Clinical therapists are taking their jobs a few steps above and beyond the typical call of duty in Riverside County. In fact, they are taking them 39 feet beyond. That’s the length of each of the three mobile clinics that the therapists themselves drive out to different regions of Riverside County. It’s all part of the County’s highly successful Prevention and Early Intervention Mobile Services program.
These mobile clinics, which are specially designed recreational vehicles, bring mental health services to families with children up to 7 years old. The program meets a need to develop services outside the standard clinic model, according to Emma Girard, Senior Clinical Psychologist for Riverside County, who helps lead the project.
I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days last week in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to learn about four very innovative programs. A few weeks ago I spent a Saturday in Tulare County meeting with teens and learning how one county program is enhancing their lives.
When I was sworn in as CSAC President last fall, I declared that I wanted my term to be known as the “Year of the Child.” I emphasized that all our actions as an Association and as leaders in our respective counties needed to be put in the context of how they impact our children. For an Association such as ours, this can be complex; while we work on a variety of issues of importance to our members, the actual impact on our children can be perceived as indirect yet still critically important.
There’s a story circulating today on the MSN news site that lists the 10 counties across the country where people live longer on average than elsewhere. Three of them, Marin, Santa Clara and San Mateo are here in California. These are not necessarily the places where individual people live to be the oldest—rather, these are the counties where the median age at death is the highest—in other words, more people are living longer there.
The story points out that most of the counties that made the list—including the three from California — generally have better access to health care — but the article points out another factor too.
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.