Friday, May 4, 2018

Missing Teen Alert

The Mesa County Department of Human Services is issuing a missing teen ALERT! 

Elijah Murry was last seen around on April 19th at 1842 N 7th St.  
He is about 5'9" and weighs about 140lbs.  
Elijah is 16 years old. 
He has blonde hair and hazel eyes. 
Any information regarding his whereabouts can be reported to Grand Junction Police Department Nonemergent number 970 242 6707.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Missing Youth FOUND

Kamry has been found and returned to safety this morning May 2, 2018. 

The Mesa County Department of Human Services is issuing a missing youth alert. 
Kamry Herrera 
Kamry was last seen at/around 27 1/2 Rd and Patterson, on 4/19/18
She is about 5'3/5'4, Brown hair brown eyes and is 15 years old.
Any information on her whereabouts can be reported to Mesa County Law Enforcement. 


Commissioners to Proclaim May


NATIONAL FOSTER/KINSHIP PARENT APPRECIATION MONTH
  
The Mesa County Commissioners will proclaim May as National Foster/Kinship Parent Appreciation Month on Monday, May 7th at 9:00am. The Proclamation will be signed at the old County Courthouse, 544 Rood, in the Public Hearing Room. Members of the media are invited to attend. DHS staff and a Foster Family (the Waalkes) will be accepting the Proclamation and will be on hand for interviews immediately following the proclamation.

In Mesa County, there are nearly 300 children and youth in foster care.  Currently, there are over 180 Foster and Kinship families, in Mesa County, who open their homes and hearts to children. Foster/Kinship families play a vital role in helping children heal and reconnect, thus launching children into successful adulthood.

During the month of May we take the opportunity to thank these heroes of our community for providing loving safe homes for children and families in crisis” states Foster Care Supervisor Sarah St. Martin. 

·        An addition Foster Month Appreciation event being held will be the Celebration of Excellence Graduation recognition for children and their families graduating during May. The Celebration of Excellence will happen on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at the Mesa County Workforce Center from 5:00-7:00pm. 


More Foster/kinship families are needed to provide stability and love to children of all ages in Mesa County.  If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent contact Foster Care of Mesa County at 970 683 2607.                              

Monday, April 23, 2018

Advance Care Planning Task Force to Host Special Events as part of National Healthcare Decisions Day


 The Mesa County Advance Care Planning Task Force will host a half day seminar focused on creating a plan for your future healthcare decisions in honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day on Thursday, April 26 from 8:00 a.m. – Noon at St. Mary’s Hospital. “Who’s Got Your Back? Learn Who Will Make Healthcare Decisions for You When You No Longer Can,” includes a panel discussion and practical advice about advance directives.
This session will include information on communicating end-of-life wishes to loved ones, an interactive presentation by Dr. Laura Campbell concerning how to speak to your doctor about medical directives, a panel discussion on Colorado burial options and information regarding advance care planning tools. Advance directives can also be completed at the seminar.
Various organizations are partnering with the Mesa County Advance Care Planning Task Force to host Before I Die walls around the Grand Valley throughout the month of April. The Before I Die wall project is a global participatory public art event that allows individuals to express their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future.
“Individuals can take simple steps to prepare for their future healthcare needs,” said Mary Watson, HopeWest Community Project Coordinator and co-chair of the Advance Care Planning Task Force. “Our seminar on April 26 will provide the public with easy tools in a fun and interactive environment,” added Watson.
Those interested in attending can learn more through Western Colorado 2-1-1 by simply dialing 211 from a landline or 970-244-8400 from a cell phone. Limited seating is available and registration is required for the seminar on April 26. There is a nominal registration fee of $5, which includes refreshments and advance directive tools.
“Preparing now, before a person becomes ill, is the best way to communicate to family and friends what your healthcare wishes are,” said Erica Eng, Community Hospital Director of Patient Experience and Advance Care Planning Task Force member.
To schedule an interview the day of the event, please contact Erica Eng at (970) 216-4913.

###

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a national grassroots initiative to encourage individuals to express their healthcare wishes through conversations and the completion of advance directives. More information can be found at www.nationalhealtharedecisionsday.org.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Unmasking Fraud and Having a Ball with Program Integrity


The Colorado Welfare Fraud Council is once again joining forces with the Social Services Technical and Business Staffs to provide a wide variety of professional development training to Investigators and Workers within Public Assistance programs from across the State of Colorado and Nationally.  The conferenced is being hosted in Grand Junction.
We are very pleased to have this National event in Grand Junction,” states Sonia Salas, CWFC President.  “Grand Junction will welcome between 250-275 people attending plus an additional 40 presenters. The conference will deliver some economic impact while providing western slope fraud investigators high caliber training closer to home,” added Salas.
The 2 ½ day conference will be held at Doubletree by Hilton in Grand Junction, April 25, through April 27, 2018. Commissioner, John Justman and District Attorney, Dan Rubinstein will be presenting the welcome speeches for the event.
Conference attendees will see presentations from State Program Areas, Law Enforcement, Criminal Investigators, and Master Trainers.  

The goal of the Unmasking Fraud conference is to provide better insights and skills for employees of Human Services who deal with eligibility of public assistance, and protecting the integrity of those program areas.

Community Collaboration Continues to be a Cornerstone in the Fight Against Child Abuse

Mesa County Department of Human Services Child Abuse Hotline and local pediatricians have developed a collaboration to benefiting local children who may have been a victim abuse or neglect.

Preventing child about and neglect in Mesa County continues to be at the forefront of Child Abuse Hotline Supervisor, Jacque Berry. Berry is extremely passionate about educating the public and community partners on how to spot child abuse and neglect. Recently Berry began a collaboration with 3 local doctors (2 pediatricians and an orthopedic doctor), and Dr. Andrew Sirotnic from the Child Protection Team at Denver Children's Hospital. This team has come up with standard protocols and processes when dealing with non-accidental trauma in Mesa County.  This type of collaboration is very unique and has not been seen in other counties in Colorado.  This group of professionals present issues related to non-accidental trauma to local hospitals, doctor's offices, and law enforcement throughout Mesa County.

According to Child Welfare Manager Joe Kellerby, “This collaborative will continue the work to ensure there is a standard approach that is uniform in Mesa County on how to handle non-accidental trauma in children. Supervisor Berry has been instrumental in the important work this collaborative is doing within the community.”


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Who's got your back?  

National Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower community member and healthcare providers to learn about the importance of advance care planning. Join Americans across the country in making future healthcare decisions known to family, friends and healthcare providers because your decisions matter                                                   

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Everyone can help prevent child abuse in Mesa County

Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) joins countless others across the nation to highlight the issues of child abuse & neglect during the month of April and the importance of everyone taking responsibility in preventing abuse and neglect in our community.

MCDHS hopes to raise awareness that effective child abuse prevention succeeds because of partnerships created among social service agencies, families, neighbors, schools, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community.  Parents, families and community members can and must help reduce child abuse and neglect in Mesa County by promoting the benefits of seeking out groups, agencies and resources that can assist a parent in providing a loving, supportive and violence-free home.

Reporting: “If in doubt report it out” Mesa County Child Abuse or Neglect Hotline 970 242 1211;
Colorado Statewide Child Abuse or Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.

The Mesa County Human Services website has info to those resources. 

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a community effort.  Every citizen in Mesa County can play a part in prevention efforts whether it be getting to know the children in your neighborhood, encouraging a struggling parent you see in the store, volunteering your time as a mentor, or becoming a foster parent.  Child Abuse Prevention Month is an opportunity for us to recognize that we all play a role in child safety. ” states Kari Daggett, Child Welfare Division Director.

Some events planned to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention month are:
County Proclamations Monday, April 2nd 9:00am Old Mesa County Courthouse.
Planting of Pinwheel Gardens in Mesa County in front of DHS & WFC Monday, April 2nd at 10:30am



###

Monday, March 19, 2018

Mesa County Implementing Traverse® for Child Welfare

Software will help case managers spend more face-to-face time with families





Mesa County Department of Human Services

About Northwoods

teamnorthwoods.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March is National Social Worker Month

Mesa County celebrates and honors Social Workers in our community.


Mesa County, Co. - Mesa County Department of Human Services celebrates and honors Social Workers in our community.

National Social Worker month is celebrated each year during the month of March. National Professional Social Work Month is an opportunity to turn the spotlight on the profession of social work and highlight the important contributions they make to the community. 

At the Mesa County Department of Human Services we have some of the most dedicated, tenacious and talented social workers that care and protect children and the elderly.” says Child Welfare Division Director, Kari Daggett MSW.

Social workers stand up for millions of people every day. These include people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, our veterans, children, families and communities. Yet many people still misunderstand who social workers are and the invaluable contributions they bring to society.

The nation’s 650,000 social workers are champions for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. They comfort people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, ensuring the best possible care while on the road to recovery. Social workers support military personnel, veterans and their families, and people living with disabilities. Child, family and school social workers protect children who have been abused and neglected, helping children find new families through adoption, and ensure young people reach their full academic and personal potential. Additionally, social workers work in communities with national, state and local government to provide services, pass legislation to help people with the most needs. 

Human Services Sends Welfare Fraud Cases to DA for Prosecution


Mesa County, Co. — The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent a case of suspected fraud to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office totaling over $34,000.00.  The subject Leilani Mae Bouchard was arraigned in court this morning on Mesa County case 2018CR252. The suspected fraud occurred from December 2011 to October 2016.  Mesa County Welfare Fraud Investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege the following:

Food Assistance: $27,313.00
Medicaid: $ 3,566.63
LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program): $997.84
Investigation Costs: $ 2,380.00

The total recovery for the combination of the investigations is $34,257.47

Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes: repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to a lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.

“Our Fraud and Recovery team takes investigating false information on public assistance applications very seriously,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “Ensuring benefits go to families who are truly eligible and in need is our utmost priority” added Garchar.

If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at (970) 256-2421.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

LEAP Program Continues in 2018

The Mesa County Low-income Energy Assistance Program is no longer be handled through the Mesa County Department of Human Services, but assistance is still available to Mesa County residents. The LEAP program will now be administered by Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado.  LEAP applicants need to be aware of new procedures in submitting LEAP applications for the 2017-2018 season

DO NOT submit LEAP application to the Mesa County DHS as this will delay the processing of applications.

LEAP is a mail-in program ONLY!
-      Return your completed 2017 version application in the addressed and stamped envelope provided; (paper applications can be picked up at the Mesa County DHS office)
      OR
-      Fax your application to 719-633-9098
-      Mail to:  LEAP
o       P.O. Box 39200
o       Colorado Springs, CO 80949
-      Email to:  LEAPHELP@discovermygoodwill.org

A few suggested tips are; ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS on the application and provide all requested documentation/verification with your completed application. Make sure that you read, complete, SIGN and DATE where required.  Failure to provide a complete application and submit required verification will delay the processing timeframe.

Continue paying your heat bill, as LEAP assistance will not pay your entire bill!

Processing your LEAP application takes time, so you must keep your account current by making a payment towards your heat bill on time to avoid disruption of service.  If you receive a shut-off notice or have had your heating service disconnected, please contact our call center at 1-888-775-LEAP (1-888-775-5327).  The Call center opened on November 1st, 2018


Please call 1-866-HEAT HELP (1-866-432-8435) to inquire about the status of your LEAP application and if you have any questions regarding LEAP.   You may also visit the Colorado Department of Human Services’ website at www.cdhs.state.co.us/leap.