Commissioners’ Conference Room
Second Floor – County Administration Building
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
In Attendance: Commissioner Gaiter, Commissioner Johnson, Linda Hoffman, Neil Gluckman, Ginny Riley, Laura Walker, Jim Drendel, Marsha Ellis, Ed Rutherford, Peggy Koskie, Eileen Brittingham
Guest: Dallas Everhart, Consultant
A recording of this worksession is available at: http://larimer.org/bcc/list_worksessions.cfm
Introductions & Announcements
Commissioner Gaiter welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order.
Everyone in attendance introduced themselves and stated their position for the listening audience.
Director Ginny Riley asked the Commissioners if they had any other agenda items. The Commissioners did not have any additional items.
Department Strategic Operating Plan
Ginny Riley stated that many of the mandated programs that Human Services provides will see significant cuts in the coming years while caseloads continue to grow. She stated that workloads are at unreasonable levels and staff are moving as fast as they can and are still having difficulty keeping up. Ginny is looking to the future to see what the department will need to keep up with the growing demand and reduced funding. She indicated that being proactive about future realities with funding and workload must happen when the department is stable and not in crisis mode. Larimer County DHS has a strong history of adapting to change and being a model for other counties on how to implement and work through business operations changes. In June, the department began to develop a strategic operating plan. The department hired consultant Dallas Everhart to facilitate. Ginny introduced Dallas.
Dallas began by explaining the origins of a strategic operating plan, how the plan is developed, and how it is put into action. Dallas described in detail how the process was developed by Tom Patterson and includes:
· Gaining perspective
· Past turning points
· Identifying issues
· Develop a mission, vision, and values
· Look at what is important now
Once the initial plan on a page is developed and the first action initiative plans (AIPs) are set, the groups work on their actions and come back together 90 days later to discuss their progress and set new AIPs.
The department will examine all business processes to ensure we are working effectively and efficiently. The strategic operating process will continue to be a work in process and will require commitment for several years to come.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
Income Maintenance Manager Peggy Koskie explained that LEAP is designed to help low income households with heating costs. LEAP accepts application from November 1 – April 30. This program is funded by the federal government and administered by the state. Larimer County receives its allocation from the state. This program primarily provides funding to heating providers and not directly to the clients. Last year the State of Colorado reduced the income levels to 150% of the federal poverty level. These guidelines will remain in place for this year.
Clients who qualify for LEAP and also need assistance with repairs or replacement of heating systems including weatherization are able to contact the 1-800-HEAT HELP line and a qualified technician will come out and inspect the system/home and provide repairs at low or no cost to the client.
Since this program is federally funded, changes to the program can occur in the middle of the season. There is no county match for this program. County Manager Linda Hoffman inquired as to the cost for administering this program. Ginny responded that there is a 10% cap for administrative cost. We can request additional funding from the state if we have a need.
New Child Welfare Federal Goal on Child Well Being
Division Manager for Children Youth and Family Jim Drendel informed the Commissioners that he is anticipating a change to the Federal outcome measurement on child well being. Jim attended a meeting in Washington, DC with the Commissioner for Administration on Children, Youth and Families Bryan Samuels. Bryan is signifying that a change to this outcome measurement is coming. Currently, this outcome is measured by a child’s attendance at a medical, dental, or mental health appointments after he or she is placed in foster care. Bryan is proposing measuring the trauma symptoms a child displays when he or she is placed in foster care versus remaining at home. Bryan states that placing a child in foster care causes more trauma symptoms to occur than if they remain in their home.
Jim is working with Colorado State University to determine the best way to measure these outcomes. They are looking at four different trauma symptom scales to see which one will be most effective and efficient for caseworkers. We will be monitoring the federal policies for the change to this outcome.
Client Activity Report
Business Operations Coordinator Eileen Brittingham presented an overview of the department’s client activity. Eileen reviewed: monthly average caseloads, program activity, complaint totals, and client follow-up survey regarding complaints from April 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012.
During the 2nd Quarter:
· The Food Medical & Financial Assistance programs averaged 28,167 cases
· The Benefits Information Center took 10,946 calls and 89% were resolved on the 1st contact
· Child Support collected $4,214,492
· Children, Youth and Family (Child Protection) received 1,282 referrals, with 96% of children involved with our services remaining in their homes when that was the case plan
· The Director’s office received 16 formal complaints during the 2nd Quarter
The next meeting has been scheduled for November 19, 2012 from 10am to 12pm, Commissioners’ Conference Room.