Social Services Banner

Decategorization Board

Spinner Click here to see the Decategorization Board Minutes & Agendas Spinner
    


The Johnson County Decat Board has funding available to assist Johnson County Juvenile Court, DHS child welfare workers and other youth serving agency professionals with the cost to attend trainings that are relevant to work with youth and families.  Training topics may include, but are not limited to trauma informed care, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Disproportionate Minority Contact in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.  Click here to download the application.

The Johnson County Decategorization Program implements Iowa’s Child Welfare Decategorization Program. Decategorization is designed to redirect child welfare and juvenile justice funding to services which are more preventive, family-centered, and community-based in order to reduce use of restrictive approaches that rely on institutional, out-of home, and out-of community care. The JC Decat Program will partner with community stakeholders to develop service alternatives that provide less restrictive levels of care for children and families within Johnson County. Collaboratively, services will be planned with input from citizens, consumers, education, health, human services, and local government. The goal of this planning will be to ensure that services are provided that will promote child health and safety, family stability, and positive youth development.

The JC Decategorization Program will be implemented by a Board. State mandated board membership includes representatives designated by: 

1. Department of Human Services
2. Juvenile Court Services
3. Johnson County Board of Supervisors Meetings are held the 3rd Monday of every month from 1:30pm to 3:00pm at 855 S. Dubuque Street. Meetings are open to the public.

Green Round BulletCurrent Board Members

• Stephen Trefz, Community Mental Health Center
• Nadine Fisher, Chairperson, Johnson County Public Health
• Paige Casteel, Department of Human Services
• Jill Winders, Iowa City Community School District
• Candice Bennett, Juvenile Court Services
• Chris Wyatt, Juvenile Court Services
• Pat Harney, Johnson County Board of Supervisors
• John Etheredge, Johnson County Board of Supervisors
• Heidi Cuda, Mid-Eastern Iowa Council on Chemical Abuse
• Patti Fields, United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties
• Miriam Landsman, University of Iowa School of Social Work
• Connie Sarchet, Community Volunteer
• Kim Hanrahan

Green Round BulletStaff

Johnson County Social Services provides staff support for the Johnson County Decategorization Program. Contact Lynette Jacoby at (319) 356-6090 or ljacoby@co.johnson.ia.us with any questions.

Green Round BulletFY13 Johnson County Decategorization Program Funding

Bullet FY 2010 End of the Year Progress ReportAbobe Icon
Bullet FY 2011 End of the Year Progress ReportAbobe Icon
Bullet FY 2013 End of the Year Progress ReportAbobe Icon

BulletClick here for a pdf version of the FY 2013 Annual Services PlanAbobe Icon

Check Mark Overview:

The Johnson County Decategorization Board currently consists of 14 members representing Juvenile Court Services, Department of Human Services, the Board of Supervisors, community volunteers, health and social services.  The Board meets on a monthly basis, with the Grant Over-site/Review Committee convening three – to four times annually. The Grant Over-site/Review Committee met on April 3, 2012 to review the Priority Service Areas.  Given the focus on trauma informed care last fiscal year and the extensive training offered community-wide the committee expressed a desire to ensure that this interest was represented in the priority service areas.  A minor adaptation to the mental health priority area was modified to include trauma.  It was determined that the following priority service areas continue to adequately reflect the community needs:

Priority Service Areas:

• Meet the needs of minority children and families that are currently involved in the child welfare system and/or juvenile court system.
• Address isolation in order to build circles of support for children and families that are at-risk of involvement with the child welfare and/or juvenile court system, paying particular attention to the needs of minority children and families.
• Promote positive youth development, and address the needs for adequate supervision for youth ages 6 to 12 during out of school time, prioritizing program for homeless youth and youth living outside of the immediate Iowa City community.
• Provide positive youth development programming for youth ages 12 to 17 years old during out of school time, paying particular attention to the needs of youth who are involved with or at-risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system.
• Address the mental health and trauma needs of youth and families that are identified as at-risk of involvement in the child welfare system and/or juvenile court system.

Check Mark Funding:

As the Decat Board approached the beginning of FY 13, a determination was made to prioritize funding for contracts with renewal options, following a successful review of the performance measures of those contracts by the Grant Over-site/Review Committee.   The Grant Over-site/Review Committee then reviewed the priority service areas and identified gaps in programming based on how Decat funds were currently being distributed and a review of the contracts expiring on June 30, 2012.  Three priority Service Areas were identified as having limited to no Decat funded programming for FY13:

1).  Address isolation in order to build circles of support for children and families that are at-risk of involvement with the child welfare and or juvenile court system, paying particular attention to the needs of minority children and families.
2.) Address the mental health and trauma needs of youth and families that are at-risk of involvement in the child welfare system and/or juvenile court system.
3) Promote positive youth development, and address the needs of adequate supervision for youth ages 6 to 12 during out of school time. 

On July 9, a Notice of Funding was issued seeking proposals for programs that addressed any or all of the above three priority service priority areas identified as gaps in programming.

 

 

 

 

The following contracts have been executed for FY 13

Contractor

Brief Description

Priority Service Area:  Meet the needs of minority children and families that are currently involved in the child welfare system and/or juvenile court system

Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County

To continue and expand the Johnson County Parent Partners program - which provides parent mentors to families currently involved with DHS child protection unit

Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County

To support a Minority Family Advocate social worker to address the disproportionate number of minority youth placed in foster care in Johnson County.

United Action for Youth

To provide a monthly shoplifter class to first offender youth and their parents.  To assist in preventing future involvement in the juvenile courts system and to present parents with information about supports and parenting skills.

Johnson County Social Services

Support the efforts of Club Kazi - the African-American Advisory Committee to the DHS SAM, and to include support of the Core Break Through Series in an effort to reduce the disproportionate minority contacts in the child welfare system.

Priority Service Area:  Address isolation in order to build circles of support for children and families that are at-risk of involvement with the child welfare and/or juvenile court system, paying particular attention to the needs of minority children and families. 

Neighborhood Centers of Johson County

Support the BOOST program for students living in the Breckenridge Mobile Home Park in rural Johnson County, to include afterschool programming at Lemme Elementary & family support services.

Johnson County Social Services/Subcontract with 4C's.

To address the need for crisis child care for parents in order to divert children from a higher level of care (i.e. DHS foster care)

Priority Service Area:  Address the mental health and trauma needs of youth and families that are at-risk of involvement in the child welfare system and/or juvenile court system

Johnson County Social Services

To support the Johnson County wraparound fund - Focus on Youth Fund - that provides funding to families with children with a severe emotional or behavioral disturbance.

United Action for Youth To increase accessibility to mental health care for youth, aged 12 - 18, who have experienced trauma.

Priority Service Area:  Promote positive youth development, and address the needs for adequate supervision for youth ages 6 to 12 during out of school time, prioritizing  program for homeless youth and youth living outside of the immediate Iowa City community

Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County

Support the BOOST program for students living in the Breckenridge Mobile Home Park in rural Johnson County, to include after school programming at Lemme Elementary & family support services. 

United Action for Youth

Provide weekly arts/skills building group at Grant Wood Elementary

Priority Service Area:  Promote positive youth development programming for youth ages 12 to 17 years old during out of school time, paying particular attention to youth involved in or at-risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system

Community Corrections Improvement Association

One-on-One Mentoring Program, to provide mentors to youth involved in or at-risk for involvement in the corrections system or having a parent involved in the criminal justice system

Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County

Learning Enrichment Asset Development: Academic support to high school youth from three low-income neighborhoods, primarily Latino and African-American

United Action for Youth

Knights of the Round Table, to provide group services, targeting minority teen males, emphasizing life skills, conflict resolution, negotiation and refusal skills, while focusing on healthy relationships, positive leadership academics.

Other Administrative Contracts: 

Johnson County Administration

For Decat Coordinator and Johnson County Social Services staff time

Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County

To provide support and coordination of a newly created Family Treatment Court

Check Mark Community Planning:

The Johnson County Decategorization Project utilizes its monthly meetings to continually monitor community planning and needs assessment.  In addition, the Decat Coordinator & other Decat Board Members participate in discussions with other planning bodies (Empowerment and Juvenile Justice Youth Development, Community Partnership to Protect Children, Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee, United Way), individual service providers and key stakeholders.  Information is gathered from a variety of sources, including Empowerment Community Plan and grantee reporting; Juvenile Justice Youth Development agency reporting, United Way’s 2020 Vision, Juvenile Court Services data and child abuse reporting data, and information provided through the University of Iowa School of Social Work and National Resource Center on Family-Centered Practice.  New this year is the Out-of-School Committee, a collaboration of Johnson County municipalities, school districts, JCO, social service agencies, business representatives, United Way, Pearson and ACT, working together to assess gaps and barriers to out –of-school time supports.

Data assessment and review occurs as a continuing process and review may occur during monthly board meetings.  During monthly Johnson County Decategorization Board meetings information reviewed and discussed may include; the numbers of Johnson County resident children placed in out of home care, the numbers of child abuse cases and issues resulting in abuse, the numbers of new and ongoing cases of delinquencies, disproportionate minority count data, Iowa Youth Survey data, and issues/barriers arising for local mental health providers.    This information and data are then added to, and utilized with, the annual service planning efforts to develop the Board’s annual service plan.

Identifying service needs, including development of resources and responses to identified needs through networking and coordination with other community planning bodies is an activity that continues throughout the calendar/fiscal year.  The Decat Board serves as the Advisory Board for the Focus on Youth Fund, the wraparound fund to address the needs of children with mental health diagnosis. The Decat Coordinator is active with multiple planning initiatives affecting children and families serving on the following boards and committees; Empowerment, Parent Partner Advisory Committee, Safe Schools and Healthy Students Core Management Committee, Juvenile Justice and Youth Development Policy Board and Workgroup, United Way Community Investment Committee, Johnson County CPPC, Juvenile Detention and Diversion Service Advisory Committee, Out-of School Time Committee, ICCSD Community Education Committee and the Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee.

 

 

 

 

Check Mark Short Term Plan/Desired Results:

The Johnson County Decat Board anticipates a reduction in the disproportionate minority contacts in the child welfare system and juvenile court services, a reduction in social isolation as a result of increased outreach contacts and service offerings, an increase in out-of-school offerings for at-risk and isolated children, increase in access to mental health services and increased opportunities for building positive social supports.  By providing a continuum of comprehensive services in collaboration with community partners, including DHS and JCO, a safety net of services will be in place to assist families and in turn reduce the number of children in out-of-home placement.  

Check Mark Tracking of Results and Outcomes:

Each contractor is required to submit a monthly invoice, and a quarterly progress report.  These reports are submitted to the Johnson County Decategorization Project Coordinator.  The reports are thoroughly reviewed by the Coordinator for compliance with the contract.  The report forms match the Scope of Services and Performance Measures indicated in each individual contract.   Johnson County Decategorization Board meetings are held monthly, and the Coordinator provides updates to the Board on progress report findings.  Additionally, the Decat Coordinator completes the Contract and Monitoring form located on the DHS Sharepoint site as a measure to track progress on contracts.  The Grant Over-site/Review Committee reviews each contractor’s progress and performance prior to recommending contract renewals.  At least one site visit and/or presentation to the Decat Board is scheduled with each Contractor.  Site visits are scheduled by the Decategorization Coordinator and attended by a member of the Board and the Coordinator. 

The Decat Board is primarily interested in tracking data regarding the number of children involved in the foster care system & the juvenile court system, and looking at programs to increase supports and skills in order to provide a supportive community to prevent initial and on-going involvement in these formal systems.

Check Mark Monitoring and Maintaining Fiscal Accountability:

Each Contractor is assigned a schedule for submitting invoices, and given a GAX form and instructions.  The Contractor sends monthly invoices to the Coordinator.  The Coordinator reviews the invoice and compares to the Contract.  If it is appropriately completed, it is forwarded to the County Accountant (Kathy Lynch), a Johnson County fiscal staff.  It is reviewed again for accuracy.  After the invoice passes this 2-step process, the GAX form is sent to Cedar Rapids for payment.  Monthly reports from Cedar Rapids are sent to Johnson County staff.  The report is reviewed thoroughly for consistency with local internal records.  Any discrepancies in information are responded to immediately.   The County Accountant provides a monthly financial report at each Decat Board meeting.

Check Mark Carryover:

The Board will dedicate carryover funding to projects that have demonstrated success, have the ability to expand and/or enrich existing services and fill a demand where a gap or unmet need exists. Funding will also be targeted to projects for out-of school time supports for the month of June.  Last fiscal year there was great demand for the wrap around support fund, available to families involved with the child welfare system and the Focus on Youth Program, which provides support for children with emotional and or behavioral disorders.  Carryover funds assisted in alleviating the high demand for those services.  Additionally, the Board funded several out-of-school programming initiatives for children most in need.