Thursday, January 17, 2019

February SNAP Benefits will be Early for Most Recipients Clients must make them last

(Jan. 16, 2019) – Due to the continuing partial federal government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of Colorado have released February SNAP benefits early to most recipients. The Department urges clients who received an additional SNAP payment on their EBT cards from Jan.16-20th to keep in mind that it is an advance SNAP payment for February. The additional funds are intended to help clients with their February food purchases. No additional SNAP benefits will be allotted in February. All SNAP participants will be able to use their EBT cards to purchase food as long as there are benefits on their card. Participants should plan food purchases carefully throughout January and February so their food needs are met through the partial government shutdown. If more food resources are needed during the partial government shutdown, we encourage clients to reach out to a local food bank or community agency in their area. 
To find those resources, please contact: Colorado 2-1-1: 844-493-8255 Hunger Free Colorado: 855-855-4626 Colorado Benefits Center: 855-871-2696 SNAP benefits will not be issued again until March, and only if the funds are available from the federal government. As additional information becomes available, we will share it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

SNAP Benefits/Government Shutdown

Due to the continuing partial federal government shutdown, the United States Department of Agriculture and the State of Colorado have decided to release February SNAP benefits early to most of our customers.
All SNAP participants:
● You will be able to use your EBT card to purchase food as long as you have benefits on your card. ● Plan food purchases carefully throughout January and February so your food needs are met through the partial government shutdown.
● SNAP benefits will not be issued again until March, if funds are available from the federal government.
 ● We do not have any further information about March SNAP benefits at this time.
● If you need more food resources during the partial government shutdown, we encourage you to reach out to your local food banks or community agencies in your area.

○ To find these resources in your area, please contact:
 ■ Colorado 211: 844-493-8255 or visit https://211colorado.communityos.org/cms/home
■ Hunger Free Colorado: 855-855-4626
 ■ Colorado Benefits Center: 855-871-2696
● When the shutdown ends, SNAP benefits will go back to normal. If you received an additional Food Assistance (SNAP) payment on your EBT card from January 16-20:
● This is not an additional payment for January. These are your February SNAP benefits.
● The early payment of February SNAP is meant to help with next month’s food.
● No SNAP benefits will be added in the month of February. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mesa County Child Welfare a State Model


Colorado received national recognition for providing financial support for the reimbursement of transportation, in HB 18-1306Improving Educational Stability For Foster Youth, as the first state to legislate the implementation of the federal law that compels school systems to ensure that, among other things, foster kids have a ride to school. 

Mesa County Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division is one of two model counties in the state accessing these funds to help keep foster kids in their school of origin.        
                                                         
Too often the community believes that child welfare is about a child’s safety when in reality a child's well-being is Child Welfare’s first goal. A child’s educational needs are equally as important as their physical safety and emotional well-being.

According to MCDHS Child Welfare Manager Hannah Webster “When a child or youth is placed into out of home placement, the child is subject to multiple changes and transitions all at once. The funding from this bill allows us to maintain some stability, structure and sense of community for a child by offering mileage reimbursement to get the child/youth to their school of origin if that is determined to be in their best interest."

Studies continue to show the more school moves a child has the less likely they are to graduate from high school. 

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Administrative Review Division recently began reviewing whether county departments are following the proper process in making the best interest determination regarding a child’s potential change in schools as a result of a placement, or change in placement. Initial data reflects a need for significant improvement in this area. CDHS recognized Mesa and Arapahoe as the only two counties in the state making strides to improve that data by leveraging of HB 1306 funding for the benefit of foster families.
                                                                                   

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November is National Adoption Month



Mesa County is observing National Adoption Month by celebrating 3 new adoptions on National Adoption Day November 16 in Judge Robinson's Courtroom 126 North Spruce 3rd Floor.

More than 101,000 children and youth in the U.S. foster care system are awaiting permanent, loving families.  National Adoption Month is an effort to raise awareness about the adoption of children from foster care and to honor those adoptive families who have opened their homes and hearts to become lifelong families for these children.  While over 60% of children in foster care will return to their biological parents, the others will require an alternate permanency outcome if the Court determines they are unable to return home. 

In Mesa County, there are approximately 20 children each year who become available for adoption through the Mesa County Department of Human Services and are in need of a permanent and stable home.  These children are generally over age 7 and may have developmental, medical or other special needs.  They may be part of a sibling group or have ethnically diverse backgrounds.    

“Adoption is a very special process and we are so proud to be a part of helping children find permanent, loving families,” said Kim Espindola, Placement Services Team Supervisor for the Mesa County Department of Human Services.    

The Mesa County Department of Human Services is dedicated to building collaborations among local agencies, courts and advocacy organizations to achieve permanence for children.  This effort offers children the chance to live with stable and loving families and encourage other dedicated individuals to make a powerful difference in the lives of children through adoption.

Lisa and Paul McGinnett will be adopting one child and are willing to speak to the media about their experience. They should be available at 12:30 pm  At noon we will have a staging room available to the media to get photos and interviews. The staging room will be near Judge Robinson’s courtroom on the 3rd floor. Adoptions are closed proceedings; we ask you are sensitive about photographing families without gaining their permission first, even in public areas.

If you are interested in obtaining more information about adoption services provided through the Mesa County Department of Human Services, please contact Kim Espindola at 248-2818. 


Thursday, September 27, 2018

MISSING CHILD-Jadah Rocha

Judge ordered MEDIA ALERT
MISSING CHILD ALERT:   Jadah Rocha DOB-12/3/2004. Missing since July 19, 2018. Her family and grandmother are very worried about her. Report her whereabouts to Law Enforcement by dialing 911.





Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Norman Retires from Area Agency on Aging


40 years of service to the elderly 
 Yesterday Governor John Hickenlooper pronounced Monday, Sept 24th as Dave Norman Day at the State Capitol in Denver. Hickenlooper also presented Norman with a flag that flew over the State Capitol as recognition of 40 years of service to the State of Colorado. Community members will host a retirement party for Dave tomorrow.
 
Dave Norman’s Retirement Party
Sept 26, 2018
1:00-3:00pm
Mesa County Department of Human Services Building
510 29.5 Rd, Grand Junction
Meeting Room 1060


“Dave was the very first Director for the Area Office on Aging back in the earlier 1970’s. He is a storehouse of knowledge on everything related to services being provided to the elder population in the region. We have big shoes to fill as he retires and we will miss him.”  states Executive Director of the Mesa County Department of Human Services, Tracey Garchar.



The Governor’s proclamation and flag will be on display during tomorrow’s retirement party. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Reporting Elder Abuse In Mesa County Starts with a Phone Call

Help us pull back the curtain on elder abuse and neglect

Mesa County, CO--- Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) receives an average of over 70 new adult protection referrals each month.  Victims of adult abuse or neglect are at-risk adults age 18 or over who are unable to protect themselves due to age or disability.  These individuals are sometimes not aware of the resources in our community and often have no one else to protect them.

 Approximately 46% of the victims are over 70 years old and are physically impaired or have some form of dementia.  The younger at-risk adult victims are persons with physical or mental disabilities.  Abuse, exploitation and neglect are caused by a member of the victim’s own family in a large percentage of cases. These residents are often vulnerable to assault, burglary, fraud and other crimes because they cannot provide for their own care and protection.


The Mesa County Department of Human Services is committed to advocating for people’s rights.  Senior citizens and persons with disabilities are vital members of our families, our society, and our community.  Colorado is a Mandatory Reporting state.   Historically, 1 in 5 cases of adult abuse are actually reported.  Adult abuse encompasses many different types of harms and can occur in a community, home or institutional settings. Mandatory Reporting over the past 4 years has increased the number of referrals and has provided greater safety for the older adults in our community.

For more information on suspected adult abuse and neglect please visit www.humanservices.mesacounty.us or call the Adult Protection Hotline at 248-2888, option 2.  Callers can remain anonymous if they so chose.