January 2018 Newsletter





Our mission is to promote professionalism and to facilitate the opportunity to provide training, networking and better communication for all Financial Workers and Case Aides in order to deliver human service programs effectively within Minnesota.

From our President

Happy Holidays!  I cannot believe the New Year is already here but am ready for all 2018 has to offer, including keeping up with all the childcare changes! It was great to see so many of you at conference in October.  We had a record number of attendees and are grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you to all those who completed the post-conference survey.  We will be working closely with Crowne Plaza staff to address your concerns and hope 2018’s conference meets your expectations.  The 2018 MFWCAA membership form is attached to this newsletter.  Turn your membership dues in early to get your name in the early bird drawing!  Membership runs from January to December and we appreciate your continued support. Feel free to contact me at any time with any concerns or comments you may have.  Have a safe and happy new year!
Tara Vander Steen, President


2017 Financial Worker/Case Aide of the Year

2017 Finacial Worker of the Year, Lois Sosenheimer

2017 Finacial Worker of the Year, Lois Sosenheimer

Lois Sosenheimer from Ramsey County is the winner of the 2017 Financial Worker/Case Aide of the Year Award.  She is a lead worker and her coworkers have nothing but good things to say about her.  She is a teacher to the people around her and praises them for the work they do.  She is beginning her final year of employment and has been a huge factor in keeping up everybody’s spirits in the face of the difficult work we do.

If you know someone that you think is deserving of this award, nominate them!  Attached to this newsletter is the 2018 Financial Worker/Case Aide of the Year Nomination Form.  You can also nominate them online. The nominations must be postmarked or submitted online by 06/30/18.

Other prize winners at the conference

Emily Slater from Koochiching County is the winner of the drawing that took place in celebration of having over 300 likes on our MFWCAA Facebook page!  She won a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  Make sure that you and all your Financial Worker and Case Aide buddies like our page too!

Vendor Match Game Winners of $10 cash

  • Randi Lee Beaudoin – Clay County
  • Kathy Bartelson – Winona County
  • Crystal Maxson – Kanabec County
  • Kayla Baker – Lakes & Prairies
  • Kristine Flynn – Nicollet County
  • Geri Hoglin – Wilkin County
  • Mary Olson – Kittson County
  • Dianna Wesely – Blue Earth County
  • Jamie Kelley – Chisago County
  • Shirley Luhmann – McLeod County

Door Prizes

  • Carol Sever, St Louis County – $25
  • Chris Rae, Itasca County – $25
  • May Cheng Xiong, Ramsey County – $25
  • Tracy Ost, Kandiyohi County – $25
  • Mary Standal, Clay County – $25
  • Elis Walch, Cook County – $25
  • April Schones, Wabasha County – $25
  • Mary Ann Anderson, Otter Tail County – $25
  • Stephanie Cain, Chisago County – Crowne Plaza Stay
  • Joy Meyer, Nicollet County – Grand Casino Stay/$20 Play

The Scholarship Committee awarded prizes for the most ticket sales (1st and 2nd), creativity (3rd), and a random drawing:

  • First Place Prize went to Carver County for their It Is Possible Basket (raised $608)
  • Second Place Prize went to Ramsey County for their Warm & Toasty Basket (raised $542)
  • Most Creative went to McLeod County for their Top Secret Bomb Basket
  • Random Drawing went to Douglas County for their Breast Cancer Awareness Basket

2017 Survey Results and Conference Planning

Thank you to all who completed the survey. Your comments help us plan for next year. There were quite a few requests for better networking opportunities and round table discussions. The board will be looking at ways to implement these for future conferences.

I apologize for the overcrowded rooms, food lines and bathrooms! We had a record number of attendees this year, which was awesome, but did pose congestion issues. When we signed the contract with Crowne Plaza in 2013, we had no idea what to expect. At that time, we were experiencing lower numbers and booked our venue based on those numbers. We also cannot control issues caused by other conferences held at the same time. Currently we are the only conference scheduled for 2018 at Crowne Plaza but that could change based on their schedule and availability.

Following is an example of how conference planning takes place:

The board works with Helms Briscoe and identifies areas of the state conference attendees would like to see conference held (which is why we ask that question on the post-conference surveys). Helms Briscoe contacts venues in those areas and gets proposals for the board. The board narrows the proposals down to two choices – this year we are looking at Maddens and Duluth. The President, President-Elect and Past President go on site visits and then present the pros and cons of each venue to the board. The board votes on the venue, contracts are negotiated, approved and signed.

Some things that we look at when negotiating conference sites are: space available for banquet dinners, vendor/scholarship basket location, registration space, five session rooms, wireless internet, speaker tables/podiums and other audio visual needs, the ability to bring in outside entertainment, cash bar, free overnight stay to use as a door prize, availability of staff in April for site visit and staff availability during conference.

As stated above, we are currently looking at venues for our 2020 and 2021 conferences. We expect to have contracts signed by August 2018. Once the contracts are signed, we will not have any contact with the site until early 2020. Our energy is focused on working with the current venue and planning the next conference.

Some changes we are currently looking at are making conference longer to allow time for more networking and round table discussions. Another thing would be to not include meals. We have had many complaints about the food and conference costs. About 85% of the cost is for the food. By not offering meals, our costs would go down but this would also limit where conference could be held since we would need to be in a more populated area with access to restaurants.

Our contracts for the next three years include all meals and snacks. We will be negotiating our 2020-2021 contract in the next few months and will look at what the difference in cost would be. Please reach out to me or your region representative with any comments or concerns regarding these changes. The conference is for your benefit and we want to make it a great experience and want everyone to return.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me, Tara Vander Steen, or your region rep.

The 2018 MFWCAA Fall Conference is October 24 – 26, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth.  Hope to see you all there!

Thank you!

The Scholarship Committee would like to thank all who donated a basket for the 2017 raffle.  We had 31 baskets this past year (we had 38 in 2016) and with your help, we were able to raise $5562 (we raised $5593 in 2016) for the Scholarship fund!!! Thank you to everyone who put together and donated baskets as well as those of you who purchased raffle tickets.  The amount of work and creativity we see every year never ceases to amaze us!  It’s time to start thinking of basket ideas for 2018.


Early Bird Information

Your name will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 gift card if your membership dues are postmarked by 02/28/18!!! Please contact your Region Representative or anyone on the board for more information.
Remember Scholarship Applications are due no later than 02/28/18.

scholarship news

Applications are due no later than 02/28/18.

  • Complete the Scholarship application online .  You can also request one from your Region Rep or any board member.
  • The Scholarship Applications must be postmarked by 02/28/18 or the application will be disqualified.
  • The related member’s 2018 MFWCAA membership dues must also be paid by 02/28/18 or the application will be disqualified.
  • Make sure to fill out the application completely and legibly.
  • Remember 2 letters of recommendation (one from a non-related adult and the second from a non-related teacher, instructor or employer).  Your letters of recommendation must be on letterhead.


MFWCAA Board Members

MFWCAA board members

MFWCAA Board members

Front Row:  Bridget Fusco (DHS HC Liaison), Katie Nelson (Region 5 Rep), Andrea Nachreiner (Region 9 Rep), Kristen Kasim (Region 11A Rep), Stacie Schubring (Region 11B Rep), Angela Carlson (DHS CCAP Liaison), & Tracy Scott (DHS Liaison)
Back Row:  Deb Mickelson (Region 4 Rep), Kathy Jordan (Region 10 Rep), Stephanie Wiley (Vice President/Region 7 Rep), Tara Vander Steen (President Elect/Region 8 Rep), Tami Elich (President/Region 3 Rep), Demi Young (Region 6 Rep), & Teryl Waughtal (Secretary/Region 2 Rep)
Not Pictured:  Jessica Buckentin (Region 11 Rep)

Being a member of MFWCAA has many advantages 

members around table

  • We are recognized by the Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Provide a Quarterly Newsletter
  • Provide staff development and training for Financial Workers and Case Aides
  • Arrange regional meetings focusing on specific programs and problems
  • Assist in caseload studies
  • Help in rewriting program manuals
  • Express our opinions and views at public hearings
  • Are involved in developing curriculum for the Financial Worker programs at the Technical Colleges
  • Are eligible for scholarships
  • Attend Fall conference (great place to network)
  • Have working relationships with MSSA, the MN Fraud Investigators Association, the Health Care Department at DHS, the Technical Colleges and Children, Families and Learning.
  • Help with defining our job descriptions with the Merit System

What do Region Reps/Board Members do? 

board meeting

Region Representatives are primarily responsible for promoting membership in MFWCAA within their region, conducting membership drives, hosting regional meetings throughout the year and providing members with updates on legislation, policy and other critical issues that affect our job.

Region Representatives are primarily responsible for promoting membership in MFWCAA within their region, conducting membership drives, hosting regional meetings throughout the year and providing members with updates on legislation, policy and other critical issues that affect our job.

Region Representatives are primarily responsible for promoting membership in MFWCAA within their region, conducting membership drives, hosting regional meetings throughout the year and providing members with updates on legislation, policy and other critical issues that affect our job.

Board meetings, comprised of Region Reps, Board Members and DHS staff, meet once a month in St Cloud. This provides the opportunity for each Region Rep to update others on training and technical assistance, be notified of policy and procedure changes and to coordinate the conference planning. Voting occurs, minutes are taken and bi-laws are followed.

Region Representatives participate in committees that are devoted to preparing and planning for a statewide conference, which is held every fall. Committees focus on keynote speakers, workshop presenters, vendors, logistics and other planning. The annual conference is a great chance to network and attend sessions and workshops that provide exceptional learning opportunities. Representatives are required to attend and assist with the conference every year.

For more information charlie brown

Like our page on Facebook for more updates and information about conference!

For more information about our organization, please visit our website.

For more information on serving your fellow members of the Minnesota Financial Worker and Case Aide Association as a member of our outstanding board, please contact President Tara Vander Steen at:

If you have any articles that you would like to have included in a future newsletter, please contact Katie Nelson at: katie.nelson@co.todd.mn.us.

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