I recently had
occasion to do a right to know letter to Nancy Rollins to request the
NH DCYF Advisory Board minutes for the last two calendar years and 2004
YTD. I originally got back the minutes redacted in various
places. The NH right to know law doesn't permit
redacting of public records, so I wrote back to DCYF and requested the
original minutes, unredacted. What follows is those minutes, with
what was originally redacted highlighted for your convenience.
Bernie Bluhm works for DCYF as an assistant administrator, Nancy
Rollins is the head of DCYF, under the Commissioner of Health and Human
Services, currently John Stevens, Donna Raycraft is the director of the
Parent-Child Center at Riverbend. They are a big DCYF
contractor. She is on record as being an
anti spanking person. I've done some minor
reformatting, but other than pointing out the areas where the
minutes were redacted in the original minutes sent to me, the minutes
are pretty much verbatim. They cover the period January,
2002 - February, 2004.
Donna Raycraft Donna McAdam Susan
Lynch Laura Jawitz Gayleen
Smith Dague Clark Bernie Bluhm
Membership: Pat Ryan from Rockingham County sent a letter directly to
the Governor' Office expressing an interest in becoming a Board member.
We also have the name of Sharon Dalton from Rockingham County.
Donna Raycraft will contact someone from the Literacy Program in
Hillsboro to try and help fill the vacancy in Hillsborough County.
When the entire membership packet is ready, Gayleen will provide
members with the names of all that are sent to the Governor's Office.
In October every state Department was asked to cut their budgets by 1 %
for this fiscal year and 2% for next year. The plan for this fiscal
year has become reality and DCYF has met its obligation through
vacancies and settlement (through caseload decreases). There will be no
cuts in service delivery. The 2% contingency plan has not become a
reality so our plans to address this have not been completed.
Reports for abuse and neglect have increased by about 13%. Articles
that have been in the newspapers, while they have been inflammatory,
they have consistently been the same message that we need more staff in
We have bolstered the new worker training and our new Intern program
that has helped the field significantly. This has caused a slight
decrease in the vacancy trend.
The Board asked if it was possible to look at state-wide volunteerism
to help workers in the field. Donna McAdam wondered about
good media. Dague explained that it's hard for the Division to accept
volunteers due to the nature of our business and the confidentiality.
Dague also explained briefly the media campaign that Nancy and Joe are
working on with the help of the Department's Public Information Office.
Nothing official in terms of a hiring freeze.
Promoting Safe and Stable Families -
Bernie disseminated copies of the November 16,2001 edition of "This
Week in Washington" whereby it reauthorizes Safe and Stable Families.
Based on the earlier statement that reports of abuse and neglect have
increased by 13%, we have developed a comprehensive family preservation
contract that would provide services to those families where they have
not reached the level of abuse/neglect but could be rise to that level.
Bernie disseminated a list of the agencies under this contract. They
are individual contracts and are retro back to July 1,2001. They are
paid for by federal funds. As a way to measure outcomes, each agency
will be required to provide information on who/what and the outcome of
the service provided. When asked what would be the best way to review
the requirements of these contracts Bernie mentioned that this is where
this Board could help.
Permanency Plus Program - Rockingham
This is a pilot project providing time-limited reunification services
to families in Rockingham County. Attached for Board members is the
12-month review of this program.
Legislative Update - Byry
A written legislative update was provided by Byry with the suggestion
that if Board members had any questions they could contact Byry
directly at 271-4699.
Meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
FEBRUARY 20, 2002
9:00 - 12:00 P.M.
Sandy McGonagle Donna Raycroft
Susan Lynch Bernie Bluhm Lisa
Brennan Joe Arcidiacono
Maggie Bishop Gayleen Smith
Sandy thanked Donna Raycroft for filling in in her absence at the
We discussed the nomination process. It would appear as though the
names are almost ready to be sent to the Governor's Office. Gayleen
will keep the Board posted.
Helen Deuschle has recently been hired as the Senior Psychiatric Social
Worker. She was at training at the time of this meeting, but Joe will
ask her to try and make the next meeting. Marci Morris has been
appointed as the Clinical Administrator and will begin on March 11 tho
Marilyn Fraser has resigned as the Quality Improvement Administrator.
We will be recruiting for her position as soon as possible.
The Division is working with the Public Information Office to begin a
media campaign in an effort to take a more proactive approach. When we
have worked out the design of this campaign we will be looking to Board
members for assistance.
We have begun an initiative with the Bridges unit to work
collaboratively towards making the Bridges system more user friendly.
This will take about 18-24 months.
We will begin District Office Forums in March whereby we will invite
the public to the DO and show them what we do. We will have brochures,
fact sheets and other informational items for those who attend.
Safe and Stable Families
Bernie disseminated an article that showed the Bush administration's
level funding for this program for the next five years. On
February 11 th Nancy approved the voluntary service policy. Bernie
disseminated this as well. The policy allows DCYF to offer preventative
services to children and families that could lead to child
maltreatment. Parents must be the ones to request this services.
Bernie gave the Board a list of the members from the original Child
Welfare Board. They are Sue Carmen, Carol McCall, Betsy Abrahams, Lisa
Brennan and Molly Coleman. This is the Board that we were trying to
merge with this Board. It was asked how that would work and how the two
Boards would come together.
Sandy suggested that we devote a meeting to brainstorm how this would
come together. Further questions were how this Board's responsibility
would be merged with their responsibilities? What structure would
be established? A meeting with both Boards to focus on merging should
probably happen sometime in April. At the March meeting Joe will talk
with the Board about the April work session.
Byry went over a few bills the Division is tracking at this time. He
also disseminated a worksheet tracking document to Board members.
1266 - inexpedient to legislate
- referred to study committee over the summer HB 1406 - still
- inexpedient to legislate
- ought to pass SB331 - ought to pass SB338 - ought to pass
- inexpedient to legislate
SB353 - still working on
- Bill died
- ought to pass with amendment SB395 - still working on [now shows signed by governor]
- ought to pass as amended SB409 - still working on
- still working on [now shows signed by governor]
- still working on [now shows signed by governor]
- Bill died
124 - passed Senate
March meeting will be on the 20th at the Dolloff Building at 9:00 a.m.
The agenda is as follows:
1. Report on Attendance
2. DCYF Update
3. Safe and Stable Families
4. Legislative Update
5. Public Forum Update and Annual Conference
Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
MARCH 20, 2002
Donna Raycroft Jacky Hill
Donna McAdam Laura Jawitz Joe
Arcidiacono Lisa Brennan Marci
Morris Nancy Rollins Gayleen
Smith Helen Deuschle
Introductions were made for the benefit of Marci Morris and Helen
Deuschle who two of DCYF's newest staff members. Margaret Reiser was
also introduced as the new representative of Carroll County should her
nomination be accepted at the next G&C meeting.
There was discussion around membership to the Board and where we were
at. The letter requesting nominations of 5 individuals was presented to
the Commissioner and he forwarded that recommendation to the Governor's
Office. As of the writing of these minutes, it was placed before the
Governor and Council. The individuals include: Bruce Boley, Portsmouth,
Sharon Dalton, Windham, Marilyn Lync, Laconia, Margaret Reiser, Freedom
and Judith Santy,
Whitefield. As soon as it becomes official via letter from Governor's
Office, a packet of information will be sent to them. If these
individuals are from your counties you should feel free to invite them
to the next meeting.
DCYF Update - Nancy
Nancy introduced Joe Arcidiacono as the Deputy Director. He had been in
that position as Acting Deputy Director since December. He was offered
the position permanently and graciously accepted. Maggie Bishop had
been acting in the capacity as the Child Protection Administrator. She
also has accepted this position on a full time permanent basis. Marci
Morris is the Division's new Clinical Administrator. Helen Deuschle is
the Division's Senior Psychiatric Social Worker who will focus on kids
at the Philbrook Center. John Keegan has recently been hired as the
Bureau of Quality Improvement's Administrator. Nancy will send out a
new organizational chart as it becomes ready for dissemination.
The Division currently has only 7 vacancies in the field. We knew the
hiring freeze was coming so we stepped up the hiring process internally.
Budget - for FY02 we were mandated to cut our budget by 2%. This mayor
may not affect us since we are running a surplus in both child care and
settlement. For FY03 we are anticipating a 3 or 4% budget cut. This
will have an impact on our service provision. We are in the process of
developing our FY04 and 05 budgets. We will begin the process over the
summer but since we run into a new election, we start the process all
Eric L Settlement Agreement - originally this was initiated to move us
towards best practice. Last monitors report sent March 1 st to
Oversight Panel. Initially this began as a Class Action Lawsuit brought
on by Franklin Pierce Law School and the Disability Rights Center. It
ended UP in a settlement agreement. Franklin Pierce dropped out a while
ago. [Previously Redacted from
copy provided to Attorney Werme:
We have had much
difficulty coming into compliance with this agreement.] Further
litigation will probably be sought. Mediation will begin in June
for 2 months. Agreement will be extended through December 2000.
Another monitor’s report will be due in September. Litigation will be
determined June 30th.
DCYF Action Plan - presentation by
Nancy disseminated the Commissioner's Action Plan. Included in this
plan is his action for DCYF over the next year. The first few pages
address the Department as a whole, explaining cost containment efforts
and anticipated shortfalls for FY02 and FY03.
One of the ways the Department will try to address the shortfall is
through Medicaid Proshare. This plan is very iffy at best and it's only
for a designated time period. If we got this it will be a one shot
deal. Another potential revenue is the Health Care Transition Fund.
First we will work on fixing the response time for abuse/neglect
assessments. The Commissioner has proposed an internal transfer of 29
positions that will be given to DCYF to be reclassified as assessment
supervisors and wo kers. These positions will be vacant so no one
losses jobs. This will go through the normal process so we are probably
looking at July before we could begin to hire for these new positions.
For the Backlog and After Hours Capacity we will develop an overtime
budget line for a one-time opportunity to clean up overdue assessments.
This also allows for appropriate response process.
We will upgrade legal representation for child protection cases. We
will request for class 59 temporary positions and then contract out for
For the next budget we will build in improvements for recruitment and
retention of foster families and also increase foster care rates. We
will also add additional adoption staff and upgrade Termination of
Parental Rights and Permanency. We will work to increase foster
children's health services and settle the Hawkins lawsuit which would
fix the dental issue. We will also try to upgrade Bridges.
The date of the CFSR review has been cancelled from this November for
sometime in July 2003. We are trying to prepare for this now, and Nancy
would very much like this group to be involved in the process. We are
going to need 60-100 people to help review cases.
Community Forums - we will begin a series of community forums that will
be held at the District Offices. This will begin with the Salem Office
on March 25th and the Conway office on March 2th. This is to introduce
the public to DCYF and the work we do. The Laconia DO Forum will be
April 10th, and the Concord DO Forum will be April 17th. A list of the
remaining district offices will be available at the next meeting.
A reminder that the DCYF Annual Conference is May 16th and 1 th. By the
time of these minutes you should have received a brochure from Staff
Development. The theme this year is "Breaking a Link" with
co-sponsorship by DJJS. Shay Bilchak from CWLA will be the keynote
speaker. It will be back at the Sheraton in Nashua. Nancy also
mentioned that for those of you who have never seen the performance by
Express Yourself (kids connected to DCYF) you should
try to stay for the show on Thursday evening. Friday during lunch is
the Director's awards for community and staff.
Meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
APRIL 17, 2002
Brown Building - Room 232
Sandy McGonagle Susan Lynch
Jacky Hill Nancy Rollins
Joe Arcidiancono Gayleen
Bernie Bluhm Donna McAdam
Sandy welcomed everyone and called for introductions. She asked that we
consider meeting here at Brown Building for the summer. We have secured
Room 232 at Brown for June and August, but haven't been able to locate
a sight at the time of these minutes for July. May's meeting will be at
the State Office Park South - Main Building on Hospital Grounds in the
BDF Conference Room on the 1 st floor.
Five new Board Members have been nominated; they are Bruce Boley,
Rockingham County, Sharon Dalton, Rockingham County, Marilyn Lynch,
Belknap County, Margaret Reiser, Carroll County, Judity Santy, Coos
County. David Coombs name has been sent to the Commissioner's Office as
a possible referral to the Governor's Office for Hillsborough County.
DCYF received a resignation from Judith MacDonald.
Nancy introduced John Keegan as the new Administrator for the Bureau of
Quality Improvement. John gave a brief history of his professional
background in grants managing as well as his work on the Departments
Strategic Health Plan.
Nancy is feeling very confident in the new management structure at
State Office. We are currently working on the projected 3-4% budget
cuts for FY03 as well as beginning the process on FY04 and 05. We are
working hard to bring up federal reimbursements to assist us in
continuing our level of services. We expect substantial decreases in
our IV-E levels for FY00 and 01. The changes in the Adoption and
Safe Families Act have contributed significantly to this.
We have been working on the paperwork process to make incremental steps
to get out eligibility back up to standard. Even through our lack of
resources we will continue to emphasize that if you don't give us the
staff we can't keep up our federal revenues.
DCYF Action Plan - we have requested from each of the other DHHS
divisions 29 positions to be allocated to DCYF. Once we receive them,
we will begin the reclassification process.
Margaret Rieser asked Nancy to explain what a review was given that she
just went through one in the Conway office. Nancy explained that 1 st
we review the process and evaluate field practices. These staff
reviewers conduct thorough reviews of case files; they interview staff,
foster families, providers, etc. In the 2nd round these reviews become
more targeted. The Division as a whole will begin its federal review in
July of 2003. These reviews will be done in
our largest metropolitan area (Manchester) a small area and then a
medium area. We are permitted to decide or have some say in the small
and medium areas, but they choose the largest area. We will be
requesting Board members to help us during that time. In all they will
need about 60 people.
The New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioner's and
Directors (NEACWCD) hosted a SCAN community meeting in both Keene and
Concord. This is a marketing research process to discover what the
general public thinks of child protection. They then hold a
stakeholders meeting to see what stakeholders think. This group offers
people (randomly selected from phonebooks) a stipend and dinner to
answer some questions. They will develop a results document in June so
we can look at this to develop the basis for the next child welfare
Safe and Stable Families Act - Bernie
There was a legislative breakfast yesterday which focused on family
resource centers. Sandy Goodlet was the keynote speaker. Bernie then
disseminated a packet that contained reports for all the resource
centers and their progress.
In March we discussed how we would do the evaluation process of these
contracts. We had asked this board to assist us with the evaluation.
This was supposed to be discussed today, but it was tabled until the
May meeting. It was agreed that Sandy would draft a letter for all
members regarding this merger.
Legislative Update - Byry
The legislative season is winding down. All Bills should be out by the
18th of April. Byry went over a couple that he is tracking.
- scope of discovery in abuse/neglect cases. Requires DCYF and
law enforcement disclose all information to petitioners. If we decide
to withhold information "and they still want information, it goes to
committee. Senate killed the Bill and moved to Interim study - It will
not be worked on
over the summer.
SB 124 - confidentiality in abuse/neglect proceedings. House amended
Bin to establish a pilot project in Grafton County to conclude in 2004.
Under these amendments court proceedings will be open in Grafton
County. There is an ability to close proceedings. Byry believes this
version of the bill will pass.
- consent orders in abuse/neglect cases on floor today SB408 -
Governing records of abuse/neglect. How long do we keep records? If
screen outs - 1
year, Unfounded reports - 3 years and founded cases - 7 years. This
Bill means we will be shredding these both paper and electronically and
Bridges does not have the capacity to do that. This is on the house
floor on the 17th.
SB409 - Central Registry Bill- The length of time your name is on
and a mechanism to have it removed. Current statute allows for 7 years
and allows for an expungement process so folks can petition once after
1 year on CR and then again after a period of 3 years. Ought to pass.
17-18 year olds- Sailed through Children and Family Law
Committee - then went to House Finance - approved. Went to Senate - at
this point law enforcement vehemently opposed so there is a lesser
version. The age will not go to 18 however they will allow continuing
detention at YDC until 18th birthday. A task force will be developed to
look at the age issue.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
SOPS MAIN BLDG.
Sandy McGonagle Marilyn Lynch Laura
Jawitz Susan Lynch Cheryl
Molloy Judith Santy Susie
Margraf Donna McAdam Donna
Raycroft Sharon Dalton Margaret
Reiser Bruce Boley Maggie
Bishop Joe Arcidiancono
Gayleen Smith Dague Clark Bernie
Bluhm Nancy Rollins
DCYF Child Welfare Members
Susan Carmen Molly Coleman
Jim Shanelaris Lisa
Brennan Karen M-Granite
Introductions were made for the benefit of both Advisory Boards. There
are two goals today: the power point presentation and the discussion of
the merger of the two boards.
DCYF Update - Joe Arcidiacono
Nancy was at a Commissioner's Management Meeting this morning. However,
Joe has been asked to provide the Board with an update. The most recent
news was that effective July 31, 2002 Don Shumway will be leaving the
Department. Don has been able to tap into many resources that have
guided us through these past budget cycles. He is going to be
sorely missed. In the political interim, Kathy Sgambati will be named
as Acting Commissioner.
As most members know, we are in the middle of holding our Community
Forums with the latest in Manchester. Mostly these forums have had
small turnouts but great dialogue. We have completed six with six more
to go. Nashua Form was next on May 29,2002 at 5:00 p.m. After that is
Keene on June 4, 2002 at 4:30 p.m.
TRIAD came to NH last month. They randomly chose thirteen citizens that
they selected through the phonebook. The group was asked various
questions and the results were the same across the board in terms of
the theme we have been hearing. DCYF needs more resources, an
after-hour response and more staff.
Currently we are operating under a hiring freeze, equipment freeze and
out of state travel freeze. Our hope is that this will end on June 30,
Nancy was recently on a local Londonderry Cable Television show. It is
our understanding that we can have copies of this show and Joe asked if
Board members would be willing to take these tapes to their local cable
companies to have them aired. They all agreed that they would do that.
Community and SDM Presentation
The presentation begins with the Division's organizational chart and
then moves onto our budget. Dague went over this piece as it explains
our budget for FY2002 and 03. For FY02 we had about $121 million and
for FY03 we have about $123 million. When DJJS was transferred out of
our Division we had to transfer about $6 million to their accounts. The
major components of this budget are child and family services at $66
million for FY02 and $67 million for FY03.
The presentation moves on to discuss our Intake Office. Out of the
15,281 calls to our Intake Office 7,391 were referred for investigation
(this involves 10,578 children) out of that number only 716 were
founded cases. The number of children removed equaled 232. The number
of reports has increased significantly. Maggie Bishop believes that
this has to do with the population's education and awareness.
Structured Decision Making (SDM) - Maggie Bishop
There are 3 levels of assessments that our staff follow. They are:
Level I - highest level and response (face to face) must be made in 24
Level 2 - intermediate level with response within 48 hours
Level 3 - lower level with a response within 72 hours
What this means is that a call has come into our Intake Office and
through the use of SDM. a worker in the Intake Office has assigned a
level to this case. Maggie cited various examples of how a level
is determined as well as disseminated a handout on SDM. Maggie did say
that the most effective piece of SDM is the consistency.
Merger of both the Child welfare
Advisory Board and the DCYF Advisory Board
Bernie came today to launch the family comprehensive program. While he
provided an overview of what the role of the combined boards would look
like, Lisa Brennan gave a historical overview of the child welfare
advisory board. She indicated that this Board was originally
established with both providers and parents as members with the purpose
of providing DCYF with feedback and accessible contacts of grants to
Susie Margraf then gave a brief historical overview of the DCYF
Advisory Board. In 1983 this Board was put into Statute as part of the
plan that created the Division. Originally we were supposed to have
youth, but there has been a problem with that. This Board was mandated
to spend down the federal dollars associated with the Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) grant. This was a
small pocket of money given to contractors to fund diversion programs.
About 8 years ago the responsibility of this was given to the State
Advisory Group (SAG).
Sandy stated that it appears that we all are on the same path for the
same common goaL We could merge through the subcommittee process where
we would review RFP's and monitor the contracts as well as assist with
the child welfare plan. This would mean cross-reference the State
the Governor's office. If necessary we could change the statute through
the next legislation process.
Board Business - Sandy McGonagle
At the next meeting we will need to confirm details regarding the
Board's Retreat. If we keep in line with the 3rd Wednesday of the
month, this will take place on the 18th of September. We will discuss
this further in June.
Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
Building Room 232
a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Sandy McGonagle Bernie Bluhm Joe
Arcidiacono Sharon Dalton Marilyn
Lynch Gayleen Smith Nancy
Rollins Donna Raycroft Susan
Lynch Jacky Hill Donna
McAdam Judith Santy Margaret Reiser
Introductions were made for the benefit of new Board members,
DCYF Update - Nancy Rollins
Budget - the Governor enacted another SFYO3 budget cut. However, this
does not significantly impact DCYF our settlement account and will not
affect operations or positions for SFYO3. In July we begin th biennium
process for SFYO4 and 05. We are in the process of writing 7D's which
creates new positions for the' agencies. When the new Governor is
inaugurated, the budget process begins again. The budget we are
currently working on is for the current Governor. Things could change
Eric L - this settlement agreement was suppose to sunset this fall. [Previously redacted from copy provided
We have not achieved 100% compliance due to lack of resources.]
The plaintiffs are pursuing litigation from a law firm out of New York.
We are in mediation now so nothing can be discussed publicly. We have
filed an extension amendment. Therefore, another monitor's report will
be due this fall.
We are currently working to transfer and reclassify positions from
within the Department. There are 15. There will be another 13 later and
again we will need to follow the same process.
Another sum of money we are waiting approval for would allow us to pay
overtime for DO staff as well as cash payouts for accrued compensatory
time. Other uses would be for on-call staff.
We are looking for dollars to expand the pilot project on permanency
planning to other district offices. Currently, the only district
with this funding is Portsmouth.
Sandy then asked members if they would be interested in contacting
their local candidates in their districts to share this information and
request their support.
Members asked about the permanency plus program in Portsmouth - what do
they do - why is it successful? Nancy will ask Bernie to put something
together so members at the August meeting.
Community Update - Joe Arcidiacono
Joe disseminated video copies of a talk show on a local cable network
out of Londonderry that Nancy did along with a couple of foster
parents. Joe asked Board members to distribute their copies to local
cable companies in their areas. It was a really great segment and
should be shown across the state.
Community Forums - these continue with the latest one in Rochester.
About 40 people attended which meant it was the 2nd biggest turnout.
These forums will conclude in Berlin on July 8th.
There was excellent discussion regarding the board merger last month.
The general agreement that the goals are common. Members feel this
responsibility for monitoring RFPs could be handled through
There will be a Board retreat on September 18th from 9:00 - 2:00 p.m.
at the Dolloff Building. Lunch will be served. Peggy Keschneik has
graciously agreed to facilitate this retreat. It was agreed that the
agenda should look a little like this:
Update on legalities of merger with Child Welfare Advisory Board
Develop a concrete "to do list"
How to solicit youth members
Description of task and mission
Description of subcommittees in general
Officers and tenure
How to become a more dynamic board - informed, contributing and
......Agenda for August 21st meeting - 9:00 a.m. - Room 232
September Retreat - invite Bob Boisvert
Note: No minutes were received
for any meeting on August 21, 2002., nor for the September retreat.
ADVISORY BOARD MEETING
BUILDING ROOM 408
Sandy McGonagle Donna Raycroft
Marilyn Lynch Bernie Bluhm Gayleen
Smith Nancy Rollins Sue
Cannen Joe Arcidiacono
Cheryl Malloy Donna McAdam
Sandy distributed the minutes from the retreat held in September.
Members felt it was a very productive retreat.
Division Update - Nancy
Our departmental budget is at Administrative Services. This budget that
was submitted may not be what is approved. Since we are awaiting the
election of Governor and subsequently a new Commissioner, we do not
know at this point what our budget will look like. Nancy did mention
though that once Administrative Services receives the department's
budget it is considered public knowledge. Shortly after November 5th we
will probably receive new instructions. At the discretion of the new
Governor a Transition Team will be appointed to review the state's
Nancy went over our fiscal request for 60 new positions. She mentioned
that at the last Fiscal Committee meeting this item had been tabled. It
can/will remain tabled until such time the Committee wishes to revisit
it. We recently transferred internally 15 position that were
reclassified. This item was tabled at the G&C meeting last month,
but was successfully passed on 9/25.
Moving full scale ahead with the permanency plus grant. Though the
monies were attached to the TANF reauthorization and that was not
passed federally, we are still moving ahead.
Eric L. - plaintiffs council will be filing to bring us back to court.
We are planning another presentation and are busy getting things in
order to do so.
We recently contracted with the Val Morgan company. They are the
company whereby you place advertisements at your local theaters. Weare
about to unroll our adoption and foster care advertisements.
By invitation only, we recently held an adoption meeting. We had nine
children we were looking for homes for. At this meeting there were
tapes and posters of these 9 children and we are pleased to say that at
the end of the meeting every child had a family interested in adopting
There are bills coming forward for the following purposes:
• establish a study
committed to study the foster care system;
· permitting certain
information for minor children;
committee to study the government actions that contribute to the
division of courts;
Consolidation of Newport and Claremont courts;
Establish a study
committee regarding the prescriptions and use of psychotropic
medications including Ritalin;
Rights for indigent
parents with minors;
a study committee for the creation of state owned campsites as homeless
Move burden of
proof in abuse/neglect cases to clear and convincing evidence;
Collection and disclosure of identifying information from state
We also anticipate many/several bills whereby the intent will be to
break up the Department.
Board merge - Bernie
Bernie did not have enough time to complete the Memorandum of Agreement
(MOA) however it is a work in progress. We have 7 former members of the
Child Welfare Advisory Board interested in serving on the Subcommittee.
They anticipate having 6 to 7 meetings a year running from January -
May with a meeting in August for training and a November meeting which
would start the process all over again. Sue felt the meetings could
increase to 10 meetings a year if
Sue needs to know how to proceed and Bernie felt there is a need for a
Committee meeting in November to review the MOA. The DCYF Advisory
Board needs to approve the MOA and appoint committee members.
Sue will give a list of nominees to Gayleen to be included in the
Sue Carmen was invited to serve on the DCYF Advisory Board and it was
agreed that her name would be submitted to the Governor and Council for
approval. Nancy mentioned that given that we will have a new Governor
shortly, that the current governor will not be looking at nominations
for any Boards so it could be awhile before we hear anything. Until
such time Sue is approved, she will continue to work on the Committee.
[Note: Sue Carmen is a supervisor for
Agenda for November meeting:
DCYF update from Nancy
Review of Memorandum of Agreement
Appointment/Introduction of CWC members
Goal setting discussion for 2003
Building Room 232
a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Sandy McGonagle Laura Jawitz Susan
Lynch Margaret Reiser Bernie
Bluhm Sue Farmer Gail
Richards Dorothy Melzard Nancy
Rollins Gayleen Smith Cheryl
Molly Bruce Boley Donna McAdam
Introductions were made for the benefit of all members present.
DCYF Update - Nancy L. Rollins
We are in a political holding pattern awaiting new Governor and how
things will shape up legislatively as well as budgetarily We are not
sure what will come out of Budget Hearings but are preparing for any
changes that may be necessary.
Nancy has reminded staff that we mUst focus Oll what we are statutorily
responsible for. There was another video taping on the same idea as the
previous one disseminated to all Board members recently on a
Londonderry Cable Station. We also recently did a segment on Adoption
Advertising through Val Morgan. For those of you who don't know that is
the advertising agent for most movie theaters across the state. Val
Morgan will run foster care advertisements in an effort to recruit new
[Paragraph Previously redacted from
copy given Paula Werme -
Brattleboro Retreat - we have effectively shut them down.
Rates have substantially increased over time so we are working hard to
evaluate the efficiency and will look to move kids back home to NH as
soon as possible. We are looking to work with Philbrook to see if
they can take some of these children. We have substantially
decreased the length of stay for children placed there.]
Memorandum of Agreement - Bernie Bluhm
It was agreed that we need to restore and solidify the committee that
is needed to reiterate community involvement links from this
subcommittee to the DCYF Advisory Board.
Sue Carmen asked about the piece on being responsible for monitoring.
It was agreed that the language should be changed to say DCYF with the
assistance of the Board.
A few changes were discussed and made. A new copy will be reviewed and
approved at next meeting.
No December Meeting:
Any Child Welfare Board member is welcome to any Board meeting. We are
asking that 3 members be included in Board Meetings.
The SubCommittee looks like this:
Betsy Abram or Lyna Kegley
Sue Carmen - until such time she is nominated to the DCYF Advisory Board
Molly Coleman, Candice Leonard, Karen McCall Grammit, Jim Shanelaris,
Donna Raycraft, Chris Hasley, Sandy Molet, Gail Richards, and Dorothy
Melzard. This leaves 3 persons to be recruited. We would like to look
in the Great North. On a motion from Donna McAdam and seconded by Susan
Lynch this selection of the Subcommittee was approved. There were no
The Memorandum of Understanding will be attached to by-laws and on a
motion by Sharon Dalton and seconded by Laura Jawitz all approved.
There were no objections.
Drop Out Conference, January 28, 2003 - Marriott Grappone Center.
Meeting adjourned at 10:00 am
Next Meeting January 15th here at Brown Room 232
1. Goal setting for 2003
2. DCYF Update including budget 3. Board Vacancies
4. Approval of MOU and By-laws
All meetings for 2003 will be at the Brown Building in Room 232
Goals for 2003:
Comments for DCYF
Legislative Bills - know already that certain individuals submitting:
1. Definition of C/A/N could
2. Change standard of burden of proof.
Revisiting Foster Care,
CFSR review for 2003. Feds will come in to look at 30-50 cases in great
detail. November 2003 -
IV -E Audit checking to make sure all forms are done correctly.
Budge 2004-2005 request for 72 positions add to tabled 60 positions.
Also in the change column of
Bush- $5000 voucher - children in care could use if want to go to
college. Nancy will send on more
information as soon as she hears regarding federal changes.
The Division will begin to hold meeting (forums) inviting in new
legislators (briefing book) and
will focus on DCYF language. We will target local representatives and
Nancy should know more - hopefully by January meeting.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
Building Room 232
a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Laura Jawitz Bruce Boley Sharon
Dalton Marilyn Lynch Sandy
McGonagle Sue Carmen Donna
McAdams Margaret Reiser Susan
Lynch Donna Raycroft Maureen Soragam
On a motion from Laura Jawitz and seconded by Donna McAdam the minutes
of the November meeting were approved as written.
Introductions were made for the benefit of all members present.
DCYF Update - Nancy L. Rollins
K. Bortner legislation - the concern is confidentiality - not wanting
to further exploit child/family in media. It speaks to accreditation
and we support this piece of the Bill since we have been working
accreditation standards for the last 3 years. The bill only asks for a
plan it doesn't tell us what to do with the plan. We will be offering
amendments to the Bill. We will share the amendment with the board
members when we available.
Currently there are only 3 states accreditated - Illinois, Kentucky and
Sponsors of this Bill are:
Goal Setting for 2003
It was discussed that this Board should actively show at every meeting;
how we are
supporting DCYF and to report on activities.
These are the goals for 2003 and beginning next month we will begin to
issues in monthly meetings:
-education of public about what DCYF is/does
-responding to/supporting legislation
-gather and present information regarding activities DCYF is engaged in
-outreach to service clubs/organizations
-contact with District Offices
-educate community members aware of volunteer opportunities
-invite program specialists to meetings
("Child welfare is a community responsibility")
-put board members on mailing lists for publications -develop brochure
-invite Ron Lospenato, Disabilities Rights Center
-better communication with each other in/out of meetings -at least once
yearly meet with young people who use system -get a youth member on
Budget - the budget cycle for 2004-2005 began in August. Ours included
rate increase and new positions. Much of November and December was
spent with Governor's transition team. The Department budget is
in development. [Previously redacted
in Paula Werme copy:
Bruce asked what if we don’t get any of the new positions and
Nancy responded that we won’t be able to fulfill Eric L. obligations,
Some of DCYFs staff met with the members of the Child and Family Law
Committee. Since the election there has been almost a 50%
turnover in membership. All but 4 of the members came. Nancy
disseminated her legislative presentation.
Kassidy Bortner Bill- [Previously
redacted in Paula Werme copy:
the legislature has the perception that there is no oversight for
Bruce Boley mentioned that maybe this Board should call legislative
members and have a discussion relative to support for the Division and
what it needs to do its job.
The plaintiffs have submitted a a press release on Eric L. litigation -
our current Eric L. Monitor's Report is due January and if approved by
the AG's office we will have handouts for the Advisory Board.
We are preparing our press release and once approved we will e-mail to
DCYF Advisory Board members.
We still have not received a liaison or a process for filling vacancies
from the Governor's
Office - once we have we will forward the process to Board members.
Approval for MOU and By-laws
Bernie discussed the timeline on the 2003 report on the IV-B Child and
Family Services Plan. As steps are reached in the development of the
plan, the Advisory Board will be consulted as the goal of a plan as
that will be a useful tool for this Board and Stakeholders.
By-laws - on a motion by Donna Raycroft and seconded by Donna McAdams
the By-Laws were approved as written
Bruce Boley Rockingham County
88 Newcastle Avenue Portsmouth, NH 03801
Phone: (H) 603-431-8471
Susan Lynch Merrimack
166 Hopkins Green Road
Hopkinton, NH 03229
Phone: (H) 603-224-4824 Susanlynch77@aol.com
Donna Raycraft Merrimack
P.O. Box 2032
Concord, NH 03302-2032
Phone: (H) 603-753-6671
(W) 603-226-7516 ex. 3215
129 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (W) 603-271-4563
Sandra T. McGonagle
165 Potter Hill
Gilford, NH 03246
Phone: (H) 603-524-3134 (W) 603-524-1661
Susan Carmen HilIsboro
P.O. Box 1327
Manchester, NH 03105-1327
25 W. Main Street
Conway, NH 03818
1296 Old N. Main Street
Laconia, NH 03246
Pine Tree School
183 Main Street
Center Conway, NH 03813
Adult Learning Center
4 Lake Street
Nashua, NH 03060
Next Meeting February 19th here.
1. Adoption or Foster Care 2. Legal Issues
4. Goal setting for 2003
All meetings for 2003 will be at the Brown Building in Room 232
Sandy McGonagle Marilyn Lynch Sharon
Dalton Bruce Boley Donna
Raycraft Donna McAdam Margaret
Reiser Bernie Bluhm Joe
Carmen Gayleen Smith
Special Guest: Ellen Wheatley - new Headstart Administrator
Meeting began at 9: 15 a.m. Introductions were made for the benefit of
all in attendance. In a motion from Donna Raycroft and
seconded by Marilyn Lynch the minutes were approved as written.
DHHS has a new Commissioner - Nicholas Vailas. Joe is very impressed
with this new Commissioner's openness. He has asked each Division
Director to work on Performance Measures/Indicators for their
respective agencies. We have been working on ours and continue to meet
to finalize them.
Cheryl Molloy - wants to discuss at the March Advisory Board meeting
the idea of hosting coffee in each District Office. She would like
Advisory Board members to participate.
Budget - Budget is now the Governor's budget and we pretty much start
the proceedings over. In his budget the Governor is requesting a 5%
reduction in provider payments. This concerns DCYF because providers
have not received any increases in a very long time. In the Governor's
budget the Division received 42 new positions. There are not related to
the 58 in the original request. These new 42 are mostly field
positions. There was a footnote in the Budget that states that DHHS
must reduce the budget by $12 million over the next 2 years. Half
of this must come from positions that are Labor Grade 26+ and
unclassified positions. When you take into consideration the matching
funds this could result in $24 million.
Staff Development - Lori Weaver is the new Administrator for this Unit.
She will make
sure that DCYF Advisory Board members receive notice about any Staff
There were no legal issues at this time.
Hiring freeze - we received a blanket waiver for CPSWs and nurses. We
currently are only running with 8 vacancies out of 327 staff. Of those
eight, five are field positions. We have sought waivers for the other
three but have heard nothing.
Donna McAdam recently wrote a short note to the editor of Foster's
regarding the communities responsibility for child welfare. She
received many responses from the community agreeing with her. A copy of
that article is attached.
It was agreed that community forums are necessary and this time around
we need to have more public representation. Donna Raycraft mentioned
that maybe a house party? Folks thought this would be a good addition
to community forums but not a replacement to.
Family Violence Grant - Bernie
We have been receiving monies from this federal grant since 1996. We
distribute the monies to a contracted statewide entity. The Coalition
Against Domestic Violence has consistently been awarded the grant. It's
about $400,000 which supports the hiring of Domestic Violence Program
Specialists located in the district offices. Two years ago the federal
government changed the formula and we now receive $800,000. We need the
approval of the Fiscal Committee to receive and disburse these funds.
Nancy will have an update at the next meeting.
Foster Care Presentation - Gail DeGoosh
Gail did a wonderful presentation on foster care that included
recruitment and retention efforts. She disseminated much information
and let folks know that if there is anything regarding foster care she
can be reached at 271-4711.
There will be an adoption presentation in March.
The agenda for the March 19th meeting is as follows:
Legal Update - if Byry is available
PRESENT: Laura Jawitz Sandy
McGonagle Cheryl Molloy Nancy
Rollins Gayleen Smith Donna
Raycraft Margaret Reiser Sue Carmen
Today we have Cathy Atkins coming from DCYF for an adoption
presentation. In April the Board mentioned that they would like to
invite some young people to come and talk. Sandy wants to talk to Donna
McAdam to see if she has any ideas. For May Bruce Boley invited Ron
Lospenato from the Disabilities Rights Center and also a plaintiff in
the Eric L. Lawsuit but we haven't heard. Sandy asked Nancy if this
raises concerns for DCYF. Nancy responded that she is not sure how much
Ron Lospenato will be able to say. On behalf of DCYF Ann Larney from
the Attorney General's Office has filed our counter action.
[Paragraph previously redacted from
Paula Werme copy:
There are many areas throughout Eric L. that was addressed. There
are areas where we agree, some issues we disagree with the Oversight
Panel and some we believe they hold us to a standard we will never be
able to meet. On most items we have made forward progress.
We would like to incorporate the CFSR Standard once we get into Court
so that it becomes our new standard. Board members should review
these and plan to ask questions at the next meeting to prepare for the
May meeting with R. Lospeuato. ]
Sally Varney will be coming to the April meeting for a Child and Family
Services Review (CFSR) Presentation that is needed for Board members.
This review is a federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
- Performance Evaluation Process. They believe there are 3 primary
goals for child protection: safety, permanency and wellbeing. Each
state has to demonstrate that these are there, 3 goals for the
permanency evaluation process. We are having this review the week of
June 9th -13th. Unfortunately this coincides with motorcycle weekend.
No state (and there have been 32 of them) has passed Without a
plan of action. This includes states that are fully accredited.
Commissioner's Office - Sandy suggested they look to invite
Commissioner Vailas to attend the June 18th meeting. Nancy will
approach this with him and then Sandy can send him a formal invitation.
March 10th DCYF did an open session to the Legislature, we didn't get
far, so it was re-scheduled to March 18th and at that time we were able
to complete our presentation. In the Governor's Budget we are slated to
receive 42 new positions - 40 are field positions and the other 2 are 1
auditor -and 1 Foster Care Health Nurse Supervisor for the North
There is a 5% provider rate cut which concerns us because there has
been no provider rate increase since 2001. All in all we did a great
job during our presentations. We are now working on a block budget
which involves what we will build back in and where.
For the 98% - 95% budge cuts -
[material previously redacted from Paula Werme Copy :
$45 marriage licenses $38 goes to our
Domestic Violence fund. This is in our budget] Some
general fund dollars have been also put in this budget. These general
fund dollars have been stripped from this budget. We have now been
trying (attempting) to correct this. This will also be a building
block. We will also build in a 5% provider rate.
[Six paragraphs previously redacted
from Paula Werme copy:
The theme throughout the legislature
this year is raising clear and convincing evidence - - if this succeeds more children will be
Another theme - more relative placement
What constitutes a home study?
Why are relatives held to the same
Byry read her the law that legislators
previously made. Once all the current legislators agreed and in the end HB56 was voted
inexpedient to legislate.
Another theme - why do we hold
relatives to this standard.
David Wheeler - 1998 NCANS Report -
The data system they used sited a term called false reports. David feels that
substantiation rate 13% and that false report is 87%. Wheeler just won’t give up on this.
Nancy first wanted Board Members to
Know and understand what themes exist out there]
No list of Bills that we are following. Cross-over date is April
10th. Doesn't seem to be too many fires burning.
Coffee to District Offices in recognition of the staff. DCYF Advisory
Board members were asked to join in and go to their local district
offices. This is a joint Prevent Child Abuse and DCYF Advisory Board
effort. Denise is the other person from Prevent Child Abuse that may
contact Board members.
Adoption Presentation - Cathy Atkins
In New Hampshire there are three ways to adopt a child.
1st - Agency Adoption: adoption is done through a private agency: Child
and Family Services, and Lutheran Services are privately licensed
agencies who will work with pregnant families, they also do
international home studies for infants not many toddlers.
2nd - Private Adoption: adoption is done through adoption lawyers with
less involvement with agencies. Birth mother picks the person and no
guardianship is done through any agency.
Our Adoption program - public agency and is part of Child Protection
Services. Children come into the system through abuse and neglect and
are not able to return home. We then proceed to terminate parental
rights or do involuntary termination of parental rights. Cathy is the
supervisor of this program. Adoption workers are Child Protective
Services Workers (CPSWs) located in the field offices. There are
currently 8 workers and I supervisor. We really need about 16 workers
and another supervisor.
Scope - during the period of 1 year we serve 266 children, 114 we
finalized for adoption. The rest are in the process.
Main job - adoption by current foster family or relative. 65% are done
this way; the other 30% need homes and are listed in the Waiting
Children Brochure that Cathy left for everyone.
Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) - 65% of children will stay where
they are. When you prepare the TPR it is done in the Child Protection
Unit not the Adoption Unit. When a TPR petition is filed adoption does
case staffing to ensure we do have a family for the child.
Goals for 2003
April - CFSR Review Presentation
Possible youth presentation will contact Donna McAdam
May - maybe Ron Lospenato
June - maybe Commissioner
Next meeting is April 16th in Room 232 of the Brown Building at 9:00
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
232 BROWN BUILDING
PRESENT: Bruce Boley
Donna Raycroft Donna McAdam
Margaret Reiser Susan Lynch Marilyn
Lynch Bernie Bluhm Joe
Arcidiacono Gayleen Smith Deb
Donna Raycroft opened the meeting at 9: 15 a.m.
Donna announced that she was chairing the meeting today in Sandy's
asked to be excused today due to school issues. Introductions were then
Bruce Boley asked if there was a routine day of the month that Board
meeting were held. Donna responded that Board meetings are always the 3
Wednesday of every month. Ron Lospenato will be coming to the next
meeting and talk to member about the Eric L. lawsuit. He will come to
talk and answer questions as opposed to a formal presentation. It was
suggested that maybe Ron could also talk to the board about the
Disabilities Rights Center and its history.
DCYF Update - Joe Arcidiacono
Budget - There is not much of a difference between A, B, C versions of
the much talked about state budget as it relates to DCYF. For the most
part the budget process is looking good for us.
Joe reminded members that the DCYF Conference is May 15 and 16. If
folks hadn't already register he reminded them that they need to. It
was commented that this year's agenda looked very nice.
Joe has been assigned a new project that involves looking at staffing
patterns, recruitment, etc. We have been given a consultant through
free time from Governor and Joe would live very much if a member of the
DCYF Advisory Board would serve on the Task Force. Currently Joe feels
this Task Force would include the following disciplines: a member from
the State Employees Association (SEA), Program Managers from the
District Offices, and a member of the DCYF Advisory Board. He has been
given a three month deadline.
It was planned that Margaret Copeland the Administrator for the Child
Development Bureau should come and present to Board members her Bureau
and outline what they It was agreed that September would be a good
Sally Varney - CFSR presentation. A packet has been included in your
232 BROWN BUILDING
Dalton Donna McAdam Sandra
McGonagle Donna Raycraft Debra
Valentine Susan Lynch Bruce
Boley Laura Jawitz Susan
Carmen Joe Arcidiacono Gayleen
Smith Nancy Rollins
Guest: Ron Lospenato
The meeting was called to order. Introductions were made on behalf of
invited guests. Sandy apologized for not being able to attend the last
DCYF Update: Nancy
Budget process is currently in the Senate. As of today the 45
positions are still in the budget. There is no rate increase or
decrease for providers. We do not know where we will end up. The Child
and Family Services Review (CFRS) is scheduled for the first week of
June and that is pretty much taking up most of our time these days. Sue
Carmen wanted Board members to know that the DCYF Annual Conference was
wonderful. She felt it was the best one they have ever seen. It was
great feedback and Nancy will pass that on to the Staff Development
Staffing Study - we are still waiting for the federal consultant to be
named. Joe disseminated copies of a show taped at a local Londonderry
Cable Company for Board Members.
Eric L. - Ron Lospenato
Ron Lospenato is from the Disability Rights Center which is a federally
funded program that protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
Ron has been there since 1999. They are extensively involved in special
Eric L. - Class action settlement agreement 1997, it has been in place
for 5 years and was currently extended for issues of compliance. The
Disabilities Rights Center (DRC) has 11 lawyers. DRC also has an intake
unit with 2 lawyers and a case advocate. This unit will soon have 3
additional lawyers. There are 6 lawyers that handle open cases.
Settlement - requires two things to happen, DCYF will monitor
agreement. [Previously redacted from
Paula Werme copy:
The Panel felt that an internal monitor was not sufficient due to
Areas of Complaint:
1. Assessment - Identifying whether or not there is
2. Adoption - Bringing children into permanent
3. Delivery of Medical Care - Children placed in
Foster Homes without follow up to adequate care.
4. Family Service - Reunification - Appropriate
services that are necessary to ensure reunification.
5. Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention -
Children moving from place to place due to lack of retaining foster
6. Identification of Parents - 2 parent, 1 not
involved in abuse and neglect - not using the 2nd parent as placement,
not making an attempt to locate the 2nd.
7. Permanency Planning - Limbo status - moving from
Foster Home to Foster Home .
8. Provider Accountability - ensuring the service
that children need was being provided in a quality manner.
9. Teen Independent Living Program --day that DCYF
is no longer involved. This is key to the settlement
10. Voluntary Services - No court order
11. Worker Supervision Training - Needs to be better
supervision and training of
workers who work with children.
All these were design d to address issues in the initial compliance.
Monitor's Responsibility - To ensure outlined issues would be met.
An oversight panel was formed - 1 representative DHHS, 1 representative
of the plaintiff's, 1 representative from the federal government. The
Monitor reports DCYF's compliance to the oversight panel. The panel
then reports to both Plaintiff's and DCYF as to whether the agreement
was being met.
Ron's view - A large part of non-compliance is the lack of adequate
staff to deal with issues that DCYF is charged with. This continues to
playa major role in noncompliance.
Bridges System - was suppose to have been able to provide better
support and reports, but hasn't been able to. [Paragraph (2 lines) previously redacted
from minutes provided Paula Werme -
Unless staffing comes up to where it need to be the non-compliance will
continue to exist]
Agreement was originally for 5 years. It has been extended by mutual
agreement. We entered into mediation and come close to settling,
however, no obligation was met to hire 62 new staff. The ability to
hire was hampered by the Legislature.
Material previously redacted from
Paula Werme copy of minutes:
As a result of inability to hire, the
agreement fell apart, so we are at litigation now
to enforce the settlement
agreement. Areas of concern:
issues - too many, they take to long and the quality of the assessment
is not up to
Independent Living Program - Children aging out of the program are not
adequate tools to allow them to transition from DCYF custody
to live on
Medical Care - 6/02 - 12/01 - health exams were provided within 30
days to only
58% of the cases. Health care meetings on children in care took
51% of the time.
Services - Substantial non-compliance. Data to support this has
lacking. Generally we do not have data to show whether we are in
Planning - reducing the likelihood of multiple placements.
There are a
number of areas where DCYF has made substantial progress, but
mentioned are the areas where they do not meet compliance and
progress has not been met. The State was ordered to provide
DCYF has been ordered to bring the data system up to par.
Time Frame -
Motions are before the court. We could get a decision any day on
proceed with the case. No way with the Court can we possibly
We hope to
receive a roadmap soon as to how to proceed. However, this
mostly focuses on lack of staff and better data supports.
End of previously redacted materials.]
Board members felt we should invite Rep. Neal Kurk and Sen. Green to a
June 18th - regular meeting
July 16th - Nick Vailas to be invited. August 20th - no meeting
September 17th - alternate month for Nick October - Retreat
Sandy will call Neal Kurk to invite him.
PRESENT: Sandy McGongle
Margaret Reiser Cheryl Molloy
Marilyn Lynch Donna
Raycroft Joe Arcidiacono Gayleen
Smith Sharon Dalton
Nick Vaillas, DHHS Commissioner will be coming to the September 17th
meeting, he will be here at 9:00 am. Board members are advised to come
around 8:45 a.m. to ensure that all members are present when Nick
arrives. Sandy hasn't been able to reach Neal Kirk, the Chair of the
Finance Committee, but if possible she will be inviting him to the
September 17th meeting as well.
Please note: NO BOARD MEETINGS IN JULY
Right now we are planning; our Retreat for October 15th - we will try
to make contact with Peggy Kieshnick to see if she is available to
facilitate the retreat
There was much discussion about Board membership and vacancies. Members
were disappointed that it is taking so long to fill vacancies.
Unfortunately, the Governor's Office hasn't really had time to focus on
much other than the Budget. It was mentioned that perhaps Byry could
look at existing By-Laws and Statute to see if maybe the nomination
process could be brought down to the Commissioner's level.
DCYF Update - Joe Arcidiancono
The House and Senate are trying to come to some agreement on the
budget however we could be looking at the probability of continuing
resolution. However, the Governor has suggested that if the budget is
not close to the House's original budget he will veto. If that happens
we could be faced with a huge problem. In either side of the budget the
Division fairs pretty well. Everyone has agreed that we would get 43
new positions. There is a call for a $1.9 general fund reduction which
the Department feels it can accommodate. The Blanket Waiver continues
for our direct care staff and speculation is that the hiring freeze
will be lifted on July 1 st however another one probably will be
The Kassidy Bortner Bill passed - this means we have to come up with a
plan to meet the Council for Accreditation's (COA) requirements. The
plan is due in January.
The Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) went well in that there
were no surprises. Their final report is due in 30 days.
When the report comes back presentations will be made. We will need to
begin the Program Improvement Plan (PIP). Donna Raycroft who served on
the review team said it was a unique and intense experience, but felt
she learned a lot. Bernie is looking into DCYF having a closer
relationship with the Citizen's Review Panel.
The Citizen's Review Panel is related to the CAPTA grant which has a
mandate that in order to receive certain funds you must have a Review
Panel. They have currently been on board for four years and have been
spending time learning the process and learning policy and practice.
The Panel itself votes and selects new members. Currently Bob Jolley is
the Chair of this Panel. So in an effort to connect the two Boards in
terms of on-going relationship, Donna Raycroft will be going to this
meeting this afternoon to represent this Board.
Bernie was on a conference call yesterday re: increased allotments to
the states. Three agendas are:
1. healthy marriages initiatives
2. healthy father/children relationship, when father
is removed from the family.
3. faith-based initiatives
These three are driven by federal initiatives.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 am.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
Nancy Rollins Bruce Boley Joe
Arcidiacono Susan Lynch Donna
Raycroft Susan Larmere Marilyn
Lynch Sandy McGonagle Sharon
Dalton Donna McAdam Bernie Bluhm
Commissioner Vailas has resigned so he was not available to attend this
meeting. It looks like they will recommend John Stephen today and vote
to accept at Governor and Council (G&C) in three weeks for final
approval. Bruce asked what the qualifications to become the
Commissioner and it's unclear exactly what those might be.
Introductions were made for the benefit of all in attendance.
DCYF Update: Nancy
Budget passed; DCYF is level funded except residential care line -
educational facilities were cut by $2 million. We received 43
additional positions, 41 of which are field positions. There is one
state office position - Auditor. The intent of new positions is to
bring child protective services workers more in line with caseloads.
Permanency is critical so we will have a permanency worker in every
district office. Depending on the number of cases depends on the number
of workers for each DO. Some of our family service workers will shift
to adolescent family workers. Hopefully all this will come together
soon. We did not receive any additional attorneys and we have four
vacant attorney positions along with three vacant district office
supervisor positions along with two positions at state office. We hope
the new Commissioner will help to get some of these positions waived.
The review was completed in June. The draft report was received;
comments were made and we believe they have been verbally accepted and
hope to have a complete and final report in the next two weeks. We hope
to have the public presentation sometime in October. There really were
no surprises. They were impressed with our SDM. We are reviewing our
efforts as our Program Improvement Plan (PIP) is due in 90 days. Our
Bureau of Quality Improvement has begun their renewal process for case
reviews in the district offices. We hope to involve Board members in
the case review process that begins again in June.
8 new Adoption (Permanency Workers) will be moved to the DO's
(supervision). Senate Bill 86 passed; Kassidy Bortner; dealing with
child fatalities and includes a plan from us that will go before the
the fiscal committee that includes what it will take for us to become
accredited. We need to be able to answer how this will this ensure
quality outcomes for kids in our care.
Governor appointed Governor Commission on Child Protection. Brad Russ,
They will be looking at things from a systemic viewpoint. There is a
four hour meeting tomorrow that includes an Ohio Representative who
will assist with focus groups. The idea is to get more child advocacy
groups in New Hampshire. The Commission must have something to the
Governor by December 31 st. They have a lot to do in short period of
Structered [sic] Decision Making
SDM needs to be revisited and it needs to be rolled out in our family
service program. A great job was done with Intake and Assessment, but
not necessarily in Family Services.
There will be a reorganization of some kind throughout DHHS; seems
everyone should have a job. As for our staff, Nancy told workers
(supervisors) that no matter what is happening the work doesn't go away
and we need to keep up business as usual.
Sandy asked how this group can help in any of these processes. Nancy
suggested that they could hear the presentation of CFSR report and then
the PIP. If the final report is available prior to the retreat Nancy
will see that it is disseminated. The CFSR and the Review process
should be tied into the Board's retreat.
The Board should also focus on trying to meet with key people; Governor
& Council and legislative folks.
October 15,2002 - 9:00 a.m. - 1 :00 p.m. Working lunch
Part of the retreat will be to work on establishing structure and
recruitment for both Child Welfare group and Citizen's Review Panel.
Safe and Stable Families - Bernie
Dissemination of updates: safe and stable families. Donna asked what
parts of the binder could they pull out to bring to the Retreat.
1) Permanency Plus
2) Comprehensive Family Support
3) Project: First Step
1) Foster Care Health Care
For Chair - Donna Raycroft Secretary - Donna McAdam Vice-Chair - no
Laura Jawltz resigned
Carroll County (1)
Donna Raycroft Sue Carmen Sharon Dalton
Bruce Boley Joe
Arcidiacono Bernie Bluhm Sandy
McGonagle Marilyn Lynch Donna McAdam
Susan Lynch Nancy
Rollins Gayleen Smith
Excused members: Cheryl Molloy Margaret Reiser
The next meeting is January 21,2004 and Jack Lightfoot has been invited
to speak. We will be inviting Commissioner John Stephen to our meeting
DCYF Update - Nancy Rollins
The Commissioner will go before the Fiscal Committee with the
Department's budget cuts. The implications for DCYF ---,
for children referred to counseling through Medicaid, there will be a
12 session cap. If more sessions are needed it's paid through general
funds. We had to give up something and we felt this was the least
Layoffs are not part of the package at this point however through the
restructuring process, functions could be combined, eliminated but
hopefully folks could be reassigned.
We have sought waivers for attorney's - right now the plan is for a
couple of Assistant Attorney General's will be shadowing our attorneys
to see exactly what they do and to assess what the need is.
Child Welfare Committee - Bernie Bluhm
The Child Welfare Committee has 12 members. They are looking to
reach 15 in membership. They will be targeting child care and
Consumer representation is something this group seeks. They would like
someone who has been through the system. Perhaps an adoptive parent of
Sue Carmen has agreed to temporarily chair these meetings for the first
three meetings. This group will work with the 5 year plan. Their main
responsibility will be to respond to the DCYF Advisory Board. They will
put together a gathering of information from the local community and
bring to the Board to bring to Nancy.
For the next two months these meeting will be directly after the DCYF
Advisory Board on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
Case reviews will be beginning in the district offices with the new
year. Bernie will issue an invitation to members of this Board for the
case review that is coming up in their area.
Bernie disseminated a draft MOD that he is hoping to have signed on
11/19/03 between the Citizen's Review Panel and the DCYF Advisory Board.
At future DCYF Advisory Board meetings it was agreed that we should
have an update from both the Child Welfare Committee and the Citizen's
On a motion from Donna McAdam, seconded by Susan Lynch and approved by
all board members agreed that Donna Raycraft should sign this MOD on
behalf of the board.
Child Care Presentation - Margaret
Margaret presented copies of the child development bureau's 2 year plan
and once this plan is submitted to the federal government we receive
50% and the state matches to provide child care and preventative care
to low income families. An average scholarship is $284 per month.
The annual celebration for child care is April 20, 2004 from 5- 7 p.m.
at the Howard Rec Building. Board members agreed that they would like
to have Margaret back every year to give them an update on child care.
Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD
Raycraft Sue Carmen Bruce
Boley Joe Arcidiacono
Gayleen Smith Bernie Bluhm
Susan Lynch David
Coombs Donna McAdam
Margaret Reiser Judith
Santy Marilyn Lynch
Sandy McGonagle - excused
Introductions were made for the benefit of new members.
Memorandum of Understanding - Child Welfare Committee needs two
individuals from DCYF Advisory Board - Judith Santy would be one
individual and the 2nd as chair of the Advisory Board will be Donna
Raycraft. This group will meet about 5 times a year so the commitment
would not be a huge amount of time. Responsibility includes
participation in the 5-year plan for DCYF and participation in focal
groups at your community level where you will gather information in
report form to bring back to the whole committee. A much more thorough
report will be available in March.
DCYF Update - Joe Arcidiacono
The Division received 43 new positions and of those 39 are filled. The
Division currently has 27 vacancies.
Bill 86 - requires the department to achieve accreditation.
Richard Lutz has been working with us from Child Welfare League of
America to determine what level the Division is at and exactly what we
would need to achieve accreditation. A plan was due and given to the
legislature February 1,2004. The Commissioner will need to review so he
and Nancy along with Richard Lutz will be meeting to go over the
Major Title IV-E audit - we passed and are one of two states to pass.
The Department "is in the middle of a major restructure, while nothing
is final at this point, DCYF falls into program operations where we
will merge with DJJS. The Commissioner will be at the next meeting and
he can explain more about this restructuring plan. Sue Carmen will
draft a letter that will go out to members and given to the
Commissioner before the next meeting.
Intake process - Sue Carmen disseminated two flow charts that
demonstrated the intake process. With guidance from Bernie the process
was explained. Mentionable is that we now have three levels of priority
as opposed to the term "high risk", etc. Unfounded and founded was also
explained in that just because it was unfounded does not mean there was
abuse or neglect and founded doesn't always mean court involvement.
Legislation - Jack Lightfoot - Child
and Family Services
Jack works with the legislature on children's issues. He came to talk
about legislation for this year. The legislature told DHHS to cut 20%
of its budget. We are here to ensure that the Division does what it is
mandated to do. DCYF spends 30 or 40 million dollars of its budget on
court ordered services. Some of this money comes from the federal
government, some from counties and some from parental responsibility.
A new approach is being tried in that only a limited number of people
of will be going to the legislature from DHHS to testify. This decision
was made by the Commissioner's Office. Jack believes that this is part
of a control issue.
Jack disseminated a list of legislation that relates to child
protection issues. He thinks this is all that has been released or will
be released. HB 755 - no longer pending has been ITL. HB
1202 does away with insurance for courted ordered services - HB 1315 -
today committee was going to introduce an amendment to this bill.
HB 1393 - will make the appeal to superior court just like an
a regular case instead of like a brand new trial.
1410 - violates the federal requirements - committee was not at all
receptive to this bill as of yesterday.
Michelle Rosenthal- Domestic Violence
Comm. Shumway mandated that we have a responsibility to ensure
that any individual who comes to DHHS will need the validation and
response if they are being violated in anyway. A statewide process
developed and implemented in November - the Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) signed and written by DCYF and the Coalition of Domestic
Violence. Responsibilities of each the DCYF offices and the Domestic
Violence Program Specialist are clearly outlined in the MOD.
We have DVPS (Domestic Violence Program Specialists) located part-time
in the District Office however they work for the Crisis Center.
The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
DCYF ADVISORY BOARD MEETING
Sue Carmen Judith Santy Bruce
Boley Sharon Dalton David
Coombs Sandra McGonagle Bernie
Bluhm Nancy Rollins Joe
Arcidiacono Gayleen Smith Marilyn
Lynch Donna Raycraft
Susan Lynch Margaret Reiser Donna
DCYF Update - Nancy Rollins
Nancy began by apologizing for the Commissioner's absence. She asked if
all had received the COA report. Sue Carmen mentioned that it was
wonderfully written. Nancy voiced that it is not on G&C agenda yet
but we hope it will be soon.
The department is still in the middle of restructuring. It is apparent
that DCYF and DJJS will merge at some point. Nancy is not sure what it
will all look like but she will keep Board members posted.
There was a management meeting this week around budget issues as they
relate to the deficit in our Settlement account. However, with
strategic plans in place to reduce this spending and through the
inability to fill our positions we hope to slow down the deficit
The federal Title IV-E fiscal audit was passed. We are the second in
the nation to pass this audit. This means we pay real close attention
to our federal mandates and policy.
Sue Carmen asked if there was a replacement yet for Kathy Sgambati.
Nancy responded no. Bruce asked why the restructure - is it because the
Commissioner wants to bring in his own people, because he wants to
reduce administration etc? Nancy responded that it's a combination of
all it. The Commissioner wants to increase efficiencies, reduce
Sue Carmen asked Nancy for comments on the letter the Board drafted to
the Commissioner. Nancy believes a response is on its way. The
Commissioner is working with the Attorney General's Office to see what
can be done with regard to Attorney vacancies. Sue asked if Nancy feels
these kinds of letter are productive. Nancy suggested that the Board
meet with the Commissioner in person first. Sharon asked if there is a
way that this group could be so annoying that it would make him try to
disband this group. Nancy responded that he looks to work
with the community in a partnership manner. She suggested that this
Board reach out to him in this partnership manner.
Sandy suggested that between now and the March meeting the Board should
send a memo/letter to the Commissioner about what our issues are. Nancy
suggested that if the Board does do this 1 maybe send it in the form of
an introduction letter.
Joe mentioned that he had videotapes to be given to Board members of a
cable TV show Nancy did. We will mail the others out. Update on the Web
Billing - two finalists have been narrowed down. This will make it
easier for anyone who runs a child care center to bill through the
Division vacancies - we still have 25 vacancies out of 366 authorized
positions. We are moving forward. We have 4 field attorney vacancies.
Again, Nancy believes the Attorney General's Office is key to help us
in this area.
Donna asked about the morale of the field - Nancy has told staff over
and over that no matter what is happening at State Office - we have a
job to do and it's business as usual.
Safe and Stable Families - Bernie
This grant under Title IV-B is a grant that NH and other child welfare
agencies receive with initiatives like secondary prevention, through
child protection, foster care, family reunification, adoption,
recruitment and training into teen independent living. Our five-year
plan ends this July 30th and another one is due that will take us to
2009. We need to incorporate as much information from outside
stakeholder membership as possible.
Board Vacancies - Donna Raycraft
Sandy will make contact with Ray Burton.
Sharon will bring in resume of someone to replace her.
Judith Santy will mention at her next SW meeting.
Sue will be in contact with Judge Y.
Bernie will be in touch with Gina Apicelli who lives in Plymouth.
Sue Carmen - focus group in Nashua - Case Practice Review - Sue
walked away from 3 hour meeting feeling really great. Large number of
positive comments for DCYF along with such a positive attitude towards
DCYF in general. Community participation piece is coming though it may
be slow at least it's moving. Sue thought the whole process was amazing.
Judith Santy had a great experience with a team meeting with the folks
in the Littleton District Office. They went in thinking that maybe only
2 or 3 staff members would be there and the whole team was there. It
was a great collaborative effort.
It was agreed that a letter of introduction from Sandy to Commissioner
with a bit of history on the Board would be sent.
Sharon - family that was investigated by DCYF and actually daughter was
at father's house. Mom was petrified that DCYF was coming to her
house - spent the weekend organizing the house - DCYF finally came -
Mom had a great experience - worker went out talked with Mom involved
Mom in the whole discussion, asked Mom questions about how to best talk
with teenage daughter - bottom line was it was not Mom being
investigated. This was a good interaction with DCYF.
Next meeting is March 17th.
Last updated 2004 May 8.