Regional licensing information for counties

Sourcewell’s regional licensing model for both family child care and adult foster care services allows participating counties to collaborate with regional service cooperatives to streamline licensure functions.

The regional licensing model has been recognized for its impact on counties and providers alike; particularly for family child care licensing.

  • 2019 DHS Center of Excellence Award

  • 2018 Leading Innovator Award through the Local Government Innovation Award

A vision for shared success


The regional licensing model provides a streamlined process for counties and license holders through a collaborative approach to service delivery.


When counties participate in a shared model to fulfill mandated licensure functions, they are able to reallocate resources and potentially realize employment cost savings and increased efficiencies.


Participating counties and Sourcewell collaborate with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to ensure program requirements are met.


Licensed providers and new applicants are able to access official documentation, resources, standardized training, and dedicated licensing staff to assist in maintaining provider licensing requirements.

Common questions

    Currently, Sourcewell is only offering services within our five-county service area (Region 5) and Lakes Country Service Cooperative Region (Region 4). If you are outside of these two regions, contact Sourcewell to learn more about how to replicate the model.

    Once all interested counties in these regions are participating, considerations will be made to expanding to other regions and counties. Any new counties interested in partnering with Sourcewell will start on either January 1 or July 1 of each given year.

    Each participating county’s cost for services varies depending on population and licensed programs.

    Among current participating counties, there is an average cost savings of 30% when compared to each county offering their own licensing program.

    There are several opportunities for counties to benefit from the shared licensing model, including:

    • Cost savings

    • Consistency with licensing polices and processes 

    • Updated and maintained resources for licensed programs

    • One point of contact and expertise for that licensed program

    • Networking opportunities with other counties

    Yes, Sourcewell has support from DHS to provide licensing services to interested participating counties, and has full access to all DHS licensing systems and technical assistance around licensing.

    Each participating county will need a designated point of contact that their Sourcewell Regional Licensing Specialist regarding Family Child Care and/or Adult Foster Care licensing services. This point of contact is normally in a Supervisor role.

    This contact would not work directly with license holders, as those duties fall to the Regional Licensing Specialist.

    Each month county directors are given a high-level licensing update from the Lead Regional Licensing Specialist. Additionally, supervisors from each participating county meet with their appointed Regional Licensing Specialists twice a year to review licensing updates and processes.

    Yes, the appointed Regional Licensing Specialist for each county has county systems and DHS systems (SSIS, file systems, ELICI, and ELMS).

    Sourcewell has access to the Net Study 2.0 Background Study System and has authority to process all background studies for licensed programs.

     All licensing records are obtained by Sourcewell and then are retained by the participating county.

    Sourcewell will assist all partnering counties with Rule 13 Audits for Adult Foster Care and Family Child Care, however all records for Rule 13 audits are obtained by the participating county.

    Yes. Participating counties still hold all responsibility regarding the recommendation of any licensing actions to DHS. Sourcewell licensing staff will provide recommendations to each county and assist with all licensing actions upon requested. 


    Contact or call 218-895-4120.

    Please include your county of residence in all communications.