said the goal of the department is to place juveniles/children into relative foster care, with 19 placements being in this preferred method. Ten of the juveniles/children were placed in nonrelative foster care, with four going into residential care, one into a residential group home and four being discharged and having not returned to placement.

The majority of the children were placed outside their own home for neglect, followed by alcohol/drug abuse and a few for behavior problems, according to the annual report.


The majority continue to be age 15 and younger, with there being an equal number of girls and boys being screened. The majority of the juveniles/children screened were white, with eight being Native American and none being Black.

For the complete screening team annual report, go to www.cass county .

Board Chair Scott Bruns opened Tuesday’s meeting for a public hearing regarding the Cass County land use ordinance. Jeff Woodford, Environmental Service director, informed the board there were two formal requests received prior to the meeting plus many other comments received, which were included in the board packet. One of the formal requests was from a resident near Cass Lake requesting the ordinance regarding multi-family dwellings be changed to a variation that would make some work acceptable with or without a permit.

The second formal request was received from the Fairview Township Board of Supervisors requesting restrictions regarding stairways and hill lifts be revised to allow for both to be placed into the bluff or steep slope and exceed the current 8 foot limit.

Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk said he had some concerns regarding the section outlining agricultural uses, saying he felt the wording regarding when new permits are required for agricultural structures could lead to some disputes and is confusing. Gaalswyk made a motion for the land use ordinance to be sent back to the Planning Commission for rewording in this section and brought back to the board at a future meeting for another reading. His motion was approved unanimously.

In other business, the commissioners:

Approved the Health, Human and Veterans Services contract for the next three years to include a 5% cost of living adjustment and 3% step increases annually, plus updated the procedures for internal job postings.

Nominated commissioners Gaalswyk and Jeff Peterson as Cass County representatives to attend the April 19 assembly, which is part of the 2023 Students of Character Celebration.


Approved a letter of support be sent to area legislators regarding the concern for inadequate funding for training and equipment for local emergency medical services first responders.

Approved the 2022 Cass County household hazardous waste community collection events and advertising schedule.

Awarded a contract to PCI Roads in the amount of $165,696.70 for the sealing of 12 Cass County bridges, which will extend the life of each bridge by approximately seven to 10 years.

Adopted a resolution agreeing on a local match of 20% for the construction cultural resource monitoring on County Highway 70.

The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. March 21 at the Land Department meeting room in Backus; and commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. April 4 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker.

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