Retreat Minutes - July 7, 2016 Print E-mail


Retreat Minutes of July 7, 2016
Approved on 8/11/16

I.  Welcome
Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Mark Lovelace, Nica Meggerson, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg
Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa, Jennifer Gonzales
Moira Kenney
Hilary Finch
Cameron Mull

Ovieda Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:40 a.m.

Commissioners reviewed the Agenda for Conflict of Interest.  Susan Buckley announced a conflict of interest for Agenda Item V. Consent CalendarA. Women, Infants & Children (WIC) book proposal.


II.  Public Comments and Announcements
No Public Comments and Announcements were made.


III.  Executive Director Report

  • Contracts and Agreements for Fiscal Year 2016/17 are almost completed, including one with Mid Klamath Watershed Council, who has agreed to be the fiscal agent for the Orleans Playgroup. A contract also was secured with Early Quality Systems for the pinwheel data base system that will be used as a tool for the Impact grant.  A Memorandum of Understanding is underway with Humboldt County Office of Education for a part-time 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative Program Coordinator. The Evaluators and Mary Ann have begun discussion on how to streamline and/or prioritize evaluation work.  Kim’s time has been reduced to 80% for the new Fiscal Year.
  • The Music & Movement CD for playgroup families is almost ready for release.  Thirty three musicians contributed to the compilation. We will get 1,000 copies printed and Northcoast Children’s Services also has expressed an interest in receiving 1,000 copies for their families.
  • Interviews for the Impact Coordinator position have occurred and no candidate has been selected. Mary Ann is in contact with County Human Resources about possible options. Commissioners discussed the Coordinator position and a suggestion was made to hire someone as an extra help position or as a contractor. Mary Ann said we are exploring some possibilities.
  • Christina Huff finished her Standards work with the Family Resource Centers and also offered support to Paso a Paso, Healthy Kids Humboldt, and the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center. Laura assisted Christina in supporting these three programs to incorporate the Family Strengthening Standards into their work.
  • Mary Ann, along with eleven child advocates, participated in the Board of Supervisors meeting last week and advocated for a funding formula that would provide a robust funding stream for children’s mental health. Mary Ann expressed her appreciation to the Board of Supervisors for the deliberation and research in terms of marijuana excess tax. Commissioner Lovelace shared that the Board of Supervisors has done a lot of research and polling in regards to marijuana excess tax. He talked about the original proposed tax rate and how it was initially based on relative return. Now the proposal is the same tax rate for all operation sizes, and the revenue will be about ¼ of the original estimates. The final proposal will be brought to the Board of Supervisors at the July 19th meeting. Mary Ann shared she will continue advocating for adequate funding for children’s mental health.
  • Mary Ann posted a video from Fresno County to Commissioners to the blog.  Allison Tans of DHHS, Maternal Child & Adolescent Health, has taken over coordination of the technical assistance offer from “Help Me Grow” National.  The technical assistance offer from Help Me Grow National is available for a brief time this summer (no funding attached to this offer). Commissioner Buckley announced the hire of a new nursing director, Megan Blanchard. Megan will also be involved in the Help Me Grow efforts. Besides DHHS, current Help Me Grow partners include Nurse Family Partnership, Redwood Coast Regional Center, SELPA/HCOE, Changing Tides Family Services and First 5 Humboldt. Commissioner Pecora suggested adding a representative from Head Start.


IV.   Approval of Minutes: Commission Meeting Minutes of 6/21/16
The Commission meeting minutes of 6/21/16 were approved as written.


V.   Consent Calendar:

A.   Women, Infants and Children (WIC) book proposal

Commissioner Buckley announced a conflict of interest and left the room during the discussion and decision-making process.

ACTION: Funding in the amount of $4,000 was approved to provide children’s books to WIC participants in partnership with the “Talk, Read, Sing” campaign. Commissioner Buckley was not present during the decision-making process.


VI.  Discussion Item: Evaluation Policy for the Continuation of Existing Programs

The Parent & Family Support (PFS) Subcommittee has reviewed the Evaluation Policy during the last two Subcommittee meetings.  Changes to the Evaluation Policy include introducing benchmark indicators as basic baseline practices. Programs need to meet the benchmarks to be considered for further funding. Benchmark indicators will be established based on bottom-line practices for playgroups and other best practice standards as relevant to each program.

Commissioners requested seeing the last version of the Evaluation Policy and to include the strike-through throughout the document, so they can see the language changes. Commissioners discussed specific benchmarks vs standard benchmarks and the language within the Evaluation Policy.  It was suggested to simplify the language/reframe some wording within the document. Commissioners gave input about framing some of the wording.

Discussed was the Evaluation Policy in terms of new playgroups. Often, playgroup effectiveness depends on the overarching agency.  The Playgroup Manual includes language about starting a playgroup, but does not include an “operations” menu.  A checklist/pamphlet should be developed. Commission members discussed the additional requirements to the core programs, without offering additional funding.  In fact, revenue is declining, so it seems inequitable to ask for additional requirements. Commissioner Sundberg shared that the PFS Subcommittee has discussed a minimum funding amount for the playgroups, especially the smaller playgroups. Commissioner Elliott wondered if we could offer incentives or stipends. Mary Ann and Commissioners talked about client-level data vs. survey data, and the effectiveness of evaluation in terms of provided data for the playgroups.

The suggestions/changes will be made to the Evaluation Policy for Continuation of Existing Programs and the Policy will be further discussed at the next meeting.


VII.  Discussion Item: Conflict of Interest Scenarios and Decision Tree

County Counsel, Hilary Finch, developed a Decision Tree for Commissioners to review.  In addition, Conflict of Interest Scenarios were prepared for discussion. Hilary reminded Commissioners that they are public officials as members of a governmental body that makes decisions regarding the expenditure of public monies.

Commissioners asked questions about being in a supervisory position in an entity/agency that submits a funding proposal to First 5 Humboldt, and at what point this becomes a Conflict of Interest for Commission members. The appearance of a Conflict of Interest was discussed. Hilary reviewed the Decision Tree with Commissioners and pointed out questions Commissioners should ask themselves when participating in the decision-making process for funding requests. Commission member participation in the Program Evaluation Team and funding recommendations were also addressed.

Five Conflict-of-Interest scenarios were presented. Commissioners broke out into teams and each team addressed a scenario.  Teams reported back to the Commission and explained their Conflict-of-Interest decision about the scenario. Then all Commissioners discussed the scenarios.  Hilary mentioned that Commissioners can always contact her through Mary Ann if they have any Conflict of Interest questions or concerns. Commissioners thanked Hilary for her participation in this discussion item.



VIII. Discussion Item: First 5 Humboldt Strategic Plan (morning session)

Moira Kenney, Executive Director of the First 5 Association gave an overview on some of the trends and considerations facing First 5 county commissions.  She shared a First 5 Association Power Point presentation “First 5 Policy Outlook 2016-2017.”   Power Point slides included:  Activity Overview, First 5 Policy Rationale, Refocusing the Association, Policy Focus Areas, Questions for Commissioners, 2016 Highlights – Board of Equalization, 2016 Highlights – Oral Health and Developmental Screening, 2016 Highlights – Early Learning, Looking Ahead, and The Role for Local Commissions. Commissioners and Moira discussed the contents of the slides and how they relate to First 5 Humboldt.

The following First 5 Association handouts were reviewed:  2016 Policy Agenda – Prioritizing Young Children in All Policies, Key Impact:  Family Strengthening, Key Impact: Early Identification and Intervention, Key Impact:  Oral Health, Key Impact:  Quality Early Learning, and Investing in California’s Children.


Note:  The Commission adjourned for a lunch break from 12 pm to 12:45 pm.


IX.  Discussion Item: First 5 Humboldt Strategic Plan (afternoon session)

Moira started the afternoon session with showing a developmental screening video. Commissioners reviewed the Strategic Plan Draft Purpose Statement and Goals, and the Strategic Plan Draft Objectives/Actions. With consistently declining Prop.10 revenue, the Commission’s focus is adjusting from a funder to an advocate.  The Purpose states: First 5 Humboldt will cooperate with community partners to foster the optimal development of all children 0-5 and their families. The Strategic Goal states:  First 5 Humboldt will be a strong organization able to serve as a catalyst of sustained positive change for children 0-5 and their families into the future.

Commissioners had the following input to the Draft Strategic Plan:

  • Rephrase Focus Area 1 to: Children are in good health at every stage of development.
  • Move the bulleted areas before the Focus Areas.

Commissioners had the following input to the Draft Objectives/Actions:

  • Change second paragraph under the Strategic Goal to: First 5 Humboldt encourages partners to prioritize early development in all decision-making.
  • Rephrase Objective 1 to: Support and continue the work with Community Partners to explore and expand resources that support children 0-5 and their families.

Commissioners chose objectives from several draft objectives under each Focus Areas and reworded some of the objective language.

Focus Area 1:  Health

  • Advocate for families to have access to resources and environments that support the total wellness of the child.
  • Children will be provided health, dental, vision, mental health, and social and emotional development screenings and/or services.
  • Mothers have healthy pregnancies, free of tobacco, alcohol & other drugs.

Focus Area 2:  Family, Professional and Community Capacity

  • Families will have access to a well-educated, developmentally-responsive, trauma-informed workforce.
  • Parents and family members will have access to culturally-relevant parenting education, support, and social services.
  • Promote children’s optimal development in safe, stable, supported communities.

Focus Area 3:  Prevention Coordinated and Prioritized

  • Systems and services effectively support and engage children, families and communities.
  • Workforce and community organizations are developed to effectively serve children and families.
  • Prevention services are coordinated and prioritized.
  • First 5 Humboldt promotes strong collaborative partnerships between service providers.
  • First 5 Humboldt supports and advocates to prioritize children 0-5 and their families in all policies
  • First 5 Humboldt supports the effort to build strong, effective and sustainable systems to serve young children in California.


The following input was made during the Strategic Plan discussion:

  • Reduced revenue – Sustainability Fund was not intended to spent down – original intend was to use only the interest from the Sustainability Fund – we need to re-look at ways to seek other funding  Sydney
  • Leverage funding – how does it fit in?  Moira
  • First 5 funds are used to leverage funds in Nurse Family Partnership and TOOTH  Dian
  • Use playgroup investments to show importance and then step back?  Mary Ann
  • Playgroups are our legacy – look for other financial supports?  Ovieda
  • What would a playgroup be to be sustainable?  Playgroup model?  Fundable by an alternate stream?  Standards for playgroups?  Next evolution?  Moira
  • Playgroups – match from other sources – we don’t have control over quality – find a way to back out and let community take over to be self-sufficient?  Changing funding source = not self-sufficient.  Mark
  • Licensed exempt funding streams?  Model – developmental playgroups – communities to support developmental playgroups?  Critical component like home visits?  Moira
  • Relied on natural leaders  Dian
  • McKinleyville playgroup – grassroots – very successful  Jessica
  • Strategic Plan question – over the next 4 years – what steps to take for communities to take over or a county entity?  General fund money – can you explain what a playgroup is? Define in a particular way?  Licensed exempt?  Moira
  • City of Davis – Family Child Care Providers playgroup  Mary Ann
  • Community playgroups – better than nothing – can we use that as a success?  Mark
  • Transition plan? Playgroups – evolution – what do playgroups require of us?  Re-look at roles and reassign staffing responsibilities – largest expense in playgroup – specialists – Playgroup Manual maintains a flow – how does system best flow?  Ovieda
  • Who benefits from our playgroups, i.e. schools, CWS, etc?  Sydney
  • To make the case, it needs to show that they are effective.  Need stronger evaluation of playgroups  Mary Ann
  • Cost of staff – shift from activity to T.A. – evidence-based family strengthening programs – connecting young children to early intervention (health goal) – when moving the cost – Humboldt needs a funding source for trained professionals to support families and children  Moira
  • Connecting to larger policy agendas  Mary Ann
  • Reorganization of systems – job responsibilities – no longer developing – HCOE – Mental Health training – educationally – Special Ed teachers at playgroups? Public Health nurses?  Needs to be looked at  Ovieda
  • Need to look at playgroups, Oral Health, NFP, etc. – what are we going to do with half the revenue?  Where are our best strategic investments?  Mary Ann
  • Bureaucracy – interferes  Mark
  • Access for people  Sydney
  • Parent café model beneficial – parent interactions – reaffirming parenting style  Jessica
  • Systems change – intentional change and/or unintentional change – what are parents/kids looking for in this?  Mark
  • How do playgroups connect to the bullets in the Strategic Plan and under the Focus Areas?  Moira
  • Promoting resilience factors and social emotional factors to reduce ACES scores – MediCal?  Mary Ann
  • Outlying areas – playgroups are important – often only social setting for parents  Dian
  • The times of playgroup meetings are the same time Head Start is open – evening or weekend playgroup? Not reaching all parents/children  Jessica
  • Not enough playgroup/services in Eureka Susan
  • Resources and leveraging power  Mary Ann
  • Strategic Plan purpose right on – serve as a catalyst  Ovieda
  • Use First 5 Association language and blend into our Strategic Plan  Ovieda
  • Opportunity for alignment  Moira
  • Goals – blend – indicators should stand alone (County specific) – use some of the terminology  Ovieda
  • Identify areas we are addressing  Dian
  • Objectives/Actions – Goals/Subgoals in last Strategic Plan  Mary Ann
  • Objective 1 needs an Action  Dian

Suggestions/input will be incorporated within the Strategic Plan.  The updated Strategic Plan will be further reviewed/discussed at the next meeting.


XI.  Closing:

Mary Ann thanked Moira Kenney for facilitating the Strategic Plan discussion.  Mary Ann also recognized and thanked Ovieda Elliott for her contribution to the Commission.  Ovieda is stepping down as a Commissioner, due to an upcoming move across the country. Ovieda announced she will be contributing a donation to the First 5 Humboldt Fund at Humboldt Area Foundation and challenged Commissioners to match her contribution.


The Retreat was adjourned at 3:15 pm.


Next Meeting:
Thursday, August 11, 2016

8:30 am to 10:30 am

Office of First 5 Humboldt
1012 – 2nd St., Eureka

Chair:  Jessica Callahan


Minutes compiled by:  Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 1012 - 2nd Street, Eureka, 95501


Future Agenda Items:

  • Humboldt County Birth Data (Sept. Agenda)
  • Fiscal Policies
  • Approval of revised Subcommittee Membership


Future Meetings:

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 from 5-7 pm
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 from 5-7 pm
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:30 am
Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:30 am