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CALUMET COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES Mary M. Kennedy, Director Courthouse Crisis Line (920) 849-9317 206 Court Street Crisis Line (920) 832-4646 Chilton, WI 53014-1198 Fax (920) 849-1468 (920) 849-1400 E-mail: HumanSvc@co.calumet.wi.us (920) 989-2700 from Appleton REPORT ON THE MERGER OF THE SENIOR RESOURCE CENTER AND HUMAN SERVICES JANUARY 2003 By action of the County Board in April, 2002, the Senior Resource Center and Human Service Departments were merged. This report, which evaluates the impact of the merger, was requested by the County Board. GOALS OF THE MERGER The two previous Departments identified the goals of the proposed merger to be: Maximize the ability to use the relatively small revenue sources available to Calumet County by consolidating these sources between the two Departments and seeking out additional revenues such as through Valley Transit Reduce administrative costs by consolidating functions such as billing, payables and financial reporting Use saved administrative funding to ensure services meet the needs of the aging population particularly in providing home delivered meals more days of the week or more meals per day, to develop a Peer Companion Program and to implement a true Resource Center Eliminate confidentiality and other barriers resulting from the two separate departments to ensure a complete “one-stop” information and assistance service to older adults Maximize the use of volunteers rather than paid services in order to expand the transportation services DISCOVERIES As might be expected when assuming responsibility for a small department which had experienced a significant amount of time without a Department Head, Human Services discovered a number of administrative processes that needed stronger management controls. Management systems were revised to: Develop a process for proper receipting and depositing of revenues and instituting checks and balances in the financial system Ensure proper documentation and reimbursements of employees’ hours of work in accordance with county policy Complete caregiver background checks for volunteers in accordance with state and county rules Complete final client reporting and fiscal reporting not done in 2001 Develop a proper cost allocation system for charging off expenses to appropriate funding sources Ensure correct accounting for donations Institute pre-trip inspections on county vans as required by funding sources but not previously done PROGRESS IN MEETING IDENTIFIED GOALS Reduction of half time secretary The merger has reduced the amount of business staff between the two Departments by a half time position by consolidating accounting, reporting and bidding and contracting functions of the Senior Resource Center into Human Services’ operations. Although there is still a full time secretary located at the Senior Resource Center, she is assigned other Human Services’ functions half time. This freed up $18, 924 in funding to use to increase services. Expanding transportation services Volunteers are being used to the maximum; thus allowing for expanding volunteer transportation to weekends, nights and holidays. Maximizing transportation revenues A contract with Valley Transit has been completed to achieve savings for Calumet County of $19,000 in 2003 plus ending the $5000 deficit for transportation that the Senior Resource Center had in previous years for an overall gain of $24,000. Assuming this first year proceeds well, Valley Transit will consider incorporating the Senior Resource Center’s van service in 2004 Increased Home Delivered Meals Savings from elimination of some administrative costs have been budgeted in 2003 for providing home delivered meals additional days of the week or for more than one meal per day. A system for preparing and delivering the meals when the Congregate Sites are not open is being investigated One stop information and assistance services The complete merger of Senior Resource Center and Human Services’ intake and assessment functions into a true “one-stop” service is being implemented. There is joint sharing of information and follow through on referrals. Staff can be used interchangeably when more efficient. For example, the social worker doing an in-home Community Options assessment can also do the Meals on Wheels assessment; thus avoiding duplicate visits. Consumers can get complete information on all services available from both Departments. A link on the county website will be added with the Resource Center and all other community Health and Social Service information and listed services to be completed by May. Complete merger, including relocation of some social workers, is being planned. Senior Advocacy As a result of Human Services taking over many of the functions previously done by, the Senior Resource Center supervisor, Mary Schlautman, has been able to significantly increase assistance to seniors by developing bi-monthly newspaper articles, joint sponsorship of Fall Cleanup with the Chilton Times, large print meal listings in the newspapers, access to bus trips and social activities for seniors, and expanded social and recreation activities at the Congregate Meal Sites. She has also expanded the newsletter circulation and worked in conjunction with the county nurses at the Flu Clinics to reach more seniors and hand out newsletters PROGRESS IN MEETING OTHER GOALS Implemented Senior Care, the state’s low income prescription medication payment system with 558 residents of Calumet County enrolled Implemented a reduced cost medication purchase plan through Canada in conjunction with a statewide organization Conducted all required but not previously done assessments of persons receiving Meals on Wheels to determine continued eligibility for the program and to assess needs for other services Developed system to ensure that volunteers are used to encourage their continued participation Completed the three year Aging Plan using a process that solicited input from key stakeholders and consumers of service. Volunteers were recognized with a dinner and program this fall with 132 in attendance compared to 78 in the previous year. Obtained cheaper vendor of supplies for Meal sites. Expanded resources in Resource Center to be consumer friendly by adding more display info racks. FUTURE GOALS Continue investigating other means of reducing transportation costs including sharing of vehicles with New Hope Center, bidding the service to outside private or non-profit providers, possible re-certification of the vans to achieve an enhanced Medical Assistance rate, and developing a plan for using the current $60,000 trust fund for vehicle purchase to preserve it’s availability for Calumet County Develop systems to use transportation cost savings to expand paid van driver (non ambulatory) transportation to nights, weekends and holidays. Expand the Benefit Specialist services by equipping her with a lap top so she can complete applications and assistance when meeting with older adults outside the office Assist Seniors with their own advocacy by helping the Senior Centers write a grant to increase social and recreation actives and to purchase video and other equipment for the Meal Sites Develop Friendly Visitor/Peer Companion program.
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