County Offices, Courts and the Landfill will be closed Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. Critical services at Larimer County will not be disrupted by this closure.
Commissioners’ Conference Room
Second Floor – County Administration Building
10:00 am - Noon
In Attendance: Commissioner Donnelly, Commissioner Gaiter, Commissioner Johnson, Neil Gluckman, Frank Lancaster, Ginny Riley, Marsha Ellis, Laura Sartor, Jennifer Gard, Tamara Schmidt, Shannon Reiff, David Driver, Eileen Brittingham
Introductions & Announcements
Commissioner Donnelly 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. Commissioner Johnson asked for an update on the budget submitted to the Governor. Ginny responded that she has not received much information. Ginny added that there will be a reduction in the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) allocation from the Federal government. TANF has not been re-authorized at the federal level and a reduction is anticipated. Ginny will be meeting with the State of Colorado Department of Human Service Executive Director Reggie Bicha next week and may have more information to share. Ginny will keep the Commissioners up to date as she receives information.
Commissioner Johnson asked if there is any news on County Administration funding. Ginny responded that the allocation should remain the same.
Ginny announced that the Larimer County Human Services Office on Aging is working with the Wellington Senior Center to pick up some riders who will be affected by the loss of the Larimer Lift. The Office on Aging is able to assist those over age 60 who need assistance getting to medical appointments or shopping.
Income Maintenance Manager Tamara Schmidt announced that the department has invited some of the families off the Child Care waiting list and onto the program. The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP):
· Notified 264 families that they are eligible to move off the waiting list and onto CCAP, beginning in October 2011.
· 18 families and 30 children remain on the waiting list.
· The department expects the waiting list will grow as clients become aware that the program is moving families off the waiting list.
· An average of 400 families per month receive child care assistance in Larimer County.
Single Point of Care (SPOC)
Ginny introduced President and CEO of the United Way of Larimer County, Gordan Thibedeau. Gordan has been working with Deputy Director Laura Walker on a Single Pont of Care software collaboration system.
The SPOC system is a cloud based data system shared among agencies in Larimer County. The projects mission is to increase the delivery of services to clients by using one database to share information about program participants in a timely manner. The SPOC system is intended to reduce duplication of efforts, help clients move to self-sufficiency, help clients through a time of need, or with a chronic issue.
Gordan gave kudos to Larimer County government and community agencies on the collaboration of efforts to bring services to clients.
United Way will be the fiscal agent for the program and will lead the project beginning in January 2012. Gordan gave a summary of the startup cost and ongoing cost per agency.
Commissioner Donnelly asked when the first outcomes measurements will be available. Gordan responded that the Murphy Center is already seeing great outcomes from the program. It has allowed all the programs at the Murphy Center to share information and report outcomes to the United Way board. The users group and board will do a full review of the program outcomes in 2013.
Commissioner Johnson asked if the data can be uploaded from the SPOC system to CBMS. Ginny responded that CBMS does not allow this but we are able to pull information from CBMS into SPOC.
Nation Youth Program using Minibikes (NYPUM)
Social Caseworker David Driver presented on the NYPUM program. NYPUM is a partnership with Human Services and America Honda Motor Co. It is an experiential therapy program for youth ages 10 to16. NYPUM staff have been trained by Honda and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to teach kids to ride minibikes (off-road motorcycles). The youth learn to ride the minibikes and are expected to earn riding time by achieving three goals each week. Three goals typically translate into two hours of riding each week.
Commissioner Donnelly asked what a typical goal for a youth would be. David responded the number one goal is going to school, not having a fight with parents and/or sibling, staying drug and alcohol free, and controlling their anger.
This is a community program that any youth can participate in. There is no cost to the youth or the family. The department receives funding from Honda Motor Co., a CORE grant, and through community fundraising.
The outcomes for youth who participated in this program during 2010:
· 81 youth participated in the program
· 96.3% did not move to a higher level of care
· 100% were reunified with their family within 12 month
· 100% did not reenter the child protection system
· 100% did not experience a reoccurrence of abuse
· 100% had no substation of abuse after the start of the program
· 91% did not drop out of school
· 72% youth successful completed their probation
· Parents and youth report decreased tension at home
· Youth report better communication with parents and siblings.
David is working with County staff to finalized the new riding site in Wellington. David thanked all of the County staff who have worked to make this new site a possibility.
Commissioner Johnson asked if transporting the youth and the bikes is an issue. David responded that this is not an issue. He uses this experience as an opportunity to teach the kids additional responsibilities such as making sure the bikes are secured for transportation.
Commissioner Johnson asked how many kids participate in a riding session. David responded about 10 youth plus two interns.
Commissioner Donnelly asked how much money the County contributes towards this program. Ginny responded approximately $20,000 a year.
Commissioner Donnelly asked what happens when a bike breaks down. David responded that this is mainly his responsibility but he does have youth who come in and help out.
Benefits Planning Division - Update.
Ginny gave kudos to the Benefits Planning division who because of their innovative approach to application processing have hosted several site visits including staff from other states.
Division Manager Marsha Ellis and her staff gave a presentation on the changes the benefits planning division has initiated to improve application processing. Marsha began by explaining that due to increased work demands, increased work load, lack of additional funding, and no additional staff the division looked for ways to process applications more efficiently.
The changes that resulted included:
· Benefits Information Center (call center)
· One Touch and Done
· Upfront imaging
Commissioner Gaiter asked how does the increase in caseloads compare to unemployment claims. Ginny responded that these number correlate. Marsha added that the department is finding that many people are coming to us after they have exhausted all other resources including their unemployment benefits and are still in need of assistance.
The mangers gave a detailed presentation on the process improvement changes in Larimer County eligibility programs. The presentation included:
· An overview of the reason for all of the changes
· A three year comparison of caseloads versus staffing
· An overview of the Benefits Information Center (BIC)
· The use of a value stream process to streamline business processes for all programs
· How the One Touch and Done system is helping to process documents more efficiently
· Application workflow
· Goal tracking for staff and units
· Upfront imaging of documents
Commissioner Johnson asked if applications received through the Program Eligibility Application Kit (PEAK) is making it easier or more difficult to process applications. Jen Gard responded that the application process through PEAK is still a work in progress and many of the applications received indicate that the applicant is applying for all programs. This is causing an increased workload for staff because they need to review and assess eligibility. We currently receive about 18-20 application a day through PEAK.
Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS) Lawsuit
Ginny Riley gave an overview on Larimer County’s status in meeting goals set by the CMBS lawsuit settlement agreement. The terms of the agreement mandate levels of timely processing of applications.
Results on timely processing of applications for October 2011:
Expedited food assistance applications: The state goal is 85%, Larimer is at 88.9%, state as a whole is at 83.5%
Food assistance, state goal is 85%, Larimer County is at 94.6%, state as a whole is at 93.6%
The next benchmark is March 2012 when all applications must be processed at 90%. Commissioner Gaiter asked if we are ready to hit that benchmark. Ginny stated that we are trying everything we can to meet the goals.
Commissioner Johnson asked how much of this is outside of our control. Ginny responded that we are dealing with two challenges: CBMS functionality and no additional staff. Ginny included that staff are motivated to get applications complete and help the clients regardless of goals.
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 July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011.
During the 3rd Quarter:
· The Food Medical & Financial Assistance program averaged 25,915 cases
· The Benefits Information Center took 11,670 calls and 96% were resolved on the 1st contact
· Adult Program averaged 1,232 cases
· Child Support averaged 6,397 cases and collected $3,990,842.00
· Children, Youth and Family (Child Protection) average 1,253 cases, received 1,406 referrals, with 96% of children involved with our services remaining in their homes.
· The Director’s office received 16 complaints during the 3rd Quarter.