Council hears System of Care update
By Stephanie Johns
Velde Hardy, System of Care (SOC) administrator, provided an overview of the Morgan SOC for members of the Madison City Council during their recent called meeting.
Morgan SOC began in October 2009 with a three-year Caring Communities System of Care Grant from the Governor’s Office of Children and Families.
“We have done some wonderful results in the community,” she said.
SOC targeted African American males ages six to 13 who were struggling in the school system.
Once SOC received referrals – Hardy said the school system was their biggest referral source – SOC worked with them to improve participants’ attendance rates in school, academic performance, and Criterion-referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) scores, and to decrease their drop-out rate.
According to Hardy, they have seen a decrease in absences, tardies, and disciplinary referrals at schools as well as an increase in grades.
To meet these goals, SOC worked with other groups in the community such as the Boys & Girls Club and 4-H to offer participants recreational activities, summer camps, and structured after-school programs.
She noted that the 2012 cash match requirement was $16,360. They collected $13,814.74 in 2012 and added an overage from 2011 of $4,881.64 for a total of $18,696.38.
As to their 2012 in-kind match requirement of $18,998, she said they received a total of $19,039.36.
SOC has some funds remaining. Hardy said that they still are looking for a fiscal agent for those funds.
While the grant money eventually will run out, Hardy said they plan to continue SOC.
“The grant will be complete but we will do fundraising,” she said.
She added that they still have partners willing to work with them between the end of the grant and receiving non-profit status.
“We have enough to keep us going at least for a few more months,” she said, adding that future goals of the SOC include pursuing 501(c)3. “This will increase our ability to write and pursue grants and donations.”
Also, Hardy said they are looking to increase the number of people they serve.
Over all three years, SOC has served more than 250 participants with 67 in the intense program, she said. Those in the intense program receive help from a family advocate and care coordinator who works with them in their homes and teaches them parenting advocacy, for example.
The two SOC programs with the highest number of participants include Parent Café with 37 and Care Coordination with 35.
Hardy requested that the city continue to serve as the fiscal agent through receipt of final payment in March of 2013.
SOC’s final Performance Report and Payment Request to the Governor’s Office is due Jan. 31. The Governor’s Office will then send the city SOC’s final payment allotment in March.
“I think it’ll make for a smoother transition,” she said.
Council members agreed to her request.
She noted that the SOC has asked both the Morgan County Board of Education and the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Georgia to serve as their fiscal agent in future. Due to holiday closings, Hardy said she expects to hear back from each group in January.
Printed in the January 3, 2013 edition