What is a Collaborative?

There are currently 90 Collaboratives in MN that are sanctioned by the State. There are 12 Children's Mental Health Collaboratives, 47 Family Services Collaboratives, and 31 Integrated CMH and Family Services Collaboratives. There can only be ONE Children's Mental Health Collaborative per county.

MN Collaboratives Directory

MN Collabs Map.PNG
Minnesota Collaboratives

In 1993, the State Legislature approved a set of laws to create COLLABORATIVES as special districts in our state. Special districts are local government units created or authorized by state law to perform specific duties or to provide specific services in a limited scope (ex. Public Schools.) Our specific duties are spelled out in State Statutes.  

What We Do

“The local Collaborative is responsible for… identifying needs, developing systems of care, and assuring that services cut across traditional system boundaries” (DHS, 1996). Children's Mental Health Collaboratives address the multi-system needs of families who have a child with a mental health disorder. We engage systems and families in planning and policy making.

How We Do It

Collaboratives grow and are sustained through our Integrated Fund. (Minnesota Statutes Sections 245.491 to 245.495). The Integrated Fund is a pool of public and private local, state, and federal resources as well as in-kind donations and services which are consolidated at the local level and used to develop and implement cross-system and integrated services or supports that meet locally agreed-upon goals for youth with mental health disorders and their families. Each funding source may have its own requirements and restrictions that must be met. One example of this is Local Collaborative Time Study (LCTS) funds.  

An integrated fund allows local service decision makers to
draw funding from a single local source so that funds follow clients.
  • It eliminates the need to match clients, funds, services, and provider eligibilities.

  • It creates a local pool of state, local, and private funds to procure a greater medical assistance federal financial participation.

  • It improves the efficiency of use of existing resources, minimizes or eliminates the incentives for cost and risk shifting, and It increases the incentives for earlier identification and intervention. 

Local Collaborative Time Study (LCTS)

The LCTS is a funding source that is unique to Minnesota Collaboratives.  


The Local Collaborative Time Study (LCTS) is Minnesota’s federally-approved claiming mechanism for Medicaid (MA) and Title IV-E administrative reimbursement for Minnesota’s Family Service and Children’s Mental Health Collaboratives. The three types of public entities that participate in the time study are eligible public school districts, county public health agencies and correction agencies. Reimbursement is earned by staff in public school districts, public health, and correction agencies for eligible activities they perform to assist the state in administration of the MA and Title IV-E state plans. LCTS funds received by Collaboratives have been designated by state statute for use in the expansion of early intervention and prevention services in Minnesota communities. 


Original Bulletin and Memos