When Faythe Arredono talks about Tulare County’s Teen Digital Media Lab, her eyes light up. That sparkle is only matched by the teenagers who participate in the program. Ask the likes of students Araceli Mendoza or Vincent Macareno and you can see why this program has such a positive impact.
Tulare County library staff knew they could do a better job of connecting teens through the library, but the question was how. “We tried some things. Some worked, some didn’t, but we could never really get anything off the ground,” explained County Librarian Jeff Scott. That’s where Faythe Arredondo comes in. She was hired in 2011 as the County’s first-ever Teen Services Librarian. Right away she started exploring ways to get teens engaged digitally. With the help of a grant from the California State Library, she was off and running.
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.
Imagine a stack of paper 40 stories high. That’s how much paper the San Diego County juvenile justice system was using each year related to court cases. Enter the Justice Electronic Library System (JELS), a collaborative effort of the county’s juvenile justice agencies, technology office and its outsourcing provider Hewlett Packard. The end result is a state-of-the-art system that saves money, time and resources while improving the juvenile justice system.
With the recent economic downturn, Orange County’s Social Service Agency saw a startling rise in the demand for services at a time when resources were diminishing. The Agency had to find a way to meet the challenge of “doing more with less.” It was vital to come up with a cost-effective, workable solution since the number of county residents turning to assistance was rapidly growing.
Each year during the planning phase of the CSAC Annual Meeting, we try to add some new events that enhance the value of the conference. This year, there are a few events that we urge attendees to take full advantage of – both taking place prior to the official Kick-Off Session.