2008 Challenge Award Recipients
In 2008, CSAC saw one of the highest participation rates in the history of the Challenge awards. More than 250 entries from 38 counties were received. It was exciting to see counties continue to constantly look for better, more efficient ways to serve their residents — especially at a time when they were facing unprecedented demands for service and unprecedented fiscal constraints.
California Counties Innovation Award Recipients
Alameda County — Start With A Story
Lisa Harris, Reading for Life Manager
2450 Stevenson Blvd
Fremont, Ca 945438
The Start With A Story project was created to help the illiteracy problems that plague the family of those in a U.S jail. It also helps create bonds between a parent who is incarcerated and their child. Project goals are to increase the exposure of inmates’ children to books and to provide a more child-friendly visit. Alameda County volunteers read to children and incorporate songs and puppets. Then, when the child leaves, they may take one book with them. The program is cost-effective and is mainly funded through donations and volunteers. In 2007, Start With A Story received a total of $2,400 in contributions, and has helped more than 2,500 children visiting the Santa Rita jail. Start With A Story is a cost-effective way to strengthen ties between the library and a traditionally underserved population. It offers many of the services of a full-service children’s library branch, but at a county jail facility, complete with a volunteer staff. Many of the books are donations from community members, schools and churches. One local Eagle Scout project brought in approximately 5,000 donated books. Ultimately, Start With A Story aims to contribute to ending the intergenerational nature of illiteracy that plagues inmate families.
Los Angeles County — Assistance to Prisoners With Child Support Orders
Stanley Shimotsu, Division Chief
210 West Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Prisoners who have child support bills are unable to pay them while they are incarcerated, leaving the bills to pile up and incur penalty fees. Upon release from prison, the person is left without a legal remedy and this accumulated debt becomes a lifelong financial obligation. The debt decreases the person’s ability to obtain employment, and as result, his or her whole family suffers. Assistance to Prisoners With Child Support Orders was created to assist parolees with payment options. This program allows the parolee to still pay off the child support debts, while still being a productive member of society. It also offers them legal representation and advice. The program gives the parolee a better chance at successful re-entry and a positive step back into society. The total costs amounted to $827,402. Of that, 66 percent was paid for by Child Support Services Department and the other 34 percent was paid for by the Public Defender. The program has helped over 700 clients in the past year to avoid the crushing debts from arrearages and interest upon release, and thus increase their opportunity to return to their communities in a positive manner.
Merced County — All Dads Matter
Contact: Lamar Henderson,
c/o Mark Hendrickson
2222 M Street
Merced, CA 95340 Phone 209/385-7521
Recent research indicates that if a father in involved during the prenatal period and drawn into the birth of his child, he is more likely to sustain emotional and economic ties to his child for the long term. Merced County Human Services Agency started a program called All Dads Matter that focuses on the unique needs of fathers in a positive, nurturing, yet masculine, manner to encourage men to assume a more active role in the lives of their children. The program promotes responsible parenting through education, empowerment, mentoring and supportive services. The program has a resource center, open daily during the week, with counselors and a play area for children. It also includes biweekly seminars for new fathers called “Boot Camp for New Dads.” Since inception, 339 have graduated from this seminar. Also offered is a weekly men’s support group, and a Celebration of Fatherhood event held near Father’s Day . Outcome Improvement Project Funds budget this program at $30,000, and the program receives several small grants. The indicator of success for this program has been participation, which has been increasing every year, and positive feedback from all segments of the population.
Challenge Award Recipients
50,000 and Under
Calaveras County – Outreach, Outstation, Outstanding
Mary Sawicki, Director
609 E.Saint Charles St
San Andreas, CA 95249
Many Calaveras County residents are located in the outlying regions of the county, making it difficult for them to access programs and services. Often, they were required to drive up to an hour one way to the county seat of San Andreas to obtain services from the county agency as well as from partner agencies. Calaveras Public Works and Human Services Agency partnered with the local hospital and its clinics to create outstations. Along with providing medical services, the outstations provided other aids, such as Food Stamps, cash aid and Medi-Cal. Six outreach sites were created. Outreach staff handles completed forms, which prevents over flooding the main offices. The budget was approximately $1,100 per outreach site, which was paid by the agency’s operating budget. From February 2007 to January 2008, 4,706 clients were served, a 300 percent increase since the outstations opened the prior year. The county is now providing services and benefits to clients that would not otherwise have had access to them. The one-on-one service and small office atmosphere are appreciated by the community. The outstations are successful due to the inclusion of partner agencies working together to assist clients in remote areas.
50,001 to 200,000
Mendocino County — Healthy Kids Mendocino
Contact: Carmel Angelo, Director
Health and Human Services Agency
1120 S. Dora Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Healthy Kids Mendocino is a public-private partnership with a mission to ensure that every child in Mendocino County has health insurance and access to health care. More than 2,500 children in Mendocino County do not have access to health insurance. The result is poor health for children, problems with school performance, emotional stress and worry for parents, and financial stress on parents and the local health care infrastructure. Healthy Kids Mendocino was born out of a strong commitment by both public and private agencies to create a local solution to a national problem. A partnership has been created through First 5 Mendocino, the Alliance for Rural Community Health and the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency to bring healthcare to children in need. Healthy Kids Mendocino works with a network of community partners that includes community clinics, family resource centers, business owners, Chambers of Commerce, schools, private providers, individual donors and private foundations. This program runs on an annual budget of $417,511. Funds come from the various agencies affiliated with this program. Since inception, Healthy Kids Mendocino has supported the enrollment and retention of more than 1,800 children into the health insurance program.
Nevada County – Video Eligibility
Alison Lehman, Director
P.O. Box 1210
Nevada City, CA 95959
Residents in Nevada County seeking public assistance were having to continually attend appointment after appointment to receive the help that they required. Nevada County Department of Social Services and community clinics received a grant from Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District to implement a video conferencing system. This system enabled eligibility, employment and training workers to conduct interactive interviews to determine client eligibility. The cost of this project was $74,822, which included staff time and equipment at six different sites. With the help of the district, CalWORKs and in-kind donations, Video Eligibility was able to fund this project. The implementation of Video Eligibility has directly saved the department $80,000 per year, saving staff time and travel costs estimated at 70,000 miles per year. Now when a client comes to the county for services like drug rehabilitation, mental health issues or job training, he or she can be processed for eligibility the day they come for services. Video Eligibility has positively affected the community, significantly improved service delivery and provided overall costs savings to the Department of Social Services. The Department is looking to expand the service to other areas like independent living, veteran’s services and the woman and infant children program.
200,001 to 700,000
Solano County – First 5 Prevention Services Alleviate Budget Crisis
Christina Arrostuto, Executive Director
First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission
2300 Boynton Ave., Suite 204
Fairfield, CA 94533
First 5 Services funds services and system supports for children aged 0-5 and their families with a front-end, preventive methodology in order to create potential cost savings through avoidance of expensive crisis services. For example, this pro-active approach targets pregnant mothers to provide prenatal education and care in order to save the county the burden of caring for prematurely born infants. Some other services include homevisiting high-risk family to reduce need for foster care placements, school readiness programs for kindergarten entry, and BabyFirst Solano, which targets pregnant and parenting women with documented health disparities in birth outcomes. The cost savings considered are conservative estimates only; it stands to reason that such preemptive methods create future potential savings to the legal, health care and special education services that will be less burdened as more children are served early on. In 2006/07, 98 percent of the 133 children served in the family support initiative remained out of foster care and 22 babies of high-risk mothers participating in BabyFirst Solano were born substance-free.
Tulare County – Drug-Exposed Infant Program
Cathy Volpa, Maternal Child Adolescent Health Division Manager
Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency
5957 South Mooney Blvd.
Visalia, CA 93277
Phone: 559/737-4660 x2303
The Drug-Exposed Infant Program in Tulare County was established to create a seamless, coordinated system of care for drug-exposed infants, whether identified in-utero or after birth. Drug-exposed infants and their families require a wide array of social services and impel new alliances among diverse agencies and providers. The community has always had programs/services that address many of the issues faced by drug-exposed infants, but they previously stood alone. The budget for the initial planning of the Drug-Exposed Infant Program was $140,000; other funding comes from grants, leveraged funds and volunteer contributions. Since its inception, the program has resulted in a stronger and less frustrating pathway for families and service providers to navigate the multiple resources, thus maximizing the effectiveness of all. A single, uniform intake was developed for hospitals, government agencies and private non-profits. A Web-based database was developed to track these children and families across multiple systems. The program has provided comprehensive case management to 32 percent of the 806 High-Risk Infant Program referrals that were identified as drug-exposed. The work done by this collaborative was documented and released as a model for other counties in a booklet “Drug-Exposed Infant Strategic Plan and System of Care 2007.”
700,001 and above
Alameda County – Alameda County Faith Initiative
Carol Collins, A.A.D
P.O. Box 917
Oakland, Ca 94607
The Faith Initiative is a unique partnership between the Social Services Agency and faith leaders to recruit and engage foster and adoptive families for youth. Currently, the Alameda County has about 2,500 youth in foster care, only six percent of which are in county-licenses home. In 1995, the county had approximately 1,000 county-licensed foster homes and in 2007, there were about 250, a 75 percent reduction. The county’s lack of foster care and adoption homes leads to youth being placed in higher levels of care than necessary at financial cost to the Social Services Agency and great emotional cost to youth. In addition, youth are staying in foster care much longer than needed. In 2005, the Faith Advisory Council was formed. Their goal is to recruit 400 licensed foster homes by 2009. Their main strategies are to launch multimedia social marketing campaign and develop an outreach training program. The cost to the county is $264,000 per year for three years. However, the council is an effective recruitment tool, which in the long run saves money in placement and treatment costs. The council has licensed 175 homes in less than two years.
Los Angeles County – South County Crime Scene Investigation Teen Camp
Bryan Spragg, Recreation Services Manager
360 West El Segundo Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90061
A significant percentage of minority residents in Los Angeles County have a negative opinion of law enforcement or view them as adversaries, instead of a critical resource and an important part of our communities. As a result, many youth are very reluctant to collaborate with their local public safety agencies. In an effort to improve the youth’s perception of public safety and introduce public safety as a possible career for youth, the South County Community Services Agency Crime Scene Investigation Teen Camp was created. This six-week program teaches youth about the duties performed by law enforcement. It includes partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the county Office of Public Safety, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the California Highway Patrol. Subjects covered included crime scene reconstruction, tracking, bomb disposal, arson investigation, finger-printing and DNA analysis. The estimated cost of this program was $25,000. However, as a result of the collaboration between the departments involved, the actual cost was $3,088. The participants have become more active in their communities through service projects and employment. Also, participants appear more comfortable when law enforcement is present. Moreover, several graduates are currently pursuing education and careers in public safety.
Riverside County – Community Impact Plans
Jay E. Orr, Director
Code Enforcement Department
PO Box 1440
Riverside, CA 92501
The Code Enforcement Department of Riverside County developed the model for Community Impact Plans, a five-point strategy that uses the best concepts from Community Policing and Improvement Programs. For the past few years, code enforcement has become an important asset to address public health and safety. In the face of increased foreclosed and abandoned homes, blight and the subsequent health and safety issues have become more prevalent and an adversary for Code Enforcement. Violations such as abandoned vehicles, trash and debris, dilapidated buildings, dry vegetation on vacant properties and illegal signs bring blight to unincorporated communities. The Community Impact Plans encompass the characteristics of each community and take into account the history, demographics, zoning, and media outlets to ensure community involvement and a sense of pride for the residents as their wants and needs are considered. The plans consist of assessment and research, community involvement, education and outreach, clean-ups and pro-active enforcement. Feedback from residents is positive, common code violations have been significantly reduced, and internal management of the department has improved. In addition, the Code Enforcement Department is perceived as playing an active role in solving neighborhood problems.
Riverside County – Open Access Health Care for Foster Children
Katherine Chavez, Regional Manager
Department of Public Social Services
10281 Kidd Street, 2nd Floor
Riverside, CA 92503
The Open Access Health Care for Foster Children program was designed by Inland Empire Health Plan and the Riverside Department of Public Social Services to provide a uniquely tailored, organized and continuous system of care as an alternative to Fee-For-Service Medi-Cal for foster children. Previously, foster children lacked continuity of medical care due to their high mobility rate and frequent need to access care. Foster parents faced the daunting task of managing a child’s particular health needs for each placement. Open Access Health Care for Foster Children significantly increases the ease of access to care for foster children. It provides a network of primary care physicians that allows foster children to change providers instantaneously, with continuous tracking in the system. An advice line allows foster parents to get medical advice after hours. Foster children also have access to a network of 32 urgent care facilities, and for specialty care, the health plan has contracts with 1,300 specialists. Current enrollment is approximately 2,500 foster children. Data shows that children in the Inland Empire Health Plan return better results in the Well Child visits and Emergency Room visits compared to those in the general Medi-Cal plan.
San Diego County – Rapid Response to Local Disaster
Donna Turbyfill, Deputy Director
Department of Public Works
5555 Overland Avenue, Suite 2156
San Diego, CA 92123
When disaster strikes, the county is responsible for coordinating with other agencies to provide services to residents spread out over 4,000 square miles. During the 2007 wildfires, residents lost homes and cars, making it difficult to travel to locations from which they could receive aide. In response, the county established local assistance centers to provide “one-stop-shops” for fire victims to apply for aide and to interface with local, state, federal and other agencies that provide services. A host of services is required to operate and maintain the assistance centers, including procurement, regional vendors and information technology. The County Firestorm Recovery Team provided oversight, direction, and support for the centers and daily reports from the team were analyzed to assess and determine future actions. Each center required a manager, assistant manage, public information officer, client intake staffers and others from the county. While this program is relatively expensive, it is an essential tool to help communities respond and recover after serious emergency situations. Between October 25 and November 17, 2007, the county local assistance centers served 24,092 fire survivors. In addition, the centers provided the county and other agencies with timely information about the needs of fire-affected communities.
Merit Award Recipients
50,000 and under
Amador County – ACRA: A Joint Powers Authority Recreation Agency
Terry Daly, County Administrative Officer
810 Court St.
Jackson Ca 95642
Phone: 209-223 6470
Growing Amador County required new and improved recreation areas for its new citizens. However, there was no cohesive agency to go through. In 2003, the Amador County Recreation Agency was created through a joint powers agreement (JPA). It is overseen by a board of 10 directors, all but two of whom are elected officials. The agency is primarily funded through member contributions, but is also funded through program revenues, fundraisers, donations and grants. The JPA model has proven beneficial for the agency in that it allows the agency to tap in to a wider array of resources, which in turn improves the quality of service provided to the public.
Calaveras County – Juvenile Offender Treatment Group Mask Making Workshop
Michael Kriletich, Chief Probation Officer
891 Mountain Ranch Road
San Andreas, Ca 95249
Calaveras County wanted to create a program that allowed juvenile offenders to express themselves in non-violent ways. The challenge was to utilize an art form that promoted self-discovery and promote communication. The solution came through the highly personal art form of mask making. Juvenile offenders where paired with probation officers and together they made masks that were reflective of themselves. The four-week workshop only cost $500, which was paid for with Juvenile Probation and Camp Funds. One participant in particular published an article in a local paper about his great experience with the workshop. He continued to make masks and also later held an art show, which was widely celebrated within the community.
Del Norte County – Saving the Wonder Bus
County Administrative Officer
981 H St Suite 200
Crescent City, Ca 95531
The Del Norte County Library lost crucial funding for a program called The Wonder Bus, which is a mobile family resource center for families with pre-school and school-aged children living in Del Norte County. Knowing how beneficial this program was, the community came together to form a collaborative. This collaborative includes: the Del Norte Unified School District, the Del Norte Library, First 5, and the Del Norte Child Care Council. Each of these partners provided the materials needed: money, supplies, and the man-hours to run the program. All of these partners agreed to contribute $1,000 annually to keep The Wonder Bus Program running. The outcome of this is that the partners came together and pooled their resources and because of that the program was able to continue.
50,001 to 200,000
EL Dorado County – The Angora Protocols – Rebuilding A Community
Gerri Silva, Environmental Management Director
2850 Fairlane Court, Building C
Placerville, Ca 95667
The Angora Fire of 2007 destroyed more than 3,100 acres of land and 256 structures. A disaster of this magnitude, in the watershed of Lake Tahoe, needed an innovative recovery plan that would not disrupt the ecosystem. El Dorado County, California Integrated Waste Management Board and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services developed a coordinated debris removal effort that had contractors remove debris, hazardous trees and install erosion control. The removal was funded with $7 million from the Waste Management Board and $100,000 from the county. Within 120 days from the fire, 261 sites had hazardous trees cleared, 191 sites had erosion control placed and 72 sites were in the building process.
Kings County — Personal Empowerment to Achieve and Sustain Employability
John Semas, Deputy Director
Kings County Health Department
1400 W. Lacey Blvd.
Hanford, CA 93230
There are individuals in the CalWorks program that have chronic issues finding and maintaining employment. It was determined that there was a need for basic training in appropriate appearance, ethics in the workplace, interviewing skills and improved self-confidence. The Human Service Agency’s Employment and Training Services Division developed and presented a comprehensive employment preparation and retention workshop. This workshop was a success in part due to the local businesses that donated their time and services. With the exception of staff time, all services were donated. Approximately 25 participants have become employed since the workshop and are displaying new self-confidence, pride in their appearance and a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity.
Lake County — Community Partnership for Road and Street Enhancements
Steve Stangland, Road Superintendent
255 North Forbes Street
Lakeport, CA 95453
Lake County was suffering from poor road and street conditions due to dwindling budgets, limited staff, and skyrocketing material costs. The Countywide Service Area (CSA) was created for road maintenance, which allows neighborhoods to form “zones of benefit” through which funding can be raised for maintenance. The zone is created through county votes, funded upfront by the County and is then repaid over time by property tax assessment for a predetermined time. Before the “zones of benefit” costs to repair roads would have run about $800,000-per-mile. With the money available through zones of benefit the County was able to repair 10 miles of road for $750,000. So far, 10 miles of road has been fully redone across three zones of benefit, and property owners are very pleased with the results.
Shasta County — Don’t Buy the Lies
Roxanne Burke, Program Manager
2650 Breslauer Way
Redding, CA 96001
The Shasta County Don’t Buy the Lies marketing campaign was designed to empower youth to rebuke the tobacco companies’ efforts to market cancer-causing products disguised as candy. Shasta County statistics show use of tobacco by teens to be significantly higher than State or national averages. The campaign utilizes main methods of communication favored by teens and presents information in a viral, satirical style. A majority of the budget ($200,000 from the health department’s general fun) went to funding the media campaign; the private firm contracted for this donated $157,000 in staff time. The result of this movement can be measured by the overwhelming number of website visits to DontBuyTheLies.org, as well as post survey results indicating that thousands of local teens recognize the campaign.
Shasta County — Don’t Trash Shasta
Don’t Trash Shasta
Gerald C. Benito, District Attorney
District Attorney’s Office
1525 Court Street, 3rd Floor
Redding, CA 96001
Don’t Trash Shasta is a prosecution-based program developed by multiple governmental organizations, as well as private companies, to address illegal dumping in Shasta County and the federal lands adjacent to it. The program includes a district attorney Investigator to develop prosecution cases and an investigative technician who answers a hotline and assist with coordinating cleanup efforts. In the 235 dumpsites identified in the first year of the program, five individuals were prosecuted and 37 individuals personally cleaned up sites where they had dumped trash. Due to the success of the program, efforts have been shifted from prosecution to education and prevention. This program has resulted in cleaner communities, lower enforcement costs and the expectation that costs for this program will continue to decrease while it remains effective.
200,001 to 700,000
Butte County – Early Learning with Families! (ELF)
Derek Wolfgram, Library Director
1820 Mitchell Ave
Oroville, Ca 95966
In 2005, Butte county reported that 47 percent of children were lacking pre-academic skills upon entering kindergarten. Another problem that also beset the county was the lack of programs that encouraged early childhood development skills in children 0-3 years. To address these problems, Early Learning with Families! (ELF) and the Butte County Libraries created an enhanced library program, which featured children’s activities, readings and interactive games to bring families together. The initial funding in 2006-07 was with a $5,000 grant from the State. ELF then grew in 2007-08 with a $25,000 grant and $55,000 from First 5. The program has generated a big interest in local libraries. It has instilled in children a love for reading at an early age.
Marin County — Marin County Waste Pharmaceutical Safe Disposal Program
Philip D. Smith, Deputy Director
Environmental Health Services
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 326
San Rafael, CA 94913
Studies have shown that pharmaceutical products are now appearing in the environment, especially in surface waters, causing adverse impacts to fish and other aquatic life. Marin County staff initiated the state’s first full-time pharmaceutical take-back program, including 18 pharmacies. This program ensures that unused pharmaceuticals are safely returned and disposed of properly. The budget for this program is $12,000 that has been donated by various agencies. Marin County has seen a positive change with the amount of materials collected each year. In 2005, 303 pounds were collected. In 2006, 928 pounds and in 2007, 1099 pounds were collected. This program has set up a long-term, environmentally safer way to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals.
Merced County – High Schooled Assistance Dog Program
Supervising Social Worker
c/o Mark Hendrickson
2222 M Street
Merced, CA 95340
Phone: 209/385-3000 ext. 5823
Merced County saw a need to assist at-risk youth to ensure that they do not end up involved with the Child Welfare System. The Human Service Agency partnered with the California Canine Academy and created the High Schooled Assistance Dog Program. This program allows at-risk youth to train service dogs. Through the training of the dogs, students developed self-discipline, caring and compassion. Approximately $37,000 was budgeted for this program from Outcome Improvement Funds, which are designed to prevent children from entering the Child Welfare System. The children that participated in this program have improved self-esteem, behavior at home, school performance and many are no longer involved in the Child Welfare System.
Santa Barbara County – In-Custody Drug Treatment, Planning for Success
Mark Mahurin, Lieutenant, Planning and Programs
Bob Trimble, Supervisor, Inmate Services
4436A Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Phone: 805/681-4249 – 805/681-4199
E-mail: email@example.com or Rjt2810@sbsheriff.org
The Sheriff’s Treatment Program was designed to help inmates eliminate drug and alcohol use, establish a foundation for real long-term recovery, and reduce recidivism. Since 1996, the program has increased capacity to include intensive inpatient substance abuse treatment in four housing units. On average, 65% of inmates released violate the conditions of their release or return to custody with new charges. For participants in the Sheriff’s Treatment Program in Santa Barbara County, only 38.8% (male) and 40.3% (female) re-violate after one year. Considering the cost of incarceration per inmate, this reduction means substantial savings. Graduates of the program participate in monthly alumni dinners where they are recognized for selected anniversary dates for sobriety. Many have been out of custody for 8-10 years.
Santa Cruz County – Carpe Diem for Kids: Creating Real Change Through Child Welfare Systems Improvement Planning
Ellen Timberlake, Deputy Director
Human Services Department
1000 Emeline Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Santa Cruz County took the opportunity to engage diverse stakeholders, conduct a full and transparent system assessment, and created a comprehensive plan to improve children’s lives. Guided by the mandates of the state Child Welfare System Improvement Planning process, a 40-member steering committee created a comprehensive six year plan to better the lives of abused and neglected children. The findings of this effort led to immediate and long-term program improvements. The agency was chosen as a pilot site to receive free technical assistance on quality improvement because of the attention garnered through its comprehensive nature. Additionally, all parties enjoy improved relationships between agencies, community partners, and resource parents creating a foundation for long-term system improvement.
Sonoma County – Circles Across Sonoma
7425 Ranch Los Guilicos Rd, Dpt B
Santa Rosa, Ca 95409
The number of girls entering the juvenile justice system has been on a steady increase. Many of these girls themselves have been victims of crimes, abuse and neglect. These backgrounds do much to explain the particular ways in which girls express violence. Sonoma Probation has responded by implementing the Circles Across Sonoma Program, one of the few female adolescent-focused programs to offer programming at any point into the system: diversion, supervision and aftercare. The program is grant funded for $499,969 for the first three year. It has brought to Sonoma County an effective, research-based model that offers an innovative approach to gender-responsive needs. In the first year, Circles Across Sonoma had 224 participants.
700,001 and above
Alameda County — Inmate Information Public Website
Frank Ficken, Information Technology Manager
Oakland, CA 94607
In Alameda County, more than 200 people are arrested each day. Prior to the Inmate Locator Website (ILW), inmate family members and bail bondsmen had to call or visit the jail to obtain information on the whereabouts of their family members, a long wait time for those seeking inmate information. The solution to this problem is the ILW, which can be accessed by those seeking information on inmates. The project was assigned a $35,000 budget for web page design. The ILW now typically handles more than 250 requests per day, resulting in a savings of approximately 10 hours of Sheriff’s staff time each day. Other government agencies such as Parole and Child Services have used the site for tracking individuals.
Alameda County — Sidewalk Program
Art Carrera, Principal Engineer
399 Elmhurst Ave
Hayward, CA 94541
Many of Alameda Counties roadways either have no sidewalks or the existing sidewalks have fallen into disrepair. Many community members have complained about the lack of safe sidewalks. The Alameda County Sidewalk Program created new sidewalks and repaired existing damaged sidewalks. The goal of this project is to improve pedestrian safety, and provide a healthier and safer environment. To fund this program, the county has implemented Measure B (sales tax). This provides approximately $100,000 per year for operating costs incurred for sidewalk repairs. For the sidewalk construction, engineering design costs are estimated at $250,000-$500,000 per project. With the resources of Measure B, the county is now able to provide livable, walk-able and safe neighborhoods for Alameda County residents.
Contra Costa County — Keep the Delta Clean Program
Tonya Redfield, Program Director
282 Moulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
The Keep the Delta Clean program works to improve access to marina-based environmental services in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which provides drinking water to 2/3 of the state’s population. With grant funding, Keep the Delta Clean uses stakeholder engagement, public outreach, on-the-ground environmental services and unique tracking tools to reduce potential pollution. Keep the Delta Clean partners with marinas to provide services such as oil recycling centers, oil absorbent exchange centers, pet waste stations, recycling bins, leak-proof dock boxes and more. The program has resulted in a sizeable increase in hazardous material collected, including 6,585 gallons of used oil, 4,290 points of used oil filters, and 1,000 marine engine batteries.
Fresno County — IHSS Fraud Mysteries Revealed: Abuse & You Lose
Kristin Bengyel, Executive Director
IHSS Public Authority
2025 E. Dakota Avenue, Second Floor
Fresno, CA 93726
IHSS is a state program providing in-home care for low income elderly and disabled. Many of the recipients who receive IHSS hire friends or family who are not aware of the rules and the consequences of breaking them. This practice contributes to a lot of fraudulent activity. In response, Abuse and You Lose was created. The team, who consisted of many community members, created a 13- minute instructional video for IHSS recipients and their family members. The video was budgeted for $8,000 from IHSS Public Authority funds, but was produced for only $6,250. As a result, 942 IHSS recipients and their families have been trained. A definite decrease in IHSS fraudulent activity has also resulted.
Los Angeles County — Environmentally Friendly Product Purchasing Policy in Public Agencies
1100 N. Eastern Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Phone: Not provided
In Los Angeles County, it was discovered that most public agencies lack the knowledge or expertise to develop and implement a purchasing policy for environmentally referable products. The solution is to purchase “green” by using recycled paper, toner cartridges and energy star criteria. To do this they established a specific purchasing team to evaluate product categories, specifications and prepare solicitations in concert with end users. The program was so well received and attended that it was, and continues to be extended, throughout the state of California.
Los Angeles County — Library Cards for Probation Youth
Pamela Broussard, Public Information Officer
7400 E. Imperial Highway
Downey, CA 90242
Students who enter the juvenile justice system often demonstrate low literacy and education levels. Three county departments have collaborated in hopes of finding a solution to this problem. The Public Library, the Los Angeles County Probation Department and the Los Angeles County Office of Education have created and implemented the Library Cards for Probation Youth. This program allows students to receive a library card and take advantage of all the services offered by the public library including Live Homework Help. Program costs are staff time only. Probation officers are required to attend training in order to assist students. Nearly 7,000 library cards were issued during the first year of this program to youth in the juvenile system.
Los Angeles County — Pico Rivera Individual Development in Ethnics Program
Sgt. Steve Sanchez
6631 Passions Blvd
Pico Rivera, Ca 90660
Phone: 562/949 2421
When clergy members teamed up with the Sheriff’s Department, they realized that many of the issues plaguing the community involved young boys and girls, ages 12 thru 15, who were behaving badly at home and at school. Out of this realization, Pico Rivera Individual Development in Ethnics (P.R.I.D.E.) was formed. It is a nine-week program designed to educate, mentor and guide troubled youth. It takes the troubled youth on a tour of the local morgues and jails to show them where poor choices lead and then later on a tour of colleges and airports to show them where positive choices can lead. To date, the P.R.I.D.E program has had 80 graduates. As word of this program grows, so does its list of students waiting to enroll.
Los Angeles County — Preserving Access to Medications for More People
Contact: Keren Goldberg, Program Manager
550 South Vermont, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Medication costs are a significant component of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health budget. Developing new procedures to ensure that medication expenditures are focused on evidence-based practices is an important strategy to improve the quality of care to patients. The Pharmacy Services Bureau discovered that many patients were concurrently receiving multiple highly expensive antipsychotic medications and that there is little evidence in clinical literature to support the use of more than one antipsychotic. At the time of this analysis, the department’s annualized medication expenditure was more than $24 million. After ten months, it dropped to $4.87 million. The effect of the challenge resulted in immediate decrease in expenditure and the polypharmacy rate fell to below one percent.
Los Angeles County — The Innovative Navigator
Keren Goldberg, Program Manager, Employee Recognition
Department of Mental Health
550 South Vermont, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90020
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health realized there was a lack of adequate mental health assessments within the communities. The department developed a team in each community consisting of mental health clinicians, experienced staff, parent advocates and/or volunteers called the Service Area Navigators. These teams were able to assess problems with mental health service providers to identify gaps in service within each community. The program budget is $4.9 million annually and is completely funded through the Mental Health Services Act Community Services and Supports Plan. The program provides a personalized service, and has successfully “navigated” thousands of clients into mental health services.
Orange County — HOSTS Mentor Program
Vicki Mathews, Sr. Administrative Manager
1535 E. Orangewood Ave
Anaheim, Ca 92805
Orange County was having a two-part problem: (1) a large percentage of youth were juvenile offenders with many as repeat offenders and (2) some elementary school students were suffering academically. A program was constructed to solve both problems, called Helping One Student To Succeed (HOSTS). This is a mentoring program that takes the juvenile offender and pairs him up with a student in need of tutoring. There was no added cost to the county or city to run this program. HOSTS has helped every person in the program. The students that are receiving the extra help have seen their grades improve and the offenders have felt a sense of purpose.
Orange County — Project MOVE
Vicki Mathews, Sr. Administrative Manager
1535 E. Orangewood Ave
Anaheim, Ca 92805
There was something missing from the care of the incarcerated youth of Joplin Youth Center: caring for others. Project Mobility Opportunity Via Education (Project MOVE) was created to give the youth a well-rounded rehabilitation care. Joplin’s youth are paired up with students with disabilities, minor or severe, and the youth assist them with every day activities. The cost to run this program is minimal. Project MOVE not only benefits the disabled students by having someone their own age interact with them, but also helps the Joplin youth in several ways. They get school credit for participating in the program, a certificate of completion and a new found appreciation for their own lives.
Riverside County — Creating Healthy Pet Zones
Renee Poselski, Humane Education Chief
Department of Animal Services
5950 Wilderness Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504
The County Department of Animal Services created “Healthy Pet Zones” as an education strategy to reduce the overpopulation of unwanted pets. It is a comprehensive strategy to address the cultural and monetary barriers that lead to unwanted and costly pets. A bilingual community services assistant was funded to conduct the community outreach campaign in areas most in need. While there were considerable costs to the program, the positive budget impact will be realized in the future. One unaltered dog can produce more than 500 offspring in two years that the County would, in turn, be financially or otherwise responsible for. While it costs $50 to spay/neuter one dog, there is a potential cost savings of $51,000 over two years per dog altered.
Riverside County – Mobile Activities Recreation Services (MARS)
Suzanne Holland, Deputy Director
Community Services Department
1325 Spruce Street, Suite 400
Riverside, CA 92507
The Mobile Activities Recreation Services program is a community center on wheels. In the face of the housing boom, thousands of citizens live in areas that lack established community centers, parks, and services because County infrastructure simply cannot keep up. The Mobile Services, known as M.A.R.S. to residents, are outfitted with educational materials, sports equipment, arts and crafts, etc., and can recreate a community center in under an hour. Staff salaries and equipment were redirected to operate the program; it reduces the money the county would have spent on building or leasing facilities for the services. Program designers and participants alike agree that the low-cost services and recreational opportunities that the Mobile program provides are out of this world.
Riverside County — Regional Medical Center’s Clockwork OR
Louise O’Rourke, RN
Nurse Manager of Peri-Operative Services
Riverside County Regional Medical Center
26520 Cactus Avenue
Moreno Valley, CA
The purpose of the Clockwork Operating Room initiative is to reduce delays in first case start time, improve clinical efficiency and reduce lost revenues for the Regional Medical Center’s ten Operating Rooms. A delay in the start time of the first case causes a domino effect resulting in lost hours and revenue. The most common reason for delay: surgeon tardiness. The initiative created a subcommittee, which meets to discuss and notify physicians of first-case delays attributed to their department in writing to which they are expected to respond, and created a new pre-operative check list to improve communication with attending physicians and avoid delays. The initiative improved efficiency, patient flow, decreased late start times and saved the Medical Centers time and money.
Riverside County – Riverside Fit Families: Making Families Healthier
Susan Harrington, Director
Department of Public Health
4065 County Circle Drive
Riverside, CA 92503
In an effort to combat excessive spending on medical costs associated with obesity and physical inactivity, the Riverside County Public Health Department created Fit Families, a multi-disciplinary effort to promote healthy living in families. The program is based on education and behavioral contracting to influence healthy behaviors in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, family time and the importance of decreasing obesity. The program was executed within budget; the real cost savings will occur in a decrease in medical costs as a result of improved health of the community at large. Changes n the family environment were most impressive: participating families report happier, healthier kids, weight loss and an increase in family-time spent in physical activities, such as family walks.
Sacramento County — E-Tax Payment Resolution
Assistant Tax Collector
700 H Street, Room 1710
Sacramento, CA 95814
The Tax Collector’s office rejects approximately 25,000 to 30,000 payments a year, due to the fact that the installment was already paid, the bill was cancelled, or the amount was incorrect. The E-Tax Payment Resolution was born out of the necessity and the frustration felt by staff. The project developed an electronic system for the purpose of preparing rejected payments refunds, tracking transactions, and updating the tax system with the disposition. The project costs totaled $59,436 and were paid for through tax administration and other budgeted data processing funds. Approximately 30,000 records annually no longer require key data entry upon completion. Taxpayers are able to contact staff and receive reliable refund information within minutes.
San Diego County — “Food for Thought” Partnership
Nancy Saint John, Public Information Officer
San Diego County Library
5555 Overland Avenue, Suite 1511
San Diego, CA 92123
The Food for Thought partnership helps older adults overcome isolation and poor nutrition through physical activity and a balanced meal, in the supportive and welcoming environment of the Library. Food for Thought includes activities such as gentle yoga classes, a nutritious lunch, an opportunity to create friendships and access to the Library’s free services. 530 senior citizens attended the 21 Food for Thought sessions last year and scheduled attendance for the coming sessions has increased 21 percent. Participants return favorable survey reviews and many stay to socialize and have become regular library patrons. By collaborating with local senior and aging services, the county library has placed itself at the forefront nationally for innovation in meeting the needs of the growing aging population.
San Diego County — Serial Inebriate Program
Susan Bower, Deputy Director
Alcohol and Drug Services
3255 Camino Del Rio South
San Diego, CA 92108
The the Serial Inebriate Program offers treatment, shelter and other supportive services to chronic public inebriates so as to reduce their use of public safety and emergency medical care resources. The Police Department worked with the County’s Alcohol and Drug Services division to develop a program for long-term homeless alcoholics, which allows offenders to seek alcohol treatment in lieu of custody. Participants receive a continuum of care including case management, specialized treatment groups, housing, medical and psychological care and employment assistance. The program slows the cycle of chronic alcoholics moving in and out of detoxification centers, jails and hospitals; it was recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2004 as an “exemplary strategy for reducing chronic homelessness.”
San Diego County — Workforce Academy for Youth
Willie Cook, Deputy Director
Department of Human Resources
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 207
San Diego, CA 92101
The Workforce Academy for Youth is a comprehensive training program that prepares emancipating foster youth for jobs, encourages school continuation, and promotes a successful transition to self-sufficiency. Youth emancipating from the foster system face challenges ranging from educational deficits to economic instability and victimization. First implemented in 2006, this program includes six-month paid internships in various county departments. Interns are assigned a job coach, a life skills coach and an independent living skills contractor to ensure work and life skills-learning. County departments are eagerly participating, generating a plethora of job opportunities and volunteers, especially senior citizens, who are working as job coaches. The Workforce Academy for Youth provides a continuum of learning so that all components support one another, lending to the success of the program.
San Francisco City & County — Healthy San Francisco
Tangerine Brigham, Deputy Director of Health/Director of Healthy San Francisco
San Francisco Department of Public Health
101 Grove Street, Room 310
San Francisco, CA 94102
Healthy San Francisco is an innovative public/non-profit partnership implemented by San Francisco County that provides universal, comprehensive, affordable health care access to uninsured adult residents. Healthy San Francisco was created after the Board of Supervisors adopted the Health Care Security Ordinance in 2006. Services provided include primary care, behavioral health and hospital care. Once fully implemented, the program will cost $200 million annually and is projected to remain in-budget. The City/County of San Francisco secured $73 million in federal funds over three years for the program. Proof of the positive results include enrollment, which has exceeded expectation. Administrative efficiency is good due to the partnership between the Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Health Plan.
Santa Clara County – Breaking Cycles, Rebuilding Lives
Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Director
Office of Women’s Policy
70 W. Hedding Street, 11th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Breaking Cycles, Rebuilding Lives: The Women’s Advocacy Initiative is a gender analysis of the county’s jail system, to understand the needs and life circumstances of female offenders and what can be done to improve outcomes for women. This is a jail-level collaborative between the Department of Correction, Office of Women’s Policy, Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women, and 72 community stakeholders. The data compiled through focus groups was released in a report that illustrated the underlying issues, gaps in support for female inmates, and long-term effects, which acts as an important guide to decision-making. A long-term collaborative effort was established to continue work on these issues and jail staff will receive gender-responsive training to enhance their ability to work with female offenders.