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St. Louis County Social Worker receives first of its kind award

St. Louis County Social Worker Andrea Larson has been recognized by the Minnesota Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) Advisory Council with its first ever Social Worker Award. The ICWA Advisory Council created the award as a way to also acknowledge the good work that is happening in ICWA here in Minnesota.

The Council has been working with the Department of Human Services and other agencies including St. Louis County on addressing disparities for American Indian children in foster care. Through their work, they created a case review tool that focuses on compliance related issues in regards to ICWA, including areas for improvement.

The ICWA Advisory Council is made up of Directors of tribal social services and representatives of the Urban areas, and it is Council members who nominated Larson for the award.,

“These are people who work with and/or see county social workers putting a huge effort into working with Native American families and doing Active Efforts to either keep families together or to reunify them,” said Candace LaGou, an ICWA Advisory County member. “Andrea’s work is very appreciated.”

“Our unit and department is beyond proud of Andrea,” said Bobbi Jo Potter, who supervises St. Louis County’s ICWA Unit in Duluth. “We believe this award not only reflects Andrea’s hard work, compassion and commitment to implementing ICWA the way it is meant to be implemented, but it also demonstrates her unit and the agency’s commitment to the American Indian children and families we serve.”