Transcript: May 13, 2013 - Older Americans Month.pdf
It isn't every day that we have an event with the Governor and our stakeholders that honors our work in such a spectacular way – but that is exactly what happened last week for our child welfare system.
Last week, we held a joint news conference with Governor Kitzhaber and Casey Family Programs to mark the progress we have made in our Safe and Equitable Foster Care Reduction initiative and to support the Governor's recommended 2013-15 budget investments in children and families, and in the child welfare system in particular. The Governor's budget invests in two critical components of child welfare system transformation: first, it calls for implementation of a "differential response" model of child welfare intervention - a model that will transform the front end of our child welfare system, allowing more children to remain safely at home and increasing support for families through engagement and connection with their communities; second, it calls for more investment in community-based services by fully implementing legislation that passed in 2011 - the Strengthening, Preserving and Reunifying Families program investments called for in SB 964.
In his remarks, the Governor said,” This is core priority for my administration and consistent with my approach to the overall budget – investing upfront, aligning our efforts with health and education. Our work relies on the support of communities and everyone who champions children, youth and families. “
Of special note I hope you will watch and listen to the Governor’s answers to a reporter’s questions near the end of the news conference (it begins at 25:45 in the video). I think every DHS employee will appreciate the Governor’s passionate support for our workers and their commitment to service to Oregon.
(The video runs 30 minutes).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_vBenZzq90
Today – compared to where we were five years ago - Oregon’s child welfare system and community-wide efforts on behalf of children are clearly on the right track. Several statewide statistics point to our success in this work:
It was a proud day for all of us involved in child welfare, and I hope you’ll all take the Governor’s words to heart. You do remarkable work day in and day out.
Thank you and have a great week.
Hello DHS,To kick off 2013, I wanted to provide you with an update on the progress we have made on Service Equity, one of our Core Values. This is very important to our goals of diversity and inclusion for our clients and our staff for two reasons: Service Equity focuses internally on what we do to provide an environment that is welcoming, fair and promotes equal opportunity for all of our staff; and, Service Equity is about what we do about our service delivery to our clients to ensure that we are achieving the outcomes we all want for the people and families we serve. A little more than one year ago, I asked Gloria Anderson to step up and be the Director of a new Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS), which the legislature endorsed as a priority for the agency and gave us additional staff and resources to move ourselves forward in this area. OEMS will transition to new leadership in the coming months, but the work will continue. The new Director of OEMS will continue to provide leadership in the development of programs and policies that promote equity and the elimination of disparities within the department’s social services to achieve equitable outcomes and service. This position is also responsible for the affirmative action, diversity and inclusion programs within DHS and for leading organizational cultural change. The recruitment for the new Director is underway at this time. Today, I wanted to provide you with an update on the progress we’ve made:Program/Agency Fundamentals Maps now include metrics on diversity and Service Equity to assist managers with tracking and improving their outcomes for staff and clients. For the first time, we are gathering and using hard data to direct program decisions to ensure this work is not an add-on, but is a central part of the work in every program and at the agency level. We call it bringing an “equity lens” to everything from policy, legislation, service delivery, office procedures, to internal and external collaboration aligning development and design with proactive results. There is more work to be done, of course, but we have made solid strides in incorporating diversity and equity into our management system. P.A.U.S.E Training (Pause, Ask Diversity, Understand, Strategize, Enact and Evaluate) has been delivered to managers and staff across the state, providing a system which allows teams and individuals to integrate a diversity discussion into their existing decision making processes. Utilizing P.A.U.S.E. increases delivery of equitable services to our clients and allows us to measure the actual implementation and positive impact of Service Equity in our daily work while also building welcoming work environments. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have seen a collaborative effort both within our own agency programs, and also with OHA and DAS, to ensure our managers and staff are in compliance with federal law AND are acting proactively to get in front of discrimination complaints and create and maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment. By breaking down barriers, we are enabling DHS to benefit from the skills and talents of individuals with disabilities and provide fuller, more productive lives for our staff and clients.In addition, throughout the state and within each district, Local Diversity and Equity Committees are leading strategic initiatives as part of their local diversity plans. A key component of these plans builds upon community engagement and collaboration with community partners, and local outreach efforts are actively putting service equity at the fore front of what we do and ensuring diversity and inclusion at every level. With a focus on continuous learning and staff development in all areas of cultural competency, we further our goal to bring opportunity for success to individuals we serve while eliminating disparities for Oregonians.These are only a few highlights, and there are more examples we could provide as evidence of our initial progress, baby steps to be sure, in achieving our goal of Service Equity. As I look ahead to 2013, I am confident that the work will continue because we have taken measures to embed Service Equity into our day-to-day work. There is more to do, and Office of Equity and Multicultural Services will continue to provide leadership and expert assistance as we move forward. Have a great week.
Transcript: January 7, 2013 : OEMS and Progress on Service Equity
Hello DHS,As employees of DHS, you know the struggle of people trying to get on their feet better than most people. But it’s not often that Hollywood helps us tell that story on a grand scale. This weekend the story of Oregon families navigating the safety net hits the silver screen. “American Winter,” a documentary film set in Oregon, makes its world premiere Sunday at the Portland International Film Festival. The film was produced and directed by Emmy-award winners Joe and Harry Gantz, and it follows the personal stories of eight Oregon families struggling to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The filmmakers worked with our partner agency, 211Info, to identify families searching for help. They followed the stories of several callers in-depth over several months, and some of the featured families were filmed during visits in some Portland-area Self-Sufficiency Program offices last winter. The result is a film that creates a powerful illustration of the challenges our clients – and our agency and other safety net partners – have faced during the past few years.
Get a sneak peek of the film.
Liesl Wendt, Self-Sufficiency Program Director, was leading 211Info when the documentary was being filmed, and she said the film provides a good reminder about why we all do this critical work: “There are important takeaways for us at DHS and others who work in social services. It's a reminder about the powerful touch people at DHS have every day for families. The film highlights the importance and power of relationship, that when people are treated and greeted with compassion it can offer them hope when they were without hope, and offer them a chance to really improve their family's circumstance.” The film premieres on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. in the Portland Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium. After the film, the directors will introduce all of the film’s families and host a question-and-answer session with the audience. Liesl will participate in that panel discussion. You also can see the film on HBO on March 18.The film comes at an important time for us as an agency. It debuts at the same time that we’re working hard to plan for breakthrough improvements in the way we deliver services to clients, and we’re seeking to increase local collaboration because no single organization can meet all the needs of our clients. I hope those of you who can see the film find it motivating and use it as an opportunity to spark conversations about how we can better deliver services to the Oregonians we serve.Have a great week.~Erinn
Today is the real beginning of Oregon’s 2013-15 Legislative session, and I wanted to make a few points to help frame upcoming work we will be doing to answer questions and explain the impacts of the Governor’s Recommended Budget (GRB), which was proposed back in December. If you would like to review the details of the GRB, we’ve posted overview and side-by-side comparison documents to help with that. That is also the page where we’ll post other documents, reports and presentations throughout the 2013-15 session.
One of our first jobs will be to present detailed information about the agency, each of our programs, our goals, the GRB and our desired outcomes for clients and their families as part of the Ways and Means process. As of today, DHS is scheduled to begin those presentations at the beginning of March, and this is the first step in getting to the final Legislatively Approved Budget sometime later this year.
In our Ways and Means presentations, we will be focusing on those program areas and initiatives where we believe we can have the greatest positive impact on our clients, their families and our communities -- strategies that include conversations about staffing and workload needs, as well as the needs of our provider partners. I have attached a document we will be using in some of our meetings with legislators and stakeholders, called “DHS: Helping Oregonians Reach their Full Potential,” that sets out several of our key initiatives. It doesn't include everything that is going on for us, but it is intended to hit the highlights and also cover a few topics that regularly come up for me with Legislators. I hope it is also helpful for you to have that same information as questions come up in your local offices.
An important message for everyone today is that the Oregon Legislature and the Governor have a great many issues to address, both in the budget process but also in terms of proposed legislation dealing with everything from school funding to PERS reforms to prison beds to gun regulation and more. And as you know, legislative sessions always produce lots of facts, proposals, opposing positions and rumors. Just like last session, I ask that everyone do their best to remain calm, avoid speculation or "what if" scenarios and remember that nothing is final until it is final – and that means approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the Governor.
I will do my best to keep you informed and updated about our budget and issues related to the agency and to you as employees. You should know that you can always address questions to your supervisors, or anyone in leadership here at the Department, and we will do our best to get answers for you.
Finally, I want to recognize the ongoing hard work that’s happening throughout the agency to improve the lives of the people we serve. I know that work goes on day after day, and our progress is clearly evident in the materials we are developing to tell our story during our Ways and Means presentations.
FYI if you're interested -- Here’s what a couple of Oregon newspapers have to say about the upcoming session:
Hello DHS, Behind every number we use at DHS, there are real people. That fact is never out of my mind, and I spend a lot of time looking at numbers – we all do. We track numbers because they help us measure our work and our progress in achieving results for real people in communities across Oregon. Those numbers, also called performance metrics, are an important part of our ability to manage the work we do and tell our story. They demonstrate to taxpayers, the Legislature and other partners and stakeholders where we are having successes and where we have progress to make. And they represent the work of our entire Department, as well as the partnership work we do with providers, stakeholders and community-based organizations. Sometimes staff ask me, "Why spend so much time and effort on gathering, reporting and tracking metrics – isn’t our job about helping people, not managing spreadsheets?" While we don't want the focus on metrics to overwhelm our focus on serving people, the fact is that taxpayers, the Legislature, and the Governor want to make investments in things that work. In this time of limited resources, our efforts to measure our performance show that DHS programs and services get results. This month, we have been sharing our performance metrics and other program information with the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services - the subcommittee that ultimately will make recommendations to the full Legislature about our budget for the next two years. The metrics you see in our Ways and Means presentations are part of the management system we have worked so hard as an organization to put in place – from your daily huddles and metrics for your work unit, through your program CI sheets, to program QBR’s (Quarterly Business Reviews) and enterprise-wide DHS QBR’s, we are tracking the fundamental activities and breakthroughs that lead to positive end results for the people we serve. So, thank you for your attention to accurately keeping records and reporting results. The positive response I’ve gotten to the “Did You Know?” messages tells me that you enjoy seeing the story the numbers tell, too. I’ll keep those messages coming because they help us all tell our story with a common voice. This week, our Aging and People with Disabilities program area is making their presentation to Ways and Means, and you can see their presentation online at http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/aboutdhs/dhsbudget/Pages/index.aspx -- just scroll down to the “legislative presentations” section to see their Phase I slides. The APD metrics make the case for investment in our programs and the difference we make in people's lives, and that’s been true for every DHS program presentation this session. Thank you to each and every one of you for your contribution to the people represented by those numbers. Have a great week. ~Erinn
Transcript: March 18, 2013 - Director’s Excellence Award Announcement.pdf
Hello DHS,As I said last week, this is a new feature you’ll be receiving each week. It’s called “Did You Know?” and each week I’ll send along an interesting fact or two about the Department of Human Services, the work we do and the people we serve. So… Did you know that DHS begins making our budget presentations to the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services on Thursday of this week? The presentation will be an overview of the agency, and future presentations to the committee will include Vocational Rehabilitation, Self Sufficiency, Developmental Disabilities, Child Welfare, Aging and People with Disabilities and Central and Shared Services. This committee is charged with reviewing and making recommendations about our budget to the full Ways and Means Committee and the Legislature. We’ll post these on the DHS website on the day of each presentation (http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/aboutdhs/dhsbudget/Pages/index.aspx -- scroll down to “Legislative Presentations”). Did you know that in 2012 DHS helped:- more than a million people avoid food insecurity and hunger?- more than 800,000 Oregonians with OHP medical coverage?- stabilize over 56,000 families living in extreme poverty through TANF cash assistance? - more than 14,000 low-income families remain employed through childcare supports?- more than 35,000 low-income seniors and people with physical disabilities with activities of daily living.- keep more than 20,000 adults and 10,000 children safe through investigations by adult and child protective services?- support more than 20,200 adults and children with intellectual/developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible at home or in their home communities?- offer emergency safety supports to more than 8,000 domestic violence victims?It’s true, and it is through the work of every employee here at DHS that Oregonians are safer, healthier and more independent.Did you know I’ve started getting success stories, and nothing puts a human face on the work we do like real stories about real people. It’s important that we recognize and celebrate our achievements -- so big success or small success, send your stories and ideas to: email@example.com. Thank you to everyone who has e-mailed. So far, I've received stories about the remodel of the Gresham Child Welfare office by community members, an international child-parent reunification story, an adoption story involving a DHS employee and woman who overcame significant obstacles to get her life and family back on track and leave the TANF program. Keep those stories coming my way!Thank you to each one of you for your work and have a great week.~Erinn
April 29, 2013 - Customer Service.pdf
April 15, 2013 - Halfway thru Session.pdf
Here’s the text of the story I was talking about:
Adobe Reader, or equivalent, is required to view PDF files. Click the "Get Adobe Reader" image to get a free download of the reader from Adobe.
Are you sure you would like to leave?
You are currently running an old version of IE, please upgrade for better performance.