Community Charter Meeting Minutes, October 17, 2017: 9:00 – 11:00AM

Cowlitz County Community Network

Community Charter Meeting

October 17, 2017, 9:00 – 11:00AM


Present: David McClay, Columbia Wellness; Anna Leslie, Monticello Middle School Youth Behavioral Health Project; Kay Gunter, Cowlitz Community Network Board Member and Foster Parent; Ray VonTongeren, Cowlitz Community Network Board member; Michael O’Neill, Cowlitz Community Network Board Chair; Sharon Weinhold, Cowlitz Community Network Coordinator; Jeanne Snow, Cowlitz County Health and Human Services; Gena James, Cowlitz County Health and Human Services; Bob Wagner, Cowlitz County Juvenile Department; Lisa Cruz, Cowlitz Family Health Center; Jennifer Neal, Cowlitz Indian Tribe; Bill Reade, Ethnic Support Council; Suzanne Boursaw, Director Head Start/EHS/ECEAP; Chris Pegg, Director, Housing Opportunities of SW Washington; Lacey Cairns, The ARC of Cowlitz County; Lya Trammell, Longview Parks and Recreation; Chris Skaugset, Longview Public Library; Chuck Hendrickson, Love Overwhelming; Ilona Kerby, Executive Director, Lower Columbia CAP; Ian Thompson, Lower Columbia School Gardens; Paul Youmans, Pathways 2020; Kara Harris, Progress Center; Stephen Maynard, Sea Mar Community Health Centers; Star Garcia, South Kelso Neighborhood Association; Tim Krueger, SW Regional Support Center; Captain Sierra Dwelle, The Salvation Army; Dawn Maloney, Youth and Family Link and Cowlitz on the Move; Kathleen Griffin, Parents Place; Ophelia Noble, The Noble Foundation and Healthy Living Collaborative; Jolynne Morris, Cowlitz Indian Tribe; Pastor Megan Filer, Bethany Lutheran Church; and special guest Victoria Cantore, Senior Policy Advisor for Human Services, Office of the Governor.


Welcome and Introductions: Michael welcomed meeting attendees and thanked them for their participation. Introductions were made around the room.


Information from the Governor’s Office:

Victoria Cantore shared information about the newly established Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF); and the Office of Innovation, Alignment and Accountability (OIAA). The DCYF is a new WA State agency serving at-risk children and their families. It will combine the functions of the Department of Early Learning, and the Children’s Administration by July 2018, and Juvenile Rehabilitation from the Department of Social and Health Services will join the new agency in July 2019. The goal of the DCYF, as stated by the Department Secretary Ross Hunter, is to design and put in place a system that has better outcomes for children and is more equitable, with social justice and racial equity at its very core.


The OIAA will be a research arm of DCYF, gathering data, evaluating results and looking at the big picture. The OIAA will not be involved in service delivery.


Victoria said the Secretary is very interested in the foster care system and is visiting communities to discuss the foster care program and ideas for improvement. A question was raised as to whether the Office of Homeless Youth will be included in the DCYF. Victoria responded that the decision has not yet been made. Victoria offered her contact information and invited participants to contact her with any questions about the new Department, the work it is doing and plans for the future.


Success Stories: Eight organization representatives shared information about new programs or successes that they had seen in their organizations over the last year.


-Sharon gave an update on the primary activities the Network has engaged in over the last three years and status of the Community Charter membership, Community Resource Directory, and NEAR (neuroscience, epigenetics, adverse childhood experiences, and resilience) science training. Work in these areas will continue.


-Dawn summarized a new partnership between the Health Care Foundation, Peace Health, LINK, Child and Adolescent Clinic, and Family Health Center and a new program called Link to Child Wellness. The program consists of Child Community Health Workers who reach out to ensure all kids in Cowlitz County receive the health care they need. The program helps in three ways: 1-ensures drug-affected pregnant women and new mothers receive the healthcare prescribed, 2-engages mothers and children referred from pediatricians to get regular well child exams, and 3-links children and families to resources they need to take care of their health. The program strives to enter at the earliest stage of a child’s life and carry on to help the family proactively use the health care resources they need.


-Anna discussed the new Monticello Middle School Behavioral Health Project, a partnership between the Child and Adolescent Clinic and Columbia Wellness. This project receives referrals from doctors, schools and others for children who are not eligible for Medicaid. These are more challenging cases. Barriers for health care are reviewed and removed and the children are linked to resources.


-Cpt Dwelle, who with her husband are relative newcomers to the community, talked about some of the new approaches they are instituting for the Salvation Army. She reported that a Code of Conduct has been implemented, a youth program now teaches morals and ethics along with life skills, and an effort is made to not just meet the one need, but all of the needs of the client.


-David reported that Columbia Wellness has been focusing on training their staff on best and promising practices, and listed some of the trainings that have been received. Staff is using these best practices and are seeing positive results.


-Suzanne relayed information about Head Start’s successful Early Learning Conference held on October 14. She mentioned that Head Start is transitioning from 3½ hour days to 6 hour days by 2020, and they are phasing this in. She reported Head Start is fully enrolled, but there is no active wait list at this time.


-Kara said enrollment at The Progress Center has increased dramatically. They are trying to catch kids much earlier, beginning at 2 months of age, and are mailing a developmental questionnaire as an early step. She said the Center is working with the school districts and conducting screenings for kindergartners.


-Star reported out on the many activities in the South Kelso Neighborhood and how they are building community as equals. Every effort is being made to engage many in the neighborhood instead of just a few and they are making good progress.


Continuing Opportunity for Helping Children and Families:

Michael shared information about the new opportunity for helping children with behavioral challenges in childcare. Child care providers say they are seeing more children at a younger age with behavioral issues and child care providers are asking for help. They said they would like training on ways to work with these children, how to engage family members and find access to developmental screening for children who have not been screened. The first training is scheduled for October 30 and there is considerable interest in the training.


To gain input from Community Charter members on ways to enhance this opportunity, attendees joined three groups, 1-Training, 2-Sharing Resources, and 3-Support for Families, and discussed how their organization fits in, what role their organization would like to play and what best practices ideas they have. The results follow:



-Offer youth mental health training. LINK is offering this training in November and possibly it could be offered again.

-Offer sensitivity, cultural and humility training for child care providers.

-Engage families. Work to develop a relationship with the parents. Peer groups are a good way to show families are not alone with their problems. Families that have broken down communication and access barriers can help others get resources they need. Training should be in the evening or on weekends. Wrap around, address all issues, not just the one.

-Help to Prepare Early Achievers. This is new for many child care providers and they could use instructions and help with curriculum, forms, ages and stages, etc.

-Tap into existing training, don’t reinvent it. Several organizations invited the families with children in child care to join their trainings.


Sharing Resources.

-Provide transportation, a barrier that impacts clients, for doctor’s appointments, employment, etc. This is a difficult issue and may require a higher level solution.

-CAP provides parenting classes, financial literacy training, employment training, etc. and is becoming a trauma informed agency.

-Love Overwhelming helps with housing for families, not homes. They are helping the Woodland School District with at-risk youth and families. There is a very structured transitional living facility. Must have regular counseling, do job search and take life skills training. Difficult keeping the facility full because of addiction and it does not take families.

-Keep resource information current and accessible. Check and update regularly.


Supports for Families.

-Keep an open mind on how to support a family. Look beyond what you see. Listen. Start early. Diagnostic screening, long wait list. Reach families at their level. Consider cultural differences.

-Wrap around and support entire family. Reach them early, continue supports.

-One stop resource center.

-Build relationships with your neighbors.


Trauma Informed Pathway: Michael discussed the Trauma Informed Pathway and the three steps in the pathway that can be helpful for organizations to move forward and track how they are doing in becoming more trauma informed. Ilona mentioned that CAP has completed an extensive process to help CAP become more trauma informed. Participants were very interested in this process and the possibility of learning more at a future Community Charter Member meeting.


Michael thanked participants, said meeting notes will be shared and plans will be made for a Community Charter member meeting in 2018.


Thank you for your participation!

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