Retreat Minutes - July 9, 2014 Print E-mail

Retreat Minutes of 07/09/2014
(Approved on 8/20/14)

I.          Opening
Present:          Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons, Ronnie Swartz
Staff:              Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Jennifer Gonzales
Consultants:    Kim Puckett, Laura Power
Absent:           Mark Lovelace, Dian Pecora

Ovieda called the meeting to order at 9:10 am

Wendy welcomed Commissioners to the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall and gave an overview of the Retreat Agenda “Planning for the Future.”   In reference to the Retreat, she encouraged Commissioners to read Parker Palmer’s book Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit.

Wendy has been the Executive Director for First 5 Humboldt since March 2001 and is planning on retiring in November 2015.  Each November the Annual Audit, Annual Report to First 5 California, and the revised budget have been completed and it is a good time for transitioning the new Executive Director (E.D.). Wendy shared that she talked with County Personnel and they indicated that it will be an estimated six month process to hire a new E.D. Since Wendy’s replacement will have to be appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the advertisement will begin by the end of May 2015.  A new E.D. should be in place by September 2015 and will work with Wendy for about two months for the transition period. Wendy will not be involved in the selection of the new E.D. With mostly new Commission members on Board, she would like to support the Commission’s leadership capacity in the next year. Wendy talked about her role as the E.D. in the early years, how her role has changed over the years, and her vision for working with the Commission in the last year. Today’s Retreat will build a foundation for the Commission’s leadership for the future.

Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California, will visit Humboldt County on July 22nd. Camille will visit the Arcata Play Center, have lunch with Commissioners, visit the Paso a Paso and Healthy Kids Humboldt Program, then the Library, and finish her day visiting the Nurse Family Partnership Program and WIC.

The red folder was routed, which included several articles from the Hamilton Project, an article from the Nonprofit Quarterly, and an invitation from Food For People.

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

III.       Consent Calendar:
A.     May 2014 Postings
B.     Redwood Community Action Agency:  The CARE Program:  Childhood Attachment, Regulation, and Enrichment Program 
Commissioners discussed the CARE Program proposal and requested adding an introductory session for service providers/caseworkers, including HCOE Infant Teachers.
ACTION:  Consent Calendar item A was approved as presented.  Consent Calendar item B was approved with the addition of an introductory session for service providers/caseworkers, including HCOE Infant Teachers.

IV.       Discussion Item:  Commission Leadership for the Future
Commissioners received an article by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations “How Can Grantmakers Focus on Nonprotif Talent to Grow Impact?” and pointed out several sections for review. Wendy shared that the North Coast Grantmaking Partnership has reviewed and discussed this article. The North Coast Grantmaking Partnership has been increasingly concerned about the numbers of nonprofits and the competition for resources in our County.

Commissioners discussed how to build leadership within our organization.  The following chart notes were recorded for this discussion item:

Building Leadership for an Effective Organization:

  • Investing in someone who is gifted. Setting them up for success. Avoid competiveness.  Rebecca
  • Tendency to withdraw and not partner when finances are tight.  The problem of competition.  Jessica
  • Problem of non-profit leaders aging out.  Concerns about nurturing leadership.  Need new energy.  Folks with children are challenged.  Trusting people to do the work that needs to be done.  Sydney
  • Flexible infrastructure is desirable as enables responsiveness.  Rebecca
  • Families are our priority!  Wendy
  • Need to support folks to work through family issues.  Understanding where an organization or people are.  Ovieda
  • Different between public institutions and non-profits – Identify Strengths!  Leadership requires the ability to articulate and share a vision.  Growth process.  Sheryl
  • Need to pay attention to the values and mission and vision – with new staff/partners, etc.  Sydney
  • ED multi-roles  Rebecca
  • Experience across domains build relationships – takes time & learning.  Jessica
  • Identify expectations  Ovieda
  • We need to identify our priorities.  Jessica
  • Reluctance to embrace outsiders in this community.  Consider capacity for state-wide relationship.  Sheryl
  • We have a problem with welcoming and new folks.  Need to discern capacities desired for new ED.  Community/State skills.  Sydney
  • We will need to help and support a new ED.  Jessica
  • “Who more than what!”  Ovieda
  • Our funding role is unique.  More like a private foundation.  Rebecca
  • What is the long-term plan for First 5?  How to address having less funds?  Ronnie
  • Need for E.D. with capacity to deal with declining resource.  Address the challenge.  Ronnie

V.        Discussion Item:  Strategic Plan Goals:  Increased Areas of Focus
Per the 2012 updated Strategic Plan, Commissioners considered the status of the increased areas of focus for each Strategic Plan goal. The following chart notes were recorded for this discussion item:

Strategic Plan Goal 1:  Increase the number of children and pregnant women in good health:

  • Pregnant & Parenting Teens  Ovieda
  • Questions about Mental Health  Sydney
  • More options but access still challenging.  DHHS is intervention more than prevention.  Parity - Intervention will help.  Sheryl
  • See more changes coming in access to Mental Health Services  Ovieda
  • 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative!

Strategic Plan Goal 2:  Strengthen the connections among parents, families and communities:

  • ECE providers are weak in building relationship with families in a culturally proficient manner  Sydney
  • Over identification of special needs in some populations  Ovieda
  • Need for “Peer to Peer” Fatherhood Groups  Rebecca 
  • Dads need support in playgroups – to be responsive to their needs  Jessica

Strategic Plan Goal 3: Further quality child care and education for young children:

  • Concerns about the pressures parents feel about school readiness, and how that plays out in ECE settings. “Fear based reaction” to “What’s good for children.”  Sydney
  • Everything is tied to funding.  Then how we understand outcomes.  Sheryl

Strategic Plan Goal 4:  Promote coordination of prevention services:

  • Different communities need different things.  DHHS can’t do some things.  Need to strengthen family networks around families.  FRCs are a vital place for prevention.  Sheryl
  • Community projects are important for building support for families  Rebecca
  • FRCs are a source, but they have limitations.  How can they help to create support systems?  Sydney

VI.       Discussion Item:  Trend:  Increasing Emphasis on 0-3 in First 5 Programs
This topic was deferred to a future meeting.

VII.     Discussion Item:  Commission Business
This topic was deferred to a future meeting.

VIII.    Information Item:  Social Media Implementation Guidelines
Jennifer Gonzlaes shared that the Commission’s ECE facebook group has 245 active members.  Half of the Helping Hands Humboldt grants are received from the facebook friends.

Jennifer reviewed the user-friendly guidelines/flyer she developed with Commissioners. This flyer is intended to be a user-friendly overview of Section 5 of the Social Media Policy. We can post the flyer online, put into grantee packets, share with partners, etc.

Commissioners suggested not using photos of children in the flyer. Commissioners also suggested researching what screenshots of social media sites can be printed onto the flyer.  Sydney asked to remind people, if they are administrators for their sites, to log out of the administrative group before posting on another site or posting personal comments.

Jennifer will revise the flyer and resubmit to Commissioners.

IX.        Information Item:  Training & Technical Assistance Plan for FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Parent & Family Support Programs for Fiscal Year 2014/2015
Kim Puckett gave a brief overview of the Evaluation process for First 5 Humboldt funded programs. Every year, Kim, Meg, Beth, and Laura collaborate to draft a Training & Technical Assistance (T.A.) Plan to increase the quality of First 5 funded programs. The T.A. Plan is developed for each PFS program from program responses, surveys, comments, and site visit information.

Meg and Beth are in the process of developing a “decision-making tree” to determine which level of support each PFS program will receive, depending on geographic location, staff development needs, number of children age 0 to 3 served, number of children with special needs/challenging behaviors, and number of children and parents/caregivers served and number of events. Program support could be given in the bi-annual PFS workshops, by doing site visits, providing individual staff development, providing Family Support to playgroups, and other technical assistance, as appropriate.

There are three level of Family Support:  Family Support Level I includes parent education & child development information; referrals to resources and activities/ and Parenting Counts Series.  Family Support Level II includes all Family Support Level I services, plus Infant-Family & Early Childhood Mental Health Services – 2-3 visits per month.  Family Support Level III activities include all Family Support Level I services, plus Intensive Infant-Family & Early Childhood Mental Health Services – 1-2 visits per week.

Commissioners reviewed the Family Support Level need in the T.A. Plan for various playgroups.

X.       Discussion Item:  Humboldt County Cultural Proficiency Action Plan
Laura Power participated in the discussion about implementation of the Cultural Proficiency Action Plan and potential activities Commissioners could support.  Commissioners were asked to identify priorities for this Fiscal Year.  As an example First 5 California’s media campaign “Talk Read Sing” was reviewed. The following chart notes were recorded for this discussion item:

  • Providers need to increase capacity for Cultural Proficiency (anyone interacting with children and families)  Sydney
  • Interested in Public Education campaignRonnie
  • More training about historical trauma – there is a need for “accurate” information  Rebecca
  • DHHS has cultural trainings, CWS services as an example  Sheryl
  • “History & Hope” video and curriculum could be revitalized  Ronnie
  • It already exists – program exists  Sheryl
  • How can “Decade of Difference?” be a supporter?  Ovieda
  • How can we check out relationships to other efforts underway?  Ronnie
  • How can we re-invite, include others?  Sydney
  • More parenting classes  Jessica

Commissioners and staff closed with sharing their impression of today’s Retreat.

The Retreat was closed at 3:05 pm

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
5 – 7 pm
Humboldt Area Foundation, Emmerson Room, Bayside

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

Future Meetings:
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Humboldt Office
Monday, Oct. 20, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, location TBD
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, location TBD
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Humboldt Office
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