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News Release

Larimer County Human Services - Child, Youth &Family, Cited for Innovation

Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Dec 13, 2012

Contact Information:

Ginny Riley, LC-DHS Director, 970-498-6884, griley@larimer.org
Jim Drendel, LC – Child, Youth & Family Mgr., 970-498-6584, jdrendel@larimer.org
FROM: Deni La Rue, Community Information Manager, 970- 498-7150


Ginny Riley - Director - LC Dept. of Human Services

 

The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) has cited Larimer County in their Casey Report, “Innovative Practices in Child Welfare” at: http://www.aphsa.org/OE/docs/InnovativePracticesinChildWelfare.pdf.  
                                          
 According to the Casey Report, the field of child welfare has changed extensively over the past few years due to the economy, shifting policies, regulatory requirements, and leadership changes. They write that new practices have emerged because of  “An increased emphasis on improved outcomes for children, youth, and families that may be or are being served in the child welfare system.” APHSA reviewed best practices nationally and Larimer County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) – Children, Youth and Family Division emerged and was highlighted as a best practices agency.
 
Larimer County DHS Director Ginny Riley says the program was recognized nationally because of the DHS commitment to family engagement as an integral part of the day to day work of our caseworkers, “From our first contact with the family until we are no longer needed we recognize that the family is the expert on their own family and that they are the most important member of the decision making team.  In order to put this value into action, we have incorporated training and techniques that assist the caseworkers to successfully engage families.  When our work is done, it is families who will raise our community’s children, not government agencies, and families are eager to be respected partners in the healing process. As a result of our efforts, we have been able to keep more children safely in their own homes and reduced the abuse of children after their work with the Child Welfare system.”
 
Larimer County’s Child, Youth and Family Services Manager Jim Drendel say s the recognition is well deserved, “Our staff and community partners have made Larimer County a safer place for children!” Drendel cited the '1451 Larimer County Interagency Oversight Group’ (LCIOG) as an example of the kind of innovation the APHSA was referring to. This is an interagency group made up of decision-making leaders who have committed staff and funding to over a dozen new programs. In addition to the Larimer County Department of Human services, agencies in LCIOG are Touchstone Health Partners, State of Colorado Probation, Thompson and Poudre School Districts, Larimer County District Attorney, Foothills Gateway, Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, Northeast Behavioral Partnership, Division of Youth Corrections, Fort Collins and Loveland Police, a County Commissioner and several individual representatives.  
The other six Other Human Service agencies nationally that were highlighted are: Vermont Department of Children and Families; Hampton Department of Human Services, Virginia; Wilson County Department of Social Services, North Carolina; Albemarle County Department of Social Services, Virginia; El Paso County Department of Human Services, Colorado; and, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania.                                  #####

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