Commissioners’ Conference Room

Second Floor – County Administration Building

10:00 am - Noon

 

In Attendance: Commissioner Donnelly, Commissioner Johnson, Commissioner Gaiter, Frank Lancaster, Ed Rutherford, Tamara Schmidt, Laura Sartor, Marsha Ellis, Ginny Riley, Denise Suniga, Jim Drendel, Laura Walker, Ruth Long, Kathy Snell, Angela Mead, John Gillies & Eileen Brittingham

 

Commissioner Johnson called the meeting to order.

 

Everyone in attendance introduced themselves to the listening audience.  Ginny reminded the Commissioners that state statue requires the Commissioners to meet quarterly with the Director of Human Services as the Board of Social Services.  Ginny also reminded the Commissioners that this is a worksession and no action will be taken.

 

Ginny asked the Commissioners if they had any other agenda items.  Commissioner Johnson asked Ginny to update him on County Administration funds and the State budget for 2010 - 2011.  Commissioner Johnson asked if the State budget committee will eliminate County Administration funds. Ginny replied that she has not heard this.  Kathy Snell asked Commissioner Johnson if he was referring to the contingency fund.  Commissioner Johnson replied, yes.

 

The county contingency is the county tax relief fund.  This was created to help in situations where county Department of Human Service would have a significant increase in caseload due to natural disasters, etc.  

 

In response to Commissioner Johnson inquiry, Ed Rutherford stated the Larimer County receives approximately 3 million in County Administration funds. Ginny added in the last 15 years we have overspent our County Administration funds.

 

Commissioner Johnson asked how much money was in the Departments fund balance.  Ginny responded that the department will use some of its fund balance in 2010 brining it to approximately 6 million.

 

Commissioner Johnson asked if the state cuts County Administration fund what will be the department response.  Ginny responded that the department would look at cuts to programs and be further behind in case processing.

 

Commissioner Johnson asked can the Human Services fund balance be used to process cases. Ginny responded that the county fund balance can be used for any Human Services related line items Colorado state statue requires counties to have a fund balance that can cover a few months of operating expenses. 

 

Complaint Report

Ginny explained this report includes only those complaints that rise to the level of the Director’s office.  If a client has a concern that is not resolved at the supervisor or Division Managers level the client may contact the Directors’ office for help in resolving the complaint.

 

Eileen Brittingham is the starting points for initial complaints. Laura Walker, Human Resource Generalist investigates complaints that were not resolved after contacting Eileen. Ginny reviews all complaints received in the Directors’ office.

 

Laura presented an overview of the number and types of complaints received in the Director’s Office from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009. 

 

Commissioner Gaiter asked why the number of complaint for Fraud & Recovery jumped.  Laura responded that Fraud has a small caseload number and any number of complaints causes a significant change in percentages. Commissioner Donnelly asked what the Fraud & Recovery program does. Laura explained that the Fraud and Recovery program is responsible for the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of fraud, as well as the collection of overpayments both intentional and non-intentional.

 

The Department received one request in 2009 for the Citizen Review Panel.  Laura explained that the Citizen Review Panel is intended to address only employee misconduct, the client has to meet very specific statutory requirements, and any resulting actions have to be within the Director’s authority  In 2009 the panel did not find any employee misconduct but did make several recommendations. These recommendations have been examined and appropriate changes have been implemented.

 

In response to Commissioner Donnelly inquiry, Laura stated that the individual and any staff involved in the complaint presents their case. The County Attorney is present to provide legal advice to the panel and answer any questions they have.

 

Ginny asked the Commissioners if this met your needs.  Commissioner Johnson responded yes.

 

Child Care Assistance Program

Ginny explained that the department Child Care Assistance Program will need to make program reductions in 2010. Hinny gave a visual presentation on how Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) affects different programs within the Department. TANF also known as Colorado Works is funded by federal money. 

 

Ginny sent a letter to Karen Bye, Executive Director of the Colorado State Department of Human Services.  Requesting

1.     Reallocate CCCAP statewide now from counties that were projected underspend to those projected to overspend.  The answer was, no.

2.     To allocate any stimulus CCCAP funds to only counties projected to overspend.  The answer was, no.

3.     To look at the inequities in the CCAP program and what benefits counties are able to provide.  CCAP benefits are a county option. The answer to Ginny’s request was no. 

 

Karen would take a look at the interplay between these three programs for the next state fiscal year.

Ginny presented her request to Metro Directors; they would not join an effort that might cause them to lose benefits in their program. 

 

In response to Commissioners Johnson inquiry Ginny explained that the State looks at: Children in poverty, population and children on food assistance.  They do not take into consideration the number of people who apply for CCAP assistance. Commissioner Gaiter asked if this is primarily a large county issue.  Ginny responded yes. 

 

Laura Sartor and Tamara Schmidt gave a presentation on changes to the Child Care Assistance Program, effective March 1, 2010 (see handout for details).

·         Institute a waiting list for all Low-Income families requesting CCAP subsidies whose gross monthly income is at or below 185% of the

·         Federal Poverty Level. Priority status will be given to applicants whose income is at or below 130% FPL and teen parents. Current participants and TANF families will not be placed on the waiting list.

·         Decrease daily CCAP rates paid to licensed providers.

 

Commissioner Gaiter asked why we are over our allocation. Ginny responded:

·         More people apply for the program then we receive allocation for

·         Stimulus packet has increase the benefit for job search

·         State formula does not attend to either of these

 

The impact we anticipate:

·         360 children going off the program.

·         Create financial impact on child care providers.

·         Possible loss of providers

·         Employers impacted not able to continue their employment. 

·         Teen parents not able to complete High School education due to waiting list (will be bumped to the top of the waiting list but will need to wait until a child/family come off the list).

·         Increase in other program area.

·         In crease in child protection referral can but the children at risk. 

 

Ginny Riley informed the Commissioner that she will bring the request to implement a waiting list to Administrative Matter.

 

Commissioner Johnson asked that staff provide notices to clients and providers with information on who to contact regarding the decision making.  Ginny will have staff draft a notice and send to Commissioner Johnson’s for approval.

 

Commissioner Gaiter asked if there are community member who will be able to help the clients.  Ginny did not think that the community would be able to assist.  Tamara stated the Early Childhood Council would be able to refer families to other resources.

 

Child Welfare Federal Audit Review & Performance Tracking

A Federal Audit of Colorado Child Protection cases was conducted, Colorado scored poorly.  Jim Drendel reported that no state has passed federal review to date. 

 

Jim Drendel and Denise Suniga provided two handouts of the Child and Family Service Review (CFSR).

The first handout included:

·         Organization structure and function: review of our work

·         Cases reviewed during CFSR versus total cases in 2009

·         Overall impression from the federal reviewers

·         Strength identified in CFSR

·         Challenges identified in CFSR

·         Research and development of best practices

·         Comparison of Cost for 2009 for Therapeutic Residential Child Care Facilities

·         Comparison of Cost for 2009 for Community Based Services to youth and families

·         Training & implementing best practices

·         Out of home placements

·         What’s next

 

The second handout included the results of the audit & how Larimer County ranked in accordance with the federal guidelines.

 

The Children, Youth and Family division has made several changes since the Federal audit.  Those changes include:

·         Providing services to all family members (mom, dad, brothers and sisters) in a Juvenile Delinquency case. 

·         Shifted funding from Residential Treatment Centers to Community Based program (paid coaches who help the child with home work, teach parents life skills and parenting skills, take children doctor appointment, etc.)

·         Red Teams assess whether or not a caseworker needs to go out on a home visit.  We contract with community agencies to send people out to see if everything looks okay.  Pre-check before a caseworker approaches the family. Trained to look at whole family/household and call if there are issues.  Community agency will provide low level care services to families if needed.

·         Using technology (i.e. digital pens, dragon speak) to improve documentation and efficiency.

·         Looking at a dashboard system that would create automated tickler system for supervisors and caseworkers.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by Commissioner Johnson.