The Executive Management Team of the Colorado Department of Human Services will visit Ouray County from 12:30-2 p.m. on Aug. 9 as part of its summer planning tour, an annual event bringing Department leadership together with the communities it serves to discuss plans for the future.
The session will be held at the 4H Events Center and Fairgrounds, 22739 Highway 550, Ridgway. Executive Director Reggie Bicha will present the priorities for the Department in the upcoming year, review gains made in 2015-2016, and discuss challenges moving forward.
Members of the public, media and other stakeholders are invited to take part as representatives from CDHS’s seven offices also will be on hand to answer questions in small groups to discuss pertinent issues affecting citizens statewide. Those subject-matter areas encompass Children Youth and Families, Early Childhood, Economic Security, Community Access and Independence, Administrative Solutions, Behavioral Health, and Performance and Strategic Outcomes.
“We want to know what successful strategies in individual communities might be able to be replicated across the state and how CDHS can better support the human services work being done on the ground in places like Ouray County,” Bicha said.
Ouray County has been statistically strong in several areas within the last year. It is surpassing the state goal for the percent of child support collected, helping increase the economic security of families. Also in 2016, Ouray County has had zero children in the child welfare system placed in congregate care, similar to independent living. All children deserve to achieve permanency in a home to lessen the disruption and trauma out-of-home care can cause and to reside in family-like settings, as opposed to institutional settings. Reducing congregate care use contributes to these efforts.
A key purpose of the tour is identifying overarching challenges and opportunities in all areas and pinpointing the state’s role, if any, in addressing those subjects.
The optimal outcome is a shared vision between staff, stakeholders and county partners that align with Colorado’s requirements under the “State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act.”