Agenda Item # 6
Columbus Consolidated Government

Council Meeting

August 12, 2014

Agenda Report # 16


TO: Mayor and Council

SUBJECT: Home Visiting Program (Parents as Teachers, Healthy Families)

INITIATED BY: Jennifer Davidson, Cooperative Extension

Recommendation: Authorize the City Manager to apply to and if funded by, accept a grant of $297,000 or as otherwise awarded, from the Governor’s Office for Children and Families (federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program), with no local match required, and adjust the Multi-Governmental Fund by the amount of the award.

Background: What happens in early childhood matters for a lifetime. Neuroscience indicates that providing supportive and positive conditions for early childhood development is more effective and less costly than addressing consequences of adversity later. Since education begins at home and parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers, educating and supporting parents is a logical strategy.

*Federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program was created in 2010 with funding available for each State for Evidence Based Home Visiting Programs. The Governor’s Office for Children and Families was designated as the lead agency in Georgia. Funding is expected through September 2015.

*Six Georgia counties were selected to participate in the first funding cycle. The selection of the counties was based on a state-wide needs assessment by the Division of Public Health. The counties have the capacity to implement home visitation as a service strategy in a comprehensive Early Childhood System of Care. The Zero-To-Three Task Force (SOC) in Columbus accepted the opportunity to implement at least two Home Visitation evidence-based models and work together on six outcome/benchmark areas (improved infant and maternal health; prevention of child injuries, maltreatment and reduction in ER visits; improvement in school readiness and achievement; reduction in crime and domestic violence; improvement in family economic self-sufficiency; improvements in coordination of and referrals for community resources and supports).

*Key points of Early Childhood System of Care: universal approach to supporting expectant families and children 0 to 5 years; requires strong coordination and collaboration among partners; provides something for everyone; based on idea that all can benefit from support; all services are voluntary. The HV Models chosen by GOCF are Parents As Teachers, Healthy Families Georgia, and Early Head Start: Home-Based Option. State-level Training/TA with Continuous Quality Improvement will support model fidelity.

* All deliverables required were met during year #3 (10-01-13 to 09-30-14); therefore, Columbus is eligible to receive year #4 funding to continue the community plan. The contract for year #4 will be implemented for the grant period: 10/01/2014 to 09/30/2015.

*The mission of the Governor’s Office on Children and Families is to build capacity in communities using the System of Care approach.

Analysis: This grant will enable the continuation of home-visitation and evidenced-based parent education programming in order to reach more children and parents. There is no cost to the participants. UGA Cooperative Extension is a recognized leader in the delivery of high quality trainings and is a collaborator with others who need training and resources.

*This grant will provide leverage dollars to secure additional grant funding. All transactions will be conducted through Local Government Finance System. Grant period projected to begin 10/01/2014.

Financial Considerations: The grant is for a total of $297,000 for the home visiting programs, Parents as teachers and Healthy Families, also, first Steps. No local match required.

Legal Considerations: The applicant, Columbus Consolidated Government (for Cooperative Extension), is eligible to receive these funds.

Recommendation/Action: Authorize the City Manager to apply and if awarded accept the $297,000 grant from the Governor’s Office for Children and Families and adjust the Multi-Governmental Fund by the grant amount.


A RESOLUTION

NO. _______


A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO APPLY FOR AND ACCEPT GRANT FUNDS FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OF $297,000, OR AS OTHERWISE AWARDED, WITH NO LOCAL MATCH REQUIRED, TO FUND EVIDENCE BASED, HOME VISITATION PROGRAMS TO EDUCATE THE PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN AND TO AMEND THE MULTI-GOVERNMENTAL FUND BY THE AMOUNT OF THE AWARD.

WHEREAS, the funds have been made available from the Governor’s Office For Children and Families for the purpose of evidence based, home visitation programs for parenting education under an Early Childhood System Of Care that addresses Federal home visiting benchmark areas and constructs; and, Muscogee was selected as one of six counties eligible to apply; and,

WHEREAS, the UGA Cooperative Extension in Columbus has operated Parents As Teachers, a home visiting parenting education program, under the umbrella of Positive Parenting Program; and,

WHEREAS, there is a need to increase the knowledge and skills of parents with young children so that they can provide a nurturing and safe environment while acting as their children’s first teachers; and,

WHEREAS, parent education through evidence based, home visiting models is a proven strategy to prevent child maltreatment, improve maternal and newborn health, improve school readiness and achievement, and improve coordination and referrals for other community resources and supports; and,

WHEREAS, there is limited access to pro-active parent education for families at-risk, in transition, or parents who want to increase their parenting skills and knowledge; and,

WHEREAS, it is important to engage in the Collective Impact philosophy and practice in order to solve big social problems.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, HEREBY RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:

That the City Manager is here by authorized to apply for and accept a grant from the Governor’s Office for Children and Families of $297,000, or as otherwise awarded, with no local match required, to fund parent education through evidence based, home visitation model strategy, and authorize amending the Multi-Governmental fund by the award of the grant.
___________________

Introduced at a regular meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia, held the 12th day of August, 2014, and adopted at said meeting by the affirmative vote of _________ members of said Council.


Councilor Allen voting ____________.
Councilor Baker voting ____________.
Councilor Barnes voting ____________.
Councilor Davis voting ____________.
Councilor Henderson voting ____________.
Councilor Huff voting ____________.
Councilor McDaniel voting ____________.
Councilor Thomas voting ____________.
Councilor Turner Pugh voting ____________.
Councilor Woodson voting ____________.


________________________________ _________________________
Sandra T. Davis, Deputy Clerk of Council Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor