Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Larimer County Extension Advisory Committee

March 4, 2009, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Extension Office Meeting Room


Members Present:  Suzanne Jarboe-Simpson, Rob Ryan, Jessie May Hendrickson, Ralph Bender, Marsha Dooley, Kyle Uhlmann,  Pam Harrold,  David Lee, Rob Knebl, Dixie Dick, Valerie Clark, Seth Anthony, Commissioner Kathay Rennels.


Staff Present:  Extension Director Laurel Kubin and Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Jacque Miller


Welcome and Introductions

Minutes Approved

Agent Report: Jacque Miller

An introduction to the website: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Online Support

Colorado Grandparents  Raising Grandchildren

·  Custodial grandparents increased by 73% in Colorado, compared to 30% nationally during the same time period of 10 years

·  75% of grandparents are under the age of 60

·  53% are white and 34% Hispanic

·  13% live in poverty

·  Colorado Children of Grandfamilies

·  51,325 children live in grandparent headed households

·  Another 19,230 children live with households headed by other

·  Of these children 28,185 live in household without either parent present

Definition of Grandfamily

The term “Grandfamilies” refers to families where the grandparent(s) or other relative(s) is raising a child and may or may not have a legal relationship to the child who is related by blood, marriage or adoption. Also known as “Kinship Care”, “Kincare”, and “Relative Care”.

Grandparents Step In When. . .

  • Substance abuse; Incarceration; Child abuse or neglect; Divorce or illness; Employment issues; Family Violence; Death

Costs of Caregiving

  • Financial strain; Stress, isolation and loneliness; Grief, guilt, anger and resentment; Increased health risk for caregivers; Role shift

Challenges of Caregiving

  • Deal with difficult legal issues
  • Struggle accessing community services
  • Tested by emotional and behavioral problems of children in their care

Literature Review Shows (Hayslip and Kaminski 2005) . . .

  • Social support is critical in protecting against depression, isolation from friends, role overload and confusion, marital and life disruptions.
  • Grandparents raising grandchildren often “fall through the cracks” of agencies and programs.”



In Colorado . . . .

  • Grassroots efforts have resulted in the creation of support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren
  • Some support groups have grown to become successful programs, others have disbanded
  • No state agency connects grandparents to each other and to relevant resources in such a unique and innovative way.

Research Suggests . .

  • Computer-mediated communication for older adults leads to an increase in face-to-face attendance at meetings overtime (Smyth & Kwon, 2004 )
  • Older adults log online and surfed the web more than younger persons (Morrell, Mayhorn, & Echt, 2004)

Purpose of website . .

  • To create an online program for Colorado grandparents raising grandchildren through which reliable and current research based information can be shared.
  • To provide an avenue to empower and unite grandparents who may feel isolated, invisible, or overwhelmed.

Website Designed for . . .

  • Grandparents; Kinship caregivers; Service Providers; Extension Agents; Educators

What Will I Find at?

  • Home Page; Grandparent Feature; Education Feature; Blog; Local Support Group Information; Starting a Support Group in Your Community; Colorado State University Resources; Extension Publications; Other Resources; Frequently Asked Questions

Marketing Tools

  • Brochure; One Page Flyer; News Release; E-mail Blasts; Power Point Presentation


Agent Report:  Laurel Kubin

Financial Literacy Initiative

Financial Literacy Summit held in December

Coalition Formed

Northern Colorado Saves Campaign

·   Monthly Quick Memo or Tip

·   Enter into America Saves data base

·   Quarterly Newsletter through America Saves

·   Coaching available from America Saves and Locally

Create a Piggy Bank Contest

·   Got a grant from Consumer Federation of America

·   Awarded savings bond and everyone got a ribbon for participation

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

·   Float to encourage savers 

·   Need walkers with the float.  Requested to wear green to compliment theme “Saving of the Green”

Video Tape for Channel 10 School Districts

  • Coordinated other collaborators to talk about new requirements for financial education in HS 

Teaching classes for city and county employees

Loveland Public Library series of classes

  • Required to have a neutral non commercial presenter
  • Susan Linden cooperator


Teaching Tools presented

  • Debit Card Spending Tracker
  • Credit Card Prison

Train the Trainer for Spend Some, Save Some, Share Some curriculum

·   some will get coaching to get started

o   House of Neighborly Services

o   Thompson School District  Early Childhood

Hosted Train the Trainers session on the High School Financial Planning Program for 25 teachers in Poudre and Thompson School District


Director’s Report

Laurel reported on:

Weld County Extension Situation

Weld County has requested to renegotiate with CSU to have just the 4-H program.  The Weld County Extension Director has resigned, the Consumer and Family Education program has been terminated, and their Master Gardners are asking who will supervise their program. They do not even feel a need for an agriculture agent.  Surrounding counties concerned about repercussions from this situation.  Some guidelines are in place for 4-H, but not for other Extension programs.

Committee members asked:  How would you like us to support you?

  • Stay in communication with Larimer County Commissioners
  • Continue to encourage us to do good work in our county;  maintain good relationships with decision makers; help us prioritize our workloads
  • Help others understand their decision makers are taking a path that is not productive in long run.

Larimer County Staff will help where we can – in being a good partner in the state, but only with negotiations for resources to support.


CSU Budget Situation

2.83% cut in current Extension fiscal year.  Hiring freeze provided enough salary savings to cover this reduction in the current budget.  Furloughs are being discussed for CSU faculty as possibilities in the next budget year, depending on the severity of next year’s budget cuts. 


Personnel Update

.75 FTE cut back in the Food and Nutrition Education position from 1.5 FTE   Nora continues to provide programs in this area and is stretched to meet the needs, as food stamp recipients are on the increase

Ernie Marx will be leaving his position in the near future.  This will undoubtedly be a frozen position.


Colorado Living: Larimer Edition Newsletter

First edition will be out the first of April and will be sent out electronically.  It will contain a combination on content and update on events/activities.  A list serv will be developed including decisions makers, collaborators, partners, volunteers, 4-H families, etc.


February 28: Extension was in Overdrive

Fiber Fest at McKee Building

Livestock Exposition at the 1st National Bank Building

High Plains Landscape Workshop in Fort Collins

Piggy Bank Contest

4-H Carnival

This is the 50th year of the carnival.  Volunteers are needed to sell tickets.  Advisory committee members should expect a call from the carnival committee requesting their assistance.


Meeting Dates Discussion

New meeting dates are:

May 6

September 2

November 4


Update on Advisory Committee Contact List

The list was passed around for corrections.



Trends and Issues:  Member input

Increase in need for Larimer County Services as reported by at the United Way Annual Meeting

·  211 reports lowest rate of connection to services – 30% due to requests for financial assistance

·  House of Neighborly Services – 33% 4th quarter increase, currently 7 new families a day

·  Disables Resource Services – 33% increase in financial assistance requests, anticipate 50% increase in 2009

·  Neighbor to Neighbor – 26% increase in emergency rent assistance

·  Homelessness Prevention Initiative – 30% increase in emergency rent assistance

·  Consumer Credit Counseling – 18% increase in first time appointments

·  Food Bank – 23% increase in clients over the last year  (Q4, 2008).  Kids Café – 69% over last year due to new sit to accommodate demand

·  Mathews House – 20% increase over last year

·  Partners Mentoring Youth – 30% increase in clients over the last year

·  Alternatives to Violence – 79% increase in clients over

·  Crossroads Ministry – 25% increase in families accessing services in January over 1 year ago



Involvement in the State 4-H Foundation

·  Please contact Rob Ryan to connect him to others that might be potential supporter of the Foundation and will extend an invite to the 4-H Gala



                Meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.


                                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                                                                                                Jacque Miller




Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.