December 18, 2014 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of December 18, 2014 
Approved on 1/08/15

I.  Welcome and Introductions
Present:  Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Mark Lovelace, Rebecca Lowry, Sheryl Lyons, Dian Pecora, Ronnie Swartz
Staff:  Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa
Consultants:   Nancy Howatt, Kim Puckett
Guest:  Taffy Stockton, Carole Wolfe, Janel Gagnon

 Sydney Fisher Larson called the meeting to order at 8:05 am 

II.  Public Comments and Announcements

            Sydney Fisher Larson announced her retirement from College of the Redwoods as of May 17, 2015.

            Dian Pecora shared information about a recently attended Rural Housing Association conference in Washington, D.C. She said the possibility exists to build more housing for senior citizens in Southern Humboldt.  In regards to children, a lot of work is happening for families to purchase a house through a first-time homebuyers program.  It seems, in order to be successful, families are going to need continuing community support.

            Mark Lovelace shared that a Yolo First 5 Commissioner got un-appointed by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors because he encouraged the Commission to spend down the reserve revenue. However, a possible conflict of interest exists, and the un-appointment of this Commissioner seems politically motivated. Wendy shared that some County Board of Supervisors reversed the independent First 5 Commissions into County Commissions in order to access their reserve revenues. Commissioners mentioned how fortunate our First 5 Commission is in continuing stability and keeping the focus on the mission to improve the lives of children age 0-5 and their families in our county.

            Ronnie Swartz announced the one-day conference on January 9, 2015 “Threading Communities:  Working Together to Strengthen Relationships” at Humboldt State University.  This conference’s focus is to strengthen relationship between Hmong community members and human service professionals, with an emphasis in child welfare services. One of the guest speakers will be founding Commissioner, Ken Nakamura.

 III.  Executive Director Report

  • Wendy shared “Talk, Read, Sing” buttons. The “Talk, Read, Sing” campaign is a major media campaign through First 5 California and includes TV and radio ads, posters, and other promotional activities. This campaign is also linked to “Too Small To Fail” activity. First 5 Commissions were offered some of the media materials for printing.  We printed buttons and posters and Wendy will deliver them to our funded playgroups and programs in January and February.
  • The community conversation with Siddiq Kilkenny and Ronnie Swartz will be posted on the humkids website in the near future.  Ronnie shared that he enjoyed the conversation with Siddiq and the interaction with the audience. Nancy Howatt commented that she recently watched the community conversation on Access Humboldt and found the interview very engaging and informative.
  • The Fatherhood Forum met yesterday at the Jefferson Community Center. Nick Vogel has stepped into the role of facilitator.  A good representation of members was present at yesterdays meeting, including staff from Northcoast Children’s Services, Public Health, Probation, and community leaders.
  • A handout/statement from the First Five Fund was shared.  The Executive Director of this fund is Kris Perry, former E.D. of First 5 Calfornia.
  • The First 5 California sponsored “Child Health, Education, and Care Summit” is from February 10 – February 12, 2015 in Sacramento.  Commissioners were asked to let Andrea know if they are interested in attending.  The pre-registration deadline is the first week of January 2015.
  • Wendy shared that she had a phone conversation with Deborah Stark from the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Deborah was referred by First 5 Association E.D. Moira Kenney, while having a conversation about protective factors.  Moira mentioned our funded playgroups and Deborah was interested in finding out more about them.  Wendy said that the Center for the Study of Social Policy is researching in identifying strategies to further engage parents with children.  Playgroups are a way to further parent involvement, and Wendy shared that playgroups may be put into the policy paper that the Center for the Study of Social Policy is working on.
  • Dian Pecora recently attended the Holiday Funding Partnership Open House at Humboldt Area Foundation.  During the Open House, funds were distributed to entities that applied for the holiday grant program. The grants of up to $2,000 assist schools, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations with holiday assistance activities within their communities. Dian shared that she was reminded of how essential it is to have these entities involved to find out what the need is in their communities.
  • Sydney Fisher Larson shared that she recently attended the Humboldt Area Foundation Holiday Celebration.
  • Wendy routed the red folder, which included a photo of a “raffle” winner, a Zero To Three summary about screen time, posters, and the Humboldt Area Foundation annual report.

IV.  Approval of Minutes:  Commission Meeting Minutes of 11/19/14
ACTION:  The minutes of Nov. 19, 2014 were approved as written.

V.  Consent Calendar
A.         October 2014 Postings
B.         November 2014 Postings
ACTION:  The October and November 2014 Postings were approved as presented.

VI.  Action Item:  FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Ten Year Forecast

            The Commission considered the updated Ten Year Forecast.  The Fiscal Subcommittee met recently and reviewed the Ten Year Forecast.  Nancy Howatt reviewed the Ten Year Forecast with Commissioners and explained that this document is updated after the annual audit and the reconciliation of funds has occurred. The 2014/15 column in the document was updated to reflect the revised budget, which was approved at the last meeting. At this point, the assumption is that as of Fiscal Year 2017/18, Evaluation and Program Services will be reduced by 15% each year, in order to maintain $1 million in Core Programs. Fiscal Year 2017/18 is also the year for a new Strategic Plan cycle.  Nancy mentioned that Commissioners should consider narrowing down the areas of focus in the next Strategic Plan cycle, due to revenue decreasing.

            Considerations for the 2015/16 Ten Year Forecast are:  1. The interest rate needs to be adjusted.  The Fiscal Subcommittee will meet with the County Treasurer to address. 2. The estimated revenue from First 5 California needs to be updated.  3. The Administrative budget will need to be adjusted next Fiscal Year, due to Wendy’s retirement and the hire of a new E.D.

            Overall, the Commission is in good financial health, due to the oversight of the founding Commissioners, and the prudent ongoing supervision of expenditures.

            Wendy thanked Nancy Howatt for her valuable skill-set she provides for the Commission. She agreed with Nancy that the Commission will need to think about what goals to continue in the next Strategic Plan cycle.  Some goals need to be more concrete and the Commission needs to think about becoming increasingly strategic about what programs have the biggest impact on the health and well-being for the children in our county. In addition, with our revenue decreasing, we need to focus more on leveraging funds, and no longer be seen as the primary funder.

            Susan Buckley mentioned that the First 5 Fund at Humboldt Area Foundation has to be promoted, and how to approach retired Commissioners to get involved in advocating for the fund. Susan said she is interested in doing this when she retires. Rebecca Lowry suggested setting up a meeting with Chris Witt at Humboldt Area Foundation about creating a legacy. Wendy announced that she is not able to get involved with the First 5 Fund, due to legal restrictions.  Mark Lovelace suggested contacting Barbara McMahon about advocating for the First 5 Fund.

            Commissioners also briefly reviewed the Comparative Statement of Revenues, Expenditures, and Changes in Fund Balance.  David L. Moonie & Company previously provided the Commission with the comparative statements in the audit reports, but this Fiscal Year a new auditing firm has conducted our audit and is not providing the comparative statement. Andrea has pulled the comparative statements of all prior years from the audit reports, and compiled a chart with the information over a 15-year period. Commissioners will examine the comparative statement more closely in a future meeting.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved the FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Ten Year Forecast, as submitted.

VII.  Action Item:  FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Subcommittees for 2015

            Commissioners reviewed the Subcommittee membership at prior meetings. The Early Childhood Care & Education Subcommittee added members and the Executive Committee added two members. It is also recommended to dissolve the Health & Well-Being Subcommittee and the Advocacy Subcommittee.

            All standing subcommittees are doing good work and provide valuable input & recommendations to the Commission.  At this point, the Health & Well-Being Subcommittee does not have a viable membership and the Advocacy Subcommittee is no longer needed.  Commissioners could choose to form an ad-hoc group for specific Health & Well-Being projects, when appropriate. Mark Lovelace suggested contacting Barbara McMahon to see if she is interested in re-joining the Fiscal Subcommittee.
ACTION:  The FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Subcommittee list for 2015 was approved as presented, and dissolving the Health & Well-Being and Advocacy Subcommittees.

VIII.  Action Item:  Manila Community Resource Center

            Wendy introduced Carole Wolfe, Director of the Manila Family Resource Center (FRC); Taffy Stockton, Coordinator of the Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers; and Janel Gagnon, Early Literacy Liaison of Humboldt County Office of Education.

            A workgroup has been working with Manila staff for several months to structure and guide the development of a plan to strengthen the community center’s capacity to serve children age 0-5 and their families; using the California Standards of Family Strengthening & Support. First 5 staff continued providing technical assistance to Manila staff and a plan was developed.  The workgroup reviewed the plan, made suggestions, and the plan was updated.

            Wendy read the 2014 PET recommendations, went over the Strengths & Concerns, and the engagement of the workgroup and the Parent & Family Support Subcommittee in this process.  A Scope of Work, Evaluation Plan, and Budget was developed with the technical assistance of First 5 staff.  In addition, a Technical Assistance Plan was created to help implement and support the plan.

            Carole Wolfe shared that the process with the workgroup was very helpful in creating a plan to strengthen the community center’s capacity to serve children age 0-5 and their families.  This has resolved in planning for a new playgroup for children age 0-5 and their families, and a reading and early literacy program.  Carole has attended a Decade of Difference “Early Success” subcommittee meeting and the outcome was that they will be providing the early literacy information at the Manila Family Resource Center. Janel Gagnon said they do not yet know how the early literacy information will be distributed at the Manila FRC.  She could be the point of contact for early literacy information, or provide a story-time for children age 0-5 and their parents. Information could also be distributed at community events or fundraising events.  Janel talked about the “Kohl’s Cares” project and how it could interact with the early literacy activities.

            Carole said she is noticing that more young families with children are moving to Manila. She is hoping that families from Samoa will be interested in joining the playgroup. Currently, Carole is working on developing a job description for the playgroup leader.  Carole is planning on bringing a parenting program to the FRC and recently participated in the Nurturing Parenting Program training.  Commissioner Buckley talked about the SafeCare parenting program, which includes a home-visiting curriculum. Taffy Stockton reported that the Humboldt Network for Family Resource Centers (Carole is a member) just did a cross-training with SafeCare. Taffy also talked about the California Standards for Family Strengthening and Support, which the Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers is building into the budget next year.  The Network will provide ongoing support to the Manila FRC to incorporate the California Standards for Family Strengthening and Support.

            Rebecca Lowry inquired about the literacy rates data for the population with low incomes.  Taffy responded that the Decade of Difference has extensive data and that this may be accessible through them. Wendy shared that the Decade of Difference is working on a data book.  First 5 Evaluator, Kim Puckett, is involved in providing some of the data to the Decade of Difference.

            Mark Lovelace inquired about community building activities in Manila and how the flow of information will be increased to parents with children age 0-5 that do not attend playgroup and live in the outlying areas. He suggested, in addition to placing information in the North Coast Journal, to also consider using the Mad River Union for outreach. Carole said the Manila FRC always has served the outlying areas.  She is intending to do outreach by an e-newsletter, disbursing information during community events, and at the Manila Nextdoor website and Manila Community Services District website.  Carole mentioned that her main focus is reaching the Manila community and the surrounding neighbors.
ACTION:  The Scope of Work, Evaluation Plan, and Budget from January 1 – June 30, 2015 for the Manila Family Resource Center were approved as presented.  Per Program Evaluation Team Recommendation for 2014, the funding allocation in the amount of up to $20,000 to support the plan was approved.

IX.  Discussion Item:  FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Evaluation Framework

            Kim Puckett, Evaluator, shared that the Evaluation Framework gets updated on an annual basis to reflect the changes in programs, changes in surveys, etc.  This year, several updates were done to the Evaluation Framework.  Commissioners reviewed the updated Evaluation Framework.

            Under Goal 1: “Increase the number of children and pregnant women in good health,” the following updates occurred:  Under the indicators, references to the School Readiness Program and the United Indian Health Services dental program were removed, due to the end of the funding cycle.

            Under Goal 2: “Strengthen connections among parents, families and communities,” the following updates occurred: Under the indicators, the number of forensic exams was removed and references to the SART Program; the Better Together Program and the Community Transition Teams were removed, due to the end of the funding cycle. The wording of the indicator about parent knowledge of developmental levels was changed, and an indicator “parents deal better with parenting issues” was added.

            Under Goal 3: “Further quality child care and education for young children,” the following updates occurred:  Kim shared that the sub-goal “Continuity in early childhood education experiences” was removed from Goal 3, due to the end of the funding cycle for the Community Transition Teams and School Readiness Program. Under the indicators, references to the CARES Program were removed, due to the end of the funding cycle.  In addition, the indicator about the 3rd grade reading & math scores was removed, because it was an indicator for the School Readiness Program. Kim said she would like to explore ways to strengthen the early childhood care & education indicators.  Wendy suggested attending a meeting with the ECCE Subcommittee and getting input from Subcommittee members.

            Under Goal 4: “Promote coordination of prevention services,” the sub-goal “Strong, effective advocacy” and all related indicators were removed, due to the end of the funding cycle of Parent Voices.  In addition, the Advocacy Subcommittee has been inactive for some time, and today has been dissolved. In Goal 4, under sub-goal “Strong, collaborative partnerships,” the evaluation and indicators of partnerships and collaboration need to be reviewed and strengthened. We need to look at the partnerships and focus on their strengths, identify measures, and how to move forward to further strengthen the partnerships.

            No changes were mad under Goal 5 “Build a stable funding base to sustain core programs over time.”

            The updated Evaluation Framework will be part of the Annual Evaluation Report, which will be released in March 2015. As with the Ten Year Fiscal Forecast, the Evaluation Framework’s goals are being narrowed down, and to be reflected in the next Strategic Plan work cycle.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 am.

Next Meeting:
January 8, 2015
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

Next Meetings:
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