It has been a tumultuous year in our country and in the world. The Presidential Election here in the U.S. certainly was different than any other election we have seen in recent history. Globally, hardly a day passes where we don’t read about another terror attack. For most of us, these unimaginable acts of hate are beyond comprehension. While we are not entirely free of terror here on US ground, I do believe we live in a very safe country. Of course, from my perspective in Laramie, Wyoming, the least populous state in the union, my viewpoint may be just a bit biased. As somebody who grew up in Norway, another country often ranked high for quality of life and other measures, I will argue that the United States is still one of the greatest countries in the world. This is still the land of opportunity. It is a land where we welcome ideas and support those who have ideas. With the perspective of almost 30 years in this country it is interesting to think that coming here as foreigner in 1988 and barely spoke English, only 9 years later, I had finished two degrees, worked for another entrepreneurial startup, and then started Handel IT in 1997. I can think of many other places in our world where such a series of events simply would not be able to unfold. We still continue to deal with a large number of challenges on our home front such as growing income inequality, a broken health care system, rising drug problems, slipping rankings on education, and increasing terrorist threats. I still believe when taken as a whole, our nation offers perhaps one of the best frameworks for individuals to succeed. We continue to rank high nationally in quality of life rankings, such as the one published by Numbeo https://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp.
Looking at all the social services programs that we work with nationally, I remain in awe of the services that our clients provide to the people that they serve. In 2016 we have added several new customers, especially in the area of Tribal TANF (temporary assistance for needy families). You have probably heard me joke before that Rocket Science has nothing on TANF when it comes to complexity. In order to run a successful TANF program a Tribe (or a State for that matter) has to keep track of thousands of data points on each family that they serve. Calculating eligibility and keeping track of funding, measuring outcomes, and making sure allocations are being made according to all rules, are but a few of the tasks that a modern TANF program has to contend with. Doing so without a system like RiteTrack would be near impossible. It is such an honor for us to work with all these programs across the nation. One thing is resting assured that we are helping our customers with these very complex tasks. Even more important though are the services that our clients are providing to the families and individuals that they serve. More so than anything else, this is what I am the most proud of when it comes to Handel’s accomplishments. We want to thank you all for working with us in 2016. We are looking forward to continuing working with you and to add new customers to the RiteTrack family in 2017. Next year we will also be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Time flies when you are having fun. Until then I want to wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a Happy New Year!
- The technology is obsolete.
- The person who wrote the system is long gone.
The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) passed on the funding notification from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA) regarding SAMHSA “accepting applications for Systems of Care grants to support mental health services and systems for children, youth, and families in tribal communities.
The purpose of this infrastructure program is to provide tribal communities with the tools and resources to implement or expand a community-based, coordinated system of care model for children’s mental health.
Applications filed now are for funding beginning in October 2017.
NICWA facilitated a recorded webinar on November 10, 2016, to:
- Explain the purpose and goals of the funding opportunity;
- Walk through each element of the FOA and provide tips for successful applications;
- Encourage tribal applications; and
- Answer questions
You can listen to the recording of the full webinar here.
Tribal applications are encouraged! The deadline is January 3, 2017.
If you are still uncertain about applying after watching the webinar, please contact NICWA– they are happy to answer your questions where we can!”
“The purpose of this program is to improve behavioral health outcomes for children and youth (birth-21) with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families. This program will support the widescale operation, expansion, and integration of the SOC approach by creating sustainable infrastructure and services that are required as part of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program (also known as the Children’s Mental Health Initiative or CMHI).
This cooperative agreement will support the provision of mental health and related recovery support services to children and youth with SED and those with early signs and symptoms of serious mental illness (SMI), including first episode psychosis (FEP), and their families.
The SOC Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements will build upon progress made in developing comprehensive SOC across the country by focusing on sustainable financing, cross-agency collaboration, the creation of policy and infrastructure, and the development and implementation of evidence-based and evidence-informed services and supports. Other activities supported will include the implementation of systemic changes, training, and workforce development.”
Additionally, the Circles of Care VII grant is available for application as well. ” The purpose of this program is to provide tribal and urban Indian communities with tools and resources to plan and design a holistic, community-based, coordinated system of care approach to support mental health and wellness for children, youth, and families. These grants are intended to increase the capacity and effectiveness of mental health systems serving AI/AN communities. Circles of Care grantees will focus on the need to reduce the gap between the need for mental health services and the availability and coordination of mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders in AI/AN communities for children, youth, and young adults from birth through age 25 and their families.”
The deadline for this funding opportunity is December 20, 2016.
Innovative Examples from Indian Country– Improving Service Delivery using Software and Technology, Handel Information Technologies software. The second in our “Technology Tools Webinar Series!”
In this, the second of our “Technology Tools Webinar Series,” we are excited to have Casey Bader, Vice President of Handel Information Technologies, Inc., share his knowledge about innovative ways tribes are using software and technology to engage with clients, integrate programs, improve service delivery, and secure funding. Some of these initiatives have received national recognition for innovative approaches to addressing community needs.
Casey and Handel Information Technologies, long time NICWA supporters, have presented numerous times at NICWA’s annual conference and have a wealth of experience in Indian Country. We are happy to have the opportunity to have them present to our NICWA members.
Casey has spent over 15 years designing and implementing innovative software solutions with RiteTrack for social service programs and is passionate about finding ways technology can improve service delivery and outcomes in Indian Country. His program focuses include Indian Child Welfare, Family Services, Tribal TANF, Employment and Training, Tribal Court and Treatment programs. Casey has a degree in Social Science with a minor in Sociology from the University of Wyoming.
On September 22, 2016 the House of Representatives passed HR 5963, the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act. This bill reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974.
The bill was then sent to the Senate on September 26, 2016 and read on the floor. It was placed on the legislative calendar under General Orders. There has been no movement since then. Previously, this bill was sent to the Senate’s calendar on April 30, 2016 where it stalled until after the House passed its version earlier this month.
The last time this Act was reauthorized was in 2002 and helps states and local communities serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders. The most recent reauthorization of the JJDPA expired in 2007.
The Senate has until the end of 2016 to take action.
The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) described the JJDPA as “one of the most successful standard-setting statutes at the federal level and at its heart recognizes the value of citizen-driven efforts to prevent and stem delinquency. The success of the JJDPA has been supported in significant part by the national agenda-setting, research, evaluation, oversight, and technical assistance functions of OJJDP. It remains the landmark federal statute—and single most influential piece of federal legislation—providing four substantive safeguards (core protections) for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.”
Coalition for Juvenile Justice Special Federal Policy Update: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1113093459475&ca=26c99ea5-2719-449f-abbd-64c5aed4d4ed
Congressman Bobby Scott: https://bobbyscott.house.gov/media-center/press-releases
Coalition for Juvenile Justice Reauthorization of the JJDPA: http://www.juvjustice.org/juvenile-justice-and-delinquency-prevention-act/reauthorization-jjdpa
Under the leadership of Casey Bader, employees from Handel, augmented by friends and family, formed another 12 person running team. Team Wyoming Endorfiends ran the 200 miles from Fort Collins, via Wyoming, to Steamboat, Colorado. Starting at 5:20 AM the morning of Friday, August 5th, the team finished in Steamboat about 32 hours later on Saturday afternoon.
This is the 6th time since we first did this in 2006 that Handel has formed a relay team. I find it to be a truly rewarding experience in so many ways, physically, beautiful scenery, social, and team building. Here is a video commemorating this year’s event.
Handel’s Vice President was selected to speak at this year’s National Indian and Native American Employment and Training Conference (NINAETC). Casey Bader will present to conference attendees on integrating data for tribal social service departments.
The presentation will focus on the potential benefits, likely challenges, and recognized best practices in these types of integrated systems evaluations.
Bader has presented at numerous conferences including the:
- 2015 National Tribal Child Support Association Conference
- 2013, 2014, and 2015 National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) National American Indian Conferences on Child Abuse and Neglect
- 2012 and 2013 United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) Annual Meetings
- 2012 and 2013 TribalNet Conferences
- 2013 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Convention
This year’s NINAETC workshop will explore the benefits, challenges, and best practices involved with evaluating integrated solutions. Whether integrating government, tribal-developed, and/or third-party systems, the principles are similar.
Integrated systems minimize barriers to accessing services, enable better use of staff resources, and improve reporting on successes and/or needs to Tribal Council, funding sources, and members.
However, Tribes should create a financial and resource cost/benefit analysis and consider security and confidentiality requirements because these solutions may not always be the best option.
Bader has over 15 years of experience identifying barriers to, evaluating and implementing complex software solutions for social service organizations.
Past conference workshop topics have included engaging membership through technology, the White Earth Nation WE CARE service delivery model, and best practices for enterprise-wide software implementations.
Handel Vice President Casey Bader hosted a webcast examining case studies of innovative tribal programs using technology to improve service coordination, communication between staff and membership, and comprehensive reporting on April 21, 2016. An encore recording of this webcast is available here.
The webcast Innovative Tribal Programs Powered by RiteTrack explored several Tribes Handel works with that have developed innovative and powerful service delivery models that have received national attention.
Visit the link to see case studies from the White Earth Nation, Mohegan Tribe, and Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma that illustrate how these Tribes leverage technology to take ownership and control of their data and processes to create solutions that empower staff and improve member services.
These Tribes have improved access to services, engaged more directly with members, automated communication between staff and clients and enabled extensive reporting.
While these programs are unique, they have addressed struggles and goals common among many Tribes.
The principles contained in this webcast will apply to any Tribe or program interested in improving services of a single program or across multiple programs.
Rewatch the webcast today.