December 19, 2013 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of December 19, 2013
(corrected and approved on 1/16/14)



I.  Welcome and Introductions

Present:  Susan Buckley, Ovieda Elliott, Kate Green, Siddiq Kilkenny, Claire Knox, Rex Bohn, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons, Ronnie Swartz
Staff:  Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa
Guests:  Nancy Howatt, Betty Chinn, Jennielynn Holmes, Chuck Hernandez, Meg Walkley, Sheri Johnson, Jen Maguire    


Ovieda Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:05 am


II.  Public Comments and Announcements

- Wendy introduced Rebecca Lowry to the Commission. Rebecca replaces the open seat that was occupied by Monica Rivera.
- Commissioners viewed the “Ounce of Prevention” video “Change the First Five Years and You Change Everything.”
- Commissioner Green shared that she recently read “The Unwinding” by George Packer, which contemplates that neither the government nor the private sector works as it should, and that the shrinking middle class has few prospects of recovering.


III.  Executive Director Report

  • We launched the new small grant program for Early Childhood Educators.  A workshop for potential applicants was held on Dec. 7th at Worthington Elementary School.  About 50 people attended. Jennifer did a great job of providing her first presentation.  Commissioners Green and Knox attended the workshop.  The small grant program application is also posted online. Applications are available in English and Spanish.
  • We are partnering with the California Early Childhood Mentor Program at College of the Redwoods to provide mentoring opportunities to Early Childhood Educators through the end of the Fiscal Year.
  • The first Cultural Proficiency Action Plan Workgroup met on Dec. 5th at Humboldt Area Foundation. About 15 people attended.  The second workgroup meeting is scheduled on Jan. 30th. A breakfast meeting with policymakers will be planned to introduce the Action Plan.
  • We are working with three Parent & Family Support Programs this year for in-depth reviews and to incorporate the California Standards for Family Strengthening and Support into their work.  The three sites are Rio Dell Playgroup/FRC, Manila Community, and the MAC. 
  • Wendy recently attended the Funding the Next Generation conference in the Bay Area.  She shared that there is a movement towards counties developing Children’s Budgets.  A few counties have experimented with implementing a Children’s Budget in past years. Technical assistance was offered to some counties to assist with developing a Children’s Budget.  Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino counties are interested in working together on this project.  A Children’s Budget can be very helpful to identify where local dollars are spent on children.  A Children’s Budget has several categories, including prevention, direct services, and crisis. The plan is to update the Children’s Budget annually, and use it to inform decision-making about the allocation of funding for children in the county. Given the presence and contributions of the non-profit community serving children in the county—ultimately the goal will be to include those dollars as well to assure effective use of resources and to further the integration of systems serving children and families.    
  • The First 5 Association is keeping track of proposed regulation for e-cigarettes. It is possible that Proposition 10 tobacco tax may claim some of the revenue generated by regulation. This means that First 5 counties may receive additional revenues.  Rex Bohn shared that he is working on an ordinance about e-cigarettes. 



IV.  Approval of Minutes of November 20, 2013

Wendy announced that she found a typo on page 3 of the minutes under “VIII. Action Item:  First 5 Annual Report,” that needs to be corrected. The word “of” was missing in the language for the ACTION.
ACTION:  The minutes of November 20, 2013 were approved with the correction.


V.  Consent Calendar

A.  October 2013
B.  Work-Life Alliance – Rescind Membership
C.  Addressing Perinatal Depression – Support for a Conference
Commissioners Buckley and Lyon announced a conflict of interest, excused themselves, and left the room for Consent Calendar Item C.
ACTION: Commissioners approved all Consent Calendar Items, as presented, with Commissioners Buckley and Lyon not in attendance for the decision-making process for Consent Calendar Item C.


VI.  Action Item:  Social Media Policy
Wendy asked to refer this Action Item to the next meeting.  She would like to get feedback on the Policy from First 5 funded playgroups that use Social Media.


VII.   Action Item:  Revised Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014

Commissioners reviewed the revised budget for FY 13/14 at the last meeting and gave input on considerations for the unexpended funds. Commissioners suggested using the unexpended funds to lower the Sustainability Fund transfer for this Fiscal Year.

Wendy reviewed the revised budget for FY 13/14 with Commissioners and explained the revisions made to the budget. Nancy Howatt pointed out that Administrative expenditures are still below 10% of the budget, which means that most funds are dedicated toward sustaining programs.

Commissioner Elliott questioned the designated funds for Evaluation. Wendy agreed that the Evaluation budget needs to be discussed at a future meeting. Evaluation is critical in the Commission’s work and the outcomes influence the Commission’s decision-making.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved the revised budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 as presented.


VIII.   Action Item:  FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Ten Year Forecast

Nancy Howatt reviewed the updated Ten Year Forecast with Commissioners. With the presentation of the Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2012/13, Nancy adjusted the prior year fund balance to reflect the budget for FY 13/14 more accurately. In addition, adjustments were made in the Prop.10 revenue for FY 13/14 and in the committed funds.  Revenues from the Smullin Foundation and HCOE were added to the Ten Year Forecast for FY 13/14, and the transfer from the Sustainability Fund was reduced. 

The Ten Year Forecast corresponds with the revised budget for FY 13/14. The revenue stream beyond FY 13/14 is based on a forecasting model from First 5 California.

Nancy reviewed the interest earned category; the FY 2022/23 column of the Ten Year Forecast, and the Revolving Loan Fund balance with Commission members. With the current Ten Year Forecast model, funding for core programs remains at $1 Million.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved the FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Ten Year Forecast as presented.


IX.   Information Item: Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center

Wendy introduced Jennielynn Holmes (Director of Shelter and Housing) and Chuck Fernandez (Executive Director) from Catholic Charities, and Betty Kwan Chinn. Wendy began working with Catholic Charities about the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center in the summer of 2013. Supervisor Bohn has been working with Betty Chinn over the years and has been supportive of the Day Center. Wendy met with staff from Catholic Charities and Betty Chinn on an ongoing basis to discuss the Commission’s interest in integrating support for children age 0-5 and pregnant teens. Site visits before the opening and after the opening of the Day Center were performed by Wendy and some Commission members. Wendy invited Catholic Charities to submit a proposal to the Commission to partner in a Children and Family Program, offered at the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center.

Chuck Fernandez gave an overview of the work of Catholic Charities and the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center. He has been working with Betty for the last two years to provide a safe day shelter and comprehensive support services for homeless children and adults in Eureka.  Betty has visited the Catholic Charities’ Homeless Services Center in Santa Rosa several times over the last two years to learn about the ins and outs in developing a Center in Eureka. Catholic Charities purchased a building in Eureka, began renovation of the facility, and has been collaborating with partners throughout the county to design programming and open the Day Center.

Over 1,600 people are homeless in Humboldt County, including an estimated 451 children, per the 2011 Point in Time Homeless Count. The homeless rate in Humboldt County is about 28%, which more than exceeds the statewide rate of 19%.  Local schools reported 632 students in the last school year, which does not include pre-K children and minors who have dropped out of school. In Eureka alone, the school reported over 300 homeless children.

Jennielynn shared that the Day Center opened its’ doors on November 9, 2013. The Day Center currently is offering programs for adults and will start offering before and after school programs in January 2014. With a partnership with FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT, the Day Center will be able to offer a staff person to focus on children age 0-5 and their families, and pregnant teens. The Day Center is hoping to offer a day program for children age 0-5 and offer a parenting program while the children are in the day program. Catholic Charities is using the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), an evidence-based model.  Over 20 staff members at Catholic Charities are accredited to facilitate Level 3 and 4 Triple P, including the Executive Director. In addition, Catholic Charities has developed a Women’s Leadership Program to empower pregnant teens. The Women’s Leadership Program seeks to provide mentorship and empowerment to women experiencing homelessness. This program will be coupled with the Coach 2 Career employment readiness program, which offers employment readiness classes.

Betty Chinn talked about her experience in outreaching to the homeless population and shared a story from her outreach efforts. Betty shared that usually she starts her day at 3 am. She said that currently she serves 21 families that live in cars, and she provides food to several hundred people.  Betty mentioned that she is starting to see three generations of homeless families. Betty also picks up the homeless students from their camp sites and drives them to school.  From former homeless students she has served, 11 are going to a University and 9 are going to a Community College.  Betty was proud to share that one of these students now is attending John Hopkins University.

Betty will continue with her street outreach efforts and will have a home base to coordinate services. The Day Center houses paid staff and volunteers to offer services, such as case management, housing search assistance, employment readiness training, life skills coaching, benefit enrollment assistance, a before and after school program to support children’s safety and academic achievement, computer bank for client use, telephones and mail service.  Through collaboration with partner agencies, additional services will be offered on-site, such as medical care, dental care, mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, and homeless court.

The proposal for a partnership with FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT is to support a Children and Family Programs Coordinator, and for a Level 3 Triple P training for the Program Manager and the Program Coordinator. The Coordinator will work with children age 0-5 and pregnant teens that are experiencing homelessness. 

Commissioners reviewed the job description of the Children and Family Programs Coordinator. Commissioners discussed the salary and the educational/qualification requirement for the Children and Family Programs Coordinator, the Triple P model, transportation issues, and evaluation of the programs.  A suggestion was made to include child development requirements in the job description. Commissioners suggested connecting with the Nurse Family Partnership Program and with Head Start. Betty shared that the partnership with the Department of Health & Human Services has been helpful. A Child Welfare Services Coordinator will be based at the Day Center. She said that some children do not want to get involved with governmental agencies, so the Day Center is a good alternative to receiving services and information.

Wendy mentioned that Betty’s work falls within the community building principles work of the Commission’s Strategic Plan, and is fundamental grassroots work. The Commission has been looking at Triple P as a model for some years now, and that Triple P is a very successful parenting program.  Meg Walkley and Beth Heavilin use some of the Triple P model in their work with our funded programs. Currently, Kim Puckett is working on an evaluation plan for Catholic Charities. The evaluation plan will be completed by the January meeting.

Commissioners thanked Jennielynn, Chuck, and Betty for the presentations. The proposal will be an Action Item at the January meeting.


X.    Discussion Item:  The Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute

Commissioners reviewed the Working Concept Paper for the Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute. This concept paper has been developed as a result of the Dr. Perry training that was held in May 2013. Over 500 people attended this training and live streaming was offered throughout rural counties in Northern California.  An estimated 1,200 people attended the live stream events. The 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative also offered pre-Perry trainings prior to the May 2013 training, and continues to offer post-Perry training opportunities.  Dr. Perry also held a training in Humboldt County in 2006. Wendy shared that she continues to get comments and feedback about the live stream events from other First 5 Executive Directors.

With the ongoing efforts to address childhood trauma in our community, the idea of a Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute was formed. With FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT’s partnership, the capacity to develop the Institute at Humboldt State University would be immense for the future of professional development in the region. Childhood trauma, if not addressed, has potential life-long consequences for the child, the family, and the community.

Wendy introduced Sheri Johnson and Dr. Jen Maguire from Humboldt State University. Sheri shared that this concept paper is part of a long journey and a continuation of all the work that has been done in regards to childhood trauma and domestic violence. Sheri shared that Dean Lee from Humboldt State University, College of Professional Studies, is in support of exploring the concept of bringing a Child Trauma Institute to Humboldt State University. The Department of Child Development, Dept. of Psychology, and the Dept. of Social Work are also in support of this concept. The Education Dept is also expected to be on board, after the transition of the current leadership is completed.

Meg Walkley said she is very interested in the concept of a collaboration between Humboldt State University, FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT, and the Child Trauma Academy in Houston to establish a Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute at Humboldt State University.  Establishing this Institute here on the North Coast would have a tremendous impact on providing a qualified workforce to serve this vulnerable population. Meg said that part of preparing professionals for the Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement process is to travel out of the county for training.  With the establishment of a Child Trauma Institute at Humboldt State University, access to the needed classes and information would be a lot easier and would be more cost effective. Commissioner Buckley suggested adding the endorsement process/certification as a bullet to the working concept paper.

Wendy shared that we have had a good relationship with Dr. Perry and the Child Trauma Academy and that he is interested in working with rural populations. Commissioner Knox said that some pieces of the Dr. Perry work are already in place and that his work could be integrated into the classroom curriculums. Dr. Perry’s work would become part of a routine practice in the classrooms. Commissioner Elliott mentioned that a special education piece needs to be included as one of the tools offered.

Meg Walkley also talked about the fees of the Child Trauma Academy.  She said that Sheri Whitt has been advocating for rural communities and that the Child Trauma Academy is willing to look at fees based on rural settings.

Wendy mentioned that the Working Concept Paper for the Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute will be an ongoing Agenda Item.  Next steps are discussing this further at the January meeting, and supporting the concept of a Child Trauma Institute model here in Humboldt County. In February, the Commission could act on reserving funds for the development of the Pacific North West Child Trauma Institute. A commitment from FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT would allow Wendy to approach other rural First 5 Commissions to invest in this, and secure additional resources.  In addition, Dean Lee is supportive of doing a planning retreat with Commission members to further explore the concept.  Commissioners thanked Sheri, Meg, and Dr. Maguire for their attendance.

The meeting was adjourned at 10 am.



Next Meeting:
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014
8-10 am

Chair:  Ronnie Swartz 

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

Future Meetings:
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014; 8-10 am, Office of FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT
Wednesday, March 19, 2014; 5-7 pm, Humboldt Area Foundation, Emmerson Room
Thursday, April 17, 2014; 8-10 am, Office of FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT