In Attendance: Commissioner Gaiter, Commissioner Johnson, Neil Gluckman,  Ginny Riley, Laura Walker,  Jim Drendel, Catherine Weaver, Jill Ruttenberg, Marsha Ellis, Nancy Salazar, Nina Baumgartner, Eileen Brittingham


Introductions & Announcements

Commissioner Gaiter called the meeting to order. Commissioner Donnelly was excused.


Everyone in attendance introduced themselves and stated their position for the listening audience.


Ginny asked the Commissioners if they had any other agenda items.  Commissioner Johnson asked Ginny to comment on what the Colorado Counties Incorporated (CCI) committees are doing.


Ginny responded that the CCI Health and Human Services (HHS) committee established a subcommittee to look at redesigning the way the Colorado State Department of Human Services (CODHS) works with county Human Services.  Governor Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order that establishes a partnership between the state and counties and requires state staff to refrain from implementing any mandates or rules.  The subcommittee consisting of ten County Commissioners and ten county Human Services Directors will work with Colorado counties to determine what “essential services” means.


Lynn Johnson, Jefferson County Human Services Director, compiled a list of mandated services.  These mandates will be distributed to counties throughout Colorado to determine their necessity.  Counties are asking the state staff for flexibility to produce good outcomes instead of responding to unfunded mandates not required by State statute or Federal regulation. 


Commissioner Johnson asked Ginny for an update on the last part of the CCI meeting. Ginny explained that the State is looking at all computer systems to ensure that the process is seamless to the customers.


Child Protection Referral and Assessment Process: Overview of Differential Response

Jill Ruttenberg and Catherine Weaver, Social Casework Managers for the Children, Youth, and Family Division gave a presentation on Differential Response at the American Humane Association conference. 


Catherine and Jill reprised their presentation from the conference to the Board of Social Services on:

  • How the child protection division works
  • How the Hub screening referral works
  • How the department uses scaling questions to assess the safety of the child


Next, Jill reviewed the following slides:

  • Timeline on the life of a high risk case
  • Support plan development
  • Support network when the case open versus the support network when the case closed


Catherine stated that this type of practice change has impacted the department’s outcomes. Catherine reviewed the following slides:

·  The reduction in Out of home placements (OOH)

·  An increase in the absence of abuse/neglect recurrence (Children who do not experience repeat maltreatment within 6 months of a confirmed report of abuse or neglect)

·  An increase in children remaining home (Children who were not initially (first 30 days) in OOH placement and did not enter an OOH placement during the case involvement).


Commissioner Gaiter expressed interest in attending a RED team meeting – the meetings each morning that review referrals from the day before that were not emergencies and determines our response.


Ginny Riley asked Catherine and Jill what their thoughts are on the change in philosophy from traditional casework to this type of system.  Jill responded that although there is more up front work and the work is more intense, there are better outcomes, relationships are built, and everyone is on the same page.  This approach works on an advocacy basis versus an adversarial basis with families.


Ginny added giving workers the opportunity to consult with others and getting ideas takes the stress and feeling of sole responsibility off the individual and puts it on the department. 


Grants Program

Deputy Division Manager, Nancy Salazar presented information on the 2010 community grant contracts.  Nancy distributed a handout that outlined the grant name, the amount of money the community received from the grants, the sub-contractor, and how the funds were used.  The total value of external grants was $2,568,519.64.


Commissioner Johnson, Neil Gluckman and Ginny Riley discussed how the grants are received and distributed throughout the county.


County Assistant Manger, Neil Gluckman explained to the Commissioners that in 2010 the Health and Human Services division (HHS) was eliminated and programs under it were integrated into other county departments.  Some of the Health and Human Services grants are now managed by Human Services.  The grant information presented today are these grants that were moved to Human Services.  


Refugee program

Deputy Director Laura Walker attended a community meeting with Lutheran Family Services on the refugee resettlement program.  Laura distributed a handout that summarized the main points from this meeting.  Fort Collins has been declared an official resettlement site for refugees.  Larimer County should expect to see approximately 25 families the first year or up to 100 individuals. 


Laura explained that some community organizations expressed concern about what has happened with resettlement in the Weld county/Fort Morgan area.   Lutheran Family Services staff explained that Fort Collins is now designated as the 3rd official refugee resettlement site in Colorado.  Settlement in the Larimer County area will be small scale and well-planned, Weld county has experience a secondary migration of immigrants.  Secondary migration is a result of refugees moving to the area to be closer to family and work this was not a part of the official refugee resettlement program. 


Lutheran Family Services has three case managers to help these families with health service, employment, and case management.  Ginny stated that this may impact a child protection due to unaccompanied minors and cultural differences in family dynamics.    


Other Business

Commissioner Gaiter asked how the department deals with clients who have brought forth a problem which resulted in a change in the way the department does business.  Ginny explained that the department would apologize to the client and implement the change moving forward. 


Ginny asked the Commissioner if they had any further questions.  The Commissioners did not have any additional items at this time.


Commissioner Gaiter adjourned the meeting.