Displaying posts categorized under

Health and Human Services

Meeting the Challenge: Stanislaus County’s Clean and Sober Living Program

The program is designed to let mothers who are going through alcohol and substance abuse treatment live with their children in a safe and supportive environment. Keeping these families together is usually far better for the children, and the prospect of keeping their kids often provides moms with the extra incentive they need to complete the program successfully. It saves money for the County because the alternative is often foster care for the kids and incarceration for the moms.

Clean and Sober living was originally run by a faith-based non-profit organization and funded partially by Stanislaus County. The local dollars allowed the program to get federal grants that made up most of its budget. But in 2008, 2009 and 2010 the recession forced Stanislaus County, and many other local governments, to make some difficult decisions. They had to cut sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and other necessities, and eventually, they had to eliminate funding for Clean and Sober Living too.

Thankful for Public Resources and Public Officials’ Wise Stewardship of Them

It’s “Thankful November” (#thankfulnovember) season on social media. The notion is to take time during this season of Thanksgiving to reflect on the various blessings in one’s life. At the Institute for Local Government, we are thankful for our local democratic institutions, through which communities pool resources and energies to provide necessary services and facilities [...]

Meeting the Challenge: Sacramento County’s Human Assistance Medi-Cal/CalFresh Service Center

When people say that government agencies should be run more like a business, I suspect what they really mean is that government should use more efficient processes that result in better customer service. That’s what Sacramento County is now offering through a change of technology and process in their Cal-Fresh Service Center.

Under the old “case based” model, when someone applied for Cal-Fresh benefits, they were assigned to a case-worker who was in charge of that file. When you had questions, needed to make some changes or had any other reason to contact the program, you had to talk to your case-worker. That model worked because that one person gets to know his or her cases over time, but with growing case loads and limited budgets, the old way became unwieldy and inflexible.

Untangling the Morass of the ACA

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is a complex morass that will impact California’s 58 counties on wide variety of fronts – from budgetary to service delivery. For most county officials, there are currently more questions than answers.

The CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government has spent the past two days trying to answer some of those questions through a course that is providing county officials with a balanced, fact-based discussion on how federal health care reform is being implemented in California and its effect on county health, mental health and social services.

The Inland Tsunami

As a kid living in Sonoma County, I remember being frightened by the once-rampant rumor that the next big earthquake would split the state at the San Andreas Fault and everything west of that geologic line would sink into the Pacific Ocean. Our five acres in Penngrove would suddenly be beach-front property. More recently, the [...]