November 19, 2014 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of November 19, 2014 
(Approved on 12/18/14)

I.  Welcome and Introductions
Present:   Jessica Callahan, Sydney Fisher Larson, Rebecca Lowry, Dian Pecora, Ronnie Swartz
Staff:   Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Jennifer Gonzales
Consultants:   Nancy Howatt, Beth Heavilin, Meg Walkley
Guest:   Kit Boisvert Meyer
Absent:   Susan Buckley, Ovieda Elliott, Mark Lovelace, Sheryl Lyons

Ronnie Swartz called the meeting to order at 5 pm

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

III.  Executive Director Report

  • The red folder was routed, which included the “Sparrow” book, designed for military families; a brochure about the impact of e-cigarettes; the agenda from the Parent & Family Support (PFS) workshop of 11/7/14; and the flyer for the upcoming First 5 Humboldt event “An Interview with Siddiq Kilkenny.” Commissioners were asked to let Andrea know if they are planning on attending the First 5 Humboldt event.
  • Wendy shared highlights from the recently attended First 5 Association and First 5 California meetings in Burbank.  She talked about a request from the Department of Health Care Services for dental outreach materials, which was not approved.  Wendy also updated Commissioners on the Board of Equalization Public Records Act request from First 5 Orange, and an outside audit request from First 5 California, which was approved. A discussion item on the First 5 California meeting agenda was alternative sources for additional revenue.  This discussion is at the beginning stages, and included possible revenue sources from a marijuana tax and/or increasing the current tobacco tax.
  • A “Healthy Beverage” policy from First 5 Mendocino was shared.  First 5 Mendocino uses this policy as an attachment on all agreements.
  • We received the bi-lingual “Bringing Home Baby” booklet, a collaborative effort of the Northwest Region First 5 counties.  The booklet was given out at the PFS workshop.  Also, Nurse Family Partnership and WIC received a box of the booklets.  Suggestions were made to distribute booklets to clinics, pediatricians, OB/GYN providers, thrift stores and Laundromats.

IV.  Approval of Minutes:  Commission meeting minutes of October 20, 2014
ACTION:  The minutes of Oct. 20, 2014 were approved as written.

V. Consent Calendar:
A. Safety Net Award:  Humboldt County Housing & Homeless Coalition
B. CLIF Award:  Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) Arcata/McKinleyville
C. CLIF Award:  Child Abuse Coordinating Council
ACTION:   All consent calendar items were approved as presented.

VI.  Action Item:  Annual Audit Report

            The Financial Statements for the Year ended June 30, 2014 were presented at the last meeting by Christie White, CPA, of Christie White & Associates.  Per requirement, the Audit Report was submitted to First 5 California and the State Controller’s office by the Nov. 1, 2014 deadline. 

            Commissioners reviewed the Audit Report and asked about the “Comparison over time” chart that was included in prior Audit Reports.  Wendy explained that the chart was an internal chart done by David L. Moonie & Company, but First 5 staff could compile the information and draft a chart. This year, we offered the audit to another auditing firm, and they are not required to develop this chart. Commissioners said the new format of the Audit Report is user-friendly and easy to understand.  Andrea mentioned that the County Auditor and the County Treasurer were very helpful in providing assistance to the new audit team.

            Commissioners inquired about future audits and if a multi-year agreement was done with Christie White & Associates.  Wendy explained that a one-year agreement was executed, but the proposal was a 3-year proposal.  An informal bid will be released again next year, but Christie White & Associates only need to submit a letter affirming their 3-year proposal bid.  David L. Moonie & Company will also be able to submit a bid again next year, if interested.
ACTION:  Commissioners adopted the Financial Statements for the Year Ended June 30, 2014, as prepared by Christie White & Associates.

VII.  Action Item:  First 5 Annual Report

            Evaluators Kim Puckett and Maria Vanderhorst presented the First 5 Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013/14 to Commissioners at the last meeting. Reviewed were the County Evaluation Summary, the individual worksheets, the County Revenue & Expenditure Summary, the County Highlights, and the AR1/AR2 Summary Report. Per requirement, the Annual Report was submitted to First 5 California by the Nov. 1, 2014 deadline.
ACTION:  Commissioners adopted the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013/14, as submitted to First 5 California.

VIII.  Action Item:  Revised Budget for Fiscal Year 2014/2015

            Each year, following the Audit Report, Nancy Howatt reconciles the General Fund Balance amounts with the Audit Report amounts.  A revised budget is developed and adjustments are made.  Commissioners reviewed the revised budget for Fiscal Year 2014/15.  The following adjustments were made in the FY 14/15 budget:

            Under Revenue, the prior year unspent funds were adjusted, the prior year Prop.10 revenue was decrease, the prior year committed funds were adjusted, and the transfer amount of the Sustainability Fund was reduced.

            Under Expenditures, the salaries/benefits were adjusted per time study results; and increased due to increases in Worker’s Compensation and Health Insurance. Operating Line Items were increased for out-of-county travel, Special Dept. expense, rents/leases, equipment, software purchase, and household expense.

            Under In-House Initiatives, prior year committed funds were added and increases were made to the PFS Training & Support budget.  Funds were assigned to the Breastfeeding Initiative and Cultural Connections work.

            No changes were made to the 1-year agreements and 3-year agreements budgeted line items.  The Small Grants and Safety Net line items were decreased.
ACTION:  The revised budget for Fiscal Year 2014/15 was approved as presented.

IX.  Action Item:  Breastfeeding in the Workplace

            The proposal to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace was reviewed at the last meeting and input was given.  Commissioner Pecora gave an overview about the history of the Breastfeeding Taskforce.

            Commissioners reviewed the revised proposal that included input from the last meeting.  The changes were highlighted in italics throughout the proposal. Per input, the language of the request was adjusted to support a “one-time allocation” of funds; oversight of activities and expenditures language was added to the Breastfeeding Taskforce proposed work; a bullet was added to the Objectives; detailed budget information language was added to the budget; and Evaluation language was added to the proposal.    

            Commissioner Callahan announced that Mad River Hospital only offers breastfeeding support in the hospital, and no longer offers breastfeeding support after discharge.

            Commissioners discussed the allocation and the proposed budget for the consultant and the cost to cover public events and materials. Commissioners also discussed ways to outreach to employers and ways to respect non-breastfeeding mothers.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved the proposal to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

 X.   Discussion Item:  Recent Summit Attendance

            Commissioners, Consultants, and Staff recently attended two summits, the First 5 Association Staff Development Summit from Sept. 29 – October 2014 in Lake Tahoe, and the Strengthening Families Leadership Summit in Chicago from Oct. 6 – Oct. 8, 2014.

            First 5 Association Staff Development Summit:  Jennifer Gonzales shared her impression of the Staff Development Summit.  The Summit started with an Opening Session titled “15 Years In, Where are We Headed?” The discussion centered on the journey First 5 has been on, original and new Executive Directors, and highlighted some specific county’s work. Jennifer attended a Plenary Panel for the first day, which was titled “Understanding Child Abuse & Neglect Prevalence in California:  The Role for First 5.” This panel presented and discussed the work of the Children’s Data Network.  The second day, Jennifer attended the “Telling the First 5 Story:  Joint Evaluation & Communications” session.  During this session First 5 staff shared examples of efforts in telling the First 5 story, which included examples of asset mapping some First 5 counties have done. The second session Jennifer attended was the “Playgroups Roundtable,” where First 5 Humboldt and First 5 Monterey presented. Jennifer shared that the lunch presentation by Camille Maben, E.D. of First 5 California, and Ralph Smith from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, was very insightful. Camille shared that she has visited most of the 58 First 5 counties and it was clear that she is working hard to bridge the gap between the counties and First 5 California.  Ralph Smith talked about the balance with presenting data and forming clear messages and the strength in doing so. The last workshop Jennifer attended was titled “Community Building:  Approaches to Communications,” where counties shared approaches that have been successful.  Jennifer shared that this session was very inspiring.  As a newly hired staff to the First 5 world, Jennifer felt this Summit was a great opportunity to learn more about First 5 as a whole.

            Meg Walkley reported she attended the workgroup session “Finding Synergy Between Systems Change Efforts:  Home Visiting, Help Me Grow, & Race to the Top.” Meg shared that throughout her Summit attendances, she noticed that most of the federal funding for projects is geared toward larger and urban counties; and that most federal funds are not accessible for rural counties. Meg shared information about what other counties are doing. She talked about a tiered support system, which each tier related to a funding stream. Meg also liked the lunch presentation by Ralph Smith.  Ralph talked about a campaign effort for grade-level reading to ensure that more low-income children succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. Ralph discussed grade level reading as a national movement to engage government leaders, nonprofit partners, states and communities.

            Beth Heavilin talked about the “Community Building Approaches to Communications” session she attended. The counties presenting addressed building relationships with parents and how to include parents as members of the First 5 family. Some counties highlight families through billboard advertising (“Hero” project), and some counties offer memberships for families through media campaigns. Beth attended the Roundtable discussion “Mental Health Services Act Joint Funding Effort,” which highlighted some First 5 counties that have partnered with DHHS to provide Mental Health services. One county’s partnership focused on providing foster families the needed services. Mono County has playgroups that are funded with Mental Health Services Act monies.  The playgroup leaders are trained using the Parenting Counts materials.

            Wendy talked about the Playgroup Roundtable, which First 5 Humboldt and First 5 Monterey presented collaboratively.  She shared that Camille Maben sat in on the Playgroup Roundtable and made positive comments. Overall, the Playgroup Roundtable was well attended and we received positive feedback.  Beth Heavilin said that she was contacted by First 5 Ventura to get more information about our playgroups.  Meg Walkley said the plan is to continue conversation with both First 5 Ventura and First 5 Monterey about playgroups.

            Strengthening Families Leadership Summit: Commissioner Callahan reported that the Leadership Summit mainly focused on the five Protective Factors (Social & Emotional Competence of Children, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Social Connections, Parental Resilience, and Concrete Support in Times of Need). The Summit was packed with presentations and breakout sessions. Commissioner Callahan met staff from other First 5 counties who attended the Summit. She shared information about the “Parent Café,” which was created by a parent leader in 2007.  A parent leader is trained to facilitate discussions that are open and non-judgmental to all attending.  The Parent Café’s are a natural progression for playgroup parents/caregivers and would be a good fit for some of our playgroups in Humboldt County. Commissioner Callahan said that the Great Start Collaborative and Center for the Study of Social Policy have developed posters for parents on the five Protective Factors, and was wondering if we can use them in our programs. Commissioner Callahan also attended a breakout session about “The Parents Assessment of Protective Factors” Survey, which is a strength-based survey designed to measure parents’ self-reported beliefs, feelings and behaviors that are regarded as indicators of the Strengthening Families protective factors. Discussed were the rationale, composition, administration, scoring and use of the Parents’ Assessment of Protective Factors. The discussion was led by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

            Commissioner Lowry shared that in regards to Evaluation, the dialog is changing toward accountability to parents instead of accountability to funders. Commissioner Lowry participated in a breakout session with a presenter from First 5 L.A. about strengthening communities and neighborhoods, and shared some information about the breakout session.  The Summit included sessions about how the Protective Factors approach influence cultural inclusion and racial equality, and about strengthening families across cultures. These sessions made her think about ways First 5 Humboldt could implement the Protective Factors with the Native American community, and how to reach all segments of our population. Commissioner Lowry talked about making small grants available for traditional art that fill an emotional need and bring the community together. She reported that she and Wendy met with staff from the Wiyot Tribe at Bear River and a young mother who talked about the need for cultural opportunities. For instance, only selected members of the Tribe can teach basket weaving classes.  Commissioner Lowry shared how important traditional art is in the Native American community and how this can form respectful relationships, which from an appreciative perspective, is essential in helping to build the Strengthening Families Protective Factors. In terms of providing Mental Health Services to the Native American community, ways to increase access to the tribal groups needs to be looked at. With prevention in mind, outreach could be done to pregnant women about how to reduce stress and the importance of brain development in utero.

            Meg Walkley appreciated that she was able to attend both Summits as a “team.” To be able to have other staff and commissioners attend is very helpful and meaningful. The team was able to attend some of the workshops together.  On the workshops that were attended separately, the team was able to process the same day. Meg attended a session about “Implementing Strengthening Families along with CDC’s Essentials for Childhood in states.”  The Essentials for Childhood Framework, developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is intended for communities committed to assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families. The Essentials for Childhood Framework is being rolled out by Public Health, but is not serving rural areas. In California, the Essentials for Childhood Framework is available in L.A. and San Francisco; areas with a large population.  Meg shared it was interesting to hear about how the Protective Factors are used across the states. The Summit also touched on how to integrate the Protective Factors across “systems.” Participants discussed how to use the Protective Factors with incarcerated parents to shape their “release plan,” which includes the involvement of the Probation Officers, Case Managers, Housing, etc., and help reunited families become more stable.  Meg also talked about how other entities can integrate the Protective Factors, i.e. the faith-based communities, medical community, and the early childhood education community.  She also said that work is already being done by her and Beth in our playgroups and PFS programs.

            Commissioner Pecora mentioned how important it is for rural participation in the conferences.  Our job is to provide advocacy for the rural counties. People need to hear our stories and see us (remember us) from conferences/summits.  She shared the start up of Nurse Family Partnership in our county and how the feds thought it would not work in a rural environment. On the contrary, the Nurse Family Partnership in our county has been very successful.  In relation to the Mental Health Services Act, in our county the main focus is on providing services for adults.  Through “Bridges,” people are emerging that are advocating for children, in particular the 0-3 population. 

            Commissioner Fisher Larson agreed that we need to be visible at conferences/summits and need to speak about rural issues, or we will be overlooked for funding opportunities.  In our county, we will need to contemplate how to make services accessible for the outlying areas. 

The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 pm

Next Meeting:
December 18, 2014
8 to 10 am
Office of First 5 Humboldt

Chair:  Sydney Fisher Larson

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

2015 Meetings:
Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Tuesday, March 24, 2015;  5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Thursday, April 16, 2015;  8 – 10:30 am, First 5 Office
Tuesday, May 19, 2015;  5 – 7:30 pm, Location TBD
Tuesday, June 23, 2015;  5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
July Commission Retreat;  Date/Time TBD
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015;  5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015;  5 – 7 pm, Location TBD
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Office