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Collaboration Counts: Answering the Call. John D. Damon, Ph.D. Chief Operating Officer Mississippi Children’s Home Services jdamon@mchscares.org. Overview. Introduction to Mississippi Children’s Home Services (MCHS) Summit Context Summit Preparation Summit Activities Summit Follow-up.

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Collaboration counts answering the call

Collaboration Counts:Answering the Call

John D. Damon, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Mississippi Children’s Home Services

jdamon@mchscares.org


Overview
Overview

  • Introduction to Mississippi Children’s Home Services (MCHS)

  • Summit Context

  • Summit Preparation

  • Summit Activities

  • Summit Follow-up


Summit context
Summit Context

  • Federal CFSR and PIP

  • Post-Katrina Realities/Images

  • PIP revisited for Gulf Cost

  • Contributions to MCHS

  • Public/Private Partnership


Housing
Housing

  • Shortage of housing

  • 134,000 homes were damaged

  • Affected all socioeconomic groups

  • Federal and low income housing

    • 4 lost in Hancock Co.


Transportation
Transportation

  • Traffic

  • Two major bridges were destroyed

  • Street signs missing

  • Many roads are still closed

  • Gasoline prices have increased


Support services
Support Services

  • Churches

  • Nonprofit organizations

  • Medical

  • Dental

  • Counselors

  • Shelter closed


Social issues
Social Issues

  • Domestic Violence

  • Drug and Alcohol

  • Posttraumatic Stress

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Suicide



Summit preparation
Summit Preparation

  • Individuals Drawn from Cross-Section of Public and Private Child Welfare Providers

  • Rated Sixteen (16) Focal Areas on a Likert-type Scale:

    1 – Not at all Critical 10 – Extremely Critical

  • Identified Existing Strengths, Current Weaknesses, and Proposed Solutions

  • Narrowed to 10 Priority Focus Areas


Overview of summit activities
Overview of Summit Activities

  • Day one

    • Tour of Gulf Coast

  • Day two

    • National consultant to facilitate

    • Overview presentations by public & private agency

    • Pre-defined groups and group Chairpersons

    • Chairperson received advanced data

    • Narrowed focused to 10 priority focus areas

    • Groups networked together

    • Planning session and group presentation


Assessment results
Assessment Results

  • Participant Demographics

  • Summary of Pre-Katrina Ratings

  • Summary of Post-Katrina Ratings

  • Comparison of Pre- & Post-Katrina Ratings

  • Average Ratings

  • Summary of Priority Focus Areas



Ms cities represented
MS Cities Represented*

Non-Gulf Coast

Communities

Gulf Coast

Communities

*15 MS Cities






1 basic living issues

1. Basic Living Issues

(e.g., housing, safety, displacement, transportation, jobs, etc.)


1 basic living issues1
1. Basic Living Issues

  • Existing Strengths (14 responses)

    • People who want to put their lives back together.

    • There is an abundance of jobs right now.

    • None.

  • Current Weaknesses (21 responses)

    • No affordable housing, transportation is limited. There are some jobs available. Safety is an issue in the FEMA trailer parks.

    • Affordable housing is nonexistent. Current rates are raising while incomes are remaining the same. Limited choices so people must deal with issues that were not there before storm.

    • Many....too many to talk about....what a mess.

  • Proposed Solutions (14 responses)

    • Monitor apartment complexes more closely regarding rent increases, look at building affordable housing for people who are already here instead of condos to bring more people in.

    • Rebuilding of the infrastructure.


10 permanency services

10. Permanency Services

(e.g., family reunification, family preservation, adoption, independent living, etc.)



Charge to answer the call
Charge to Answer the Call

  • Define Group Roles

    • Recorder, Presenter, Time Keeper, etc.

  • Develop Action Plan

    • Goals (Example Follows)

      • Objectives

        • Strategies

  • Lunch

  • Present Action Plans

  • Plan Next Steps


Permanency services

Permanency Services

(e.g., family reunification, family preservation, adoption, independent living, etc.)


Permanency services1
Permanency Services

  • Achieve timely permanency by protecting and supporting the resource families who care for children who can not live with their families because they have been removed due to abuse and neglect. This includes protection, information, training, practical necessities, financial and other supports and networking.

  • Permanency also includes strengthening families so they can safely be together.


Goals
Goals

  • Resource Family Support

  • Court Improvement

  • Family Centered Practice

  • Adolescent Permanency and Independent Living


Goal 1 resource family support
Goal 1: (Resource Family Support)

  • Practical Support

    • Local resources for basic needs (clothes, beds). Seek additional grants, philanthropy and state funding

    • Foster parent association -- strengthening

    • Disaster shelter and supplies for resource families (partner with churches)

    • Explore additional resources and supports for kinship care and rules/statutes for kinship


Goal 1 resource families
Goal 1: (Resource Families)

  • Protection

    • Q&A with resource parents and courts, DHS about abuse allegations and other DHS procedures and what happens

    • Training on the above as well for both DHS workers and resource families

    • Protecting families from sexual predators – advocate for changes in FEMA regulations


Goal 1 resource families1
Goal 1: (Resource Families)

  • Information

    • Explore 211 and resource guides from communities, build onto United Way efforts

    • ID Cards for children with social security numbers and Medicaid and emergency numbers


Goal 2 court improvement
Goal 2: (Court Improvement)

  • Timely TPR and Adoption

    • Statewide Parent Locator Service – send materials to right place

    • DHS, Court (GAL) and AG resources for locating parents

    • Process map the TPR process through DCIP and identify best practices

    • Ensure that DHS and other staff are trained on the federal timelines

    • DHS should send package to AG and state at the time TPR is ordered

    • More avenues of user-friendly information (web) and places to follow up regarding questions on topics such as adoption subsidy, etc. For those in court as well as citizens in general.


Goal 2 court improvement1
Goal 2: (Court Improvement)

  • DCIP

    • Explore possibility of federal DCIP funding

    • Roundtables/meetings with foster parents and court (as done by Judge Sigalas)


Goal 2 court improvement2
Goal 2: (Court Improvement)

  • GAL Strengthening and Attorneys for Parents

    • Look at full time GALS

    • Juvenile Justice Reform Act – GALS and public defenders must have annual training

    • Attorneys for parents – look for methods to find money for this

    • For relatives that are seeking guardianship – seek to get attorneys that will do this work pro bono or funding


Goal 3 adolescent permanency
Goal 3: (Adolescent Permanency)

  • Detention and IL are not acceptable permanency options

    • Building mentoring models so teens have a mentoring family if not a resource family

    • Require children over age of 13 to come to court in person for permanency planning and hearings

    • Training in adolescence and issues of adolescence

    • Recruiting families who will take teens


Goal 4 family centered practice
Goal 4: (Family Centered Practice)

  • Maintaining children in their homes safely

    • Family team conferencing model

    • Concurrent planning – training – use assistance of Resource Center for state and Court


Summary comments
Summary Comments

  • Every child deserves a permanent solution and we all have to help arrive their