Community Support Services 1st Quarterly Focus 2011
County Veterans Staff Working in the Community
Veterans Day Celebration at Kanapaha Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Day Appreciation at Harbor Chase Assisted Living Facility
The Department of Community Support Services responded to 91,011 phone calls 64,696 volunteer hours were donated to help Alachua County citizens through the Department of Community Support Services Social Services provided healthcare services to 330 clients CHOICES enrollment at the end of the quarter was 3,472 474 clients were seen by Veteran Services Counselors through in‐office appointments, home visits, and visits to assisted living facilities Volunteers donated 29,183 hours to our community through the Division of Community Partnerships 74% of clients assisted through the Division of Social Services maintained housing after 90 days 9,021 prescriptions were filled by CHOICES An average of 756 residents saved an estimated $94,041 on prescriptions with the NACo Prescription Discount card Crisis Center staff and volunteers responded to 5,915 citizens in distress Unpaid counselors donated 10,700 hours of services to the Crisis Center to keep the Center open 24/7, 365 days a year 100% of CAPP agencies are fulfilling all of their contract obligations 4,691 Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center services were utilized this quarter 530 citizens were impacted through Social Services’ Rent and Utility Assistance Program Cooperative Extension assisted 32,863 Commercial Agriculture customers 20 Cremations and 3 burials were provided by Social Services at a cost of $13,885 2,249 prescriptions were filled for Social Services clients via Catalyst $7,476 Non‐Ad valorem dollars were reinvested in the Sugarfoot P&E district for neighborhood revi‐ talization $ 1,407,768 was spent on Medical, Dental, Vision and Pharmacy benefits for CHOICES participants
Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center has conducted interviews and is in the process of hiring an advocate to fill a vacancy in the VOCA funded Project. However, we still have an unfilled .5 FTE remaining. I am concerned about the continued inability of the program to spend all of the funds allocated for the VOCA grant. Conceding, we have not been able to spend and/or draw down all or most of our VOCA Personnel budget for several years. This could impact future VOCA grant award amounts.
Social Services projects that it will exceed its budgeted amount for the Indigent Burial Program this fiscal year based on cur‐ rent utilization. During the 1st quarter, it is estimated that $13,885 has been spent, leaving a balance of $19,355 for the remaining three quarters. It is difficult to project actual costs because of the uncertainty which is intrinsic to this type of program ‐ we cannot accurately anticipate the exact number of deceased quarterly or annually.
The local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) office proposed to provide services to veterans via a contract with the County, thereby saving the County $100,000. However, a written proposal regarding the exact nature and level of said services has not yet been provided. DAV is presenting its proposal to the Alachua County Veteran Services Advisory Board (VSAB) for its consideration during the board’s February 14 meeting. After hearing and considering DVA’s proposal, it is anticipated that VSAB will submit a position regarding the matter to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners.
In 2008, CSS received notice from the University of Florida College of Medicine that as of 10/01/2008 the Child Protection Team would be billing Alachua County for payment of child medical exams as mandated under Florida Statue 39.304(5). The initial cost per exam was $200. In August 2010, the County received notice that the cost for exams would increase from $200 to $300 per child. During a meeting with representatives from the College of Medicine Child Protection Team, CSS staff was advised the increase was due to the new Medical Director, Dr. Esernio‐Jenssen, bringing the program in alignment with optional standards and follow‐ ing the medical model of Child Protection Teams for the State of Florida. Additionally, the Child Protection Team was be‐ coming significantly more compliant with seeing the majority of children that meet the mandatory referral criteria in FL. SS 39.303(2). At the current rate, the County is being invoiced for an average of 28* exams per month. Since 10/01/2010, the County has been invoiced or billed $25,200. If this average continues, the cost billed to Alachua County will be approximately $100,800 by 9/30/2011. (* ‐ calculated by averaging 33 exams in October 2010, 23 exams in November 2010, and 28 exams in December 2010)
Department’s Impact Stories
The Alachua County "Strike Out Hunger" Food Drive on November 8, 2010, collected over 2,000 lbs of non‐perishable food and donated it to local non‐profit food pantries.
The Crisis Center received a cry for help from an emotionally and physically battered woman in need of counseling services. She spoke only Spanish and had no family or friends in Florida who could offer her support. The magnitude of the abuse in‐ cluded her being threatened with the loss of her child and her relative isolation from all others. Following a series of counsel‐ ing interventions, all offered in Spanish, we engaged a variety of other community agencies including the County’s Victim Ser‐ vices & Rape Crisis Center, the Sheriff's trauma unit, local spouse abuse services, and UF’s intimate partner violence program. Through our combined counseling and legal interventions, today this mother and her daughter are reunited and safe from the violence that has trapped them for many years.
During the month of December, Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center staff was contacted by the Alachua Police Department regarding a rural family in need of assistance. The father of the family committed suicide before the holidays, leaving a wife and 3 children. When staff contacted the mother, she surprisingly did not ask for toys for her children. Instead, she asked for school supplies and warm clothes which she stated would be accepted even if they came from a thrift store. Barbie, the advo‐ cate assisting the family, discovered that the son had always wanted a soccer ball. Program staff was determined to help the family and lessen the devastation of their lost. Barbie consulted with her colleagues and advocated with outside agencies on behalf of the family. Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center staff contributed more than $80.00 toward gifts. Enough donations were gathered to fill up the entire vehicle with brand new coats, sweaters, various clothing items, toys and a soccer ball, even providing a gift for mom. Although our office was officially closed, Barbie arranged for the donations to be delivered on Christmas Eve. The mother and children were overwhelmed and profusely thanked staff for making one of the most difficult times of their lives stand out because of the care and compassion shown by total strangers.
Quarterly Newsletter for the Alachua County Department of Community Support Services for the period October 1 - December 31, 2010.