Add To Favorites
Otero Human Services seeks to develop community child maltreatment plan
La Junta Tribune-Democrat - 2/19/2021
Feb. 16—Otero Human Services Executive Director Donna Rohde announced Feb. 8 that the county is partnering with Crowley County to develop a child maltreatment plan along with members of the community.
"Otero County and also Crowley County were approved for this next cohort to have some facilitated conversations regarding development of a child maltreatment plan," Rohde told county commissioners at the Department of Human Services meeting scheduled right before the board of commissioners meeting.
Rohde's department will reach out to Communities That Care, a local youth group that is geared largely toward substance misuse and abuse awareness, as well as a fatality review team in developing the plan.
In addition, Rohde said, they are looking for community members who would like to make the communities of Crowley and Otero counties safer for children.
Rohde said interested persons should contact her directly about getting involved. She can be reached at 719-383-3168 or by email at email@example.com.
The child maltreatment program will aim to work on prevention "up stream," Rohde said, before the kids even enter into the child welfare system. Subjects tackled in the program would be those that make for stronger communities, such as housing, literacy and employment.
"We can make for stronger families which makes for safer kids," Rohde said. "Just wanted to put that out there. If there are any members of the community, we need parents, we need youth, we need community. Any community member who is interested in the development of a maltreatment plan to be on this work group and we'll make for a safer community."
Otero human services received a $25,000 grant for the child maltreatment program project. The department needs to draft and issue out community surveys to determine what obstacles might prevent someone from joining the program to help develop the plan.
Rohde said the grant funds are there to help the county overcome barriers such as transportation, childcare or other issues that might prevent someone from getting actively involved.
Other human services developments include the ongoing open application period for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program, which helps businesses and building owners keep costs down by granting funds to be used for energy-saving projects that cut down heating and energy costs.
Residents have until the end of April to apply for LEAP, Rohde said. As of Feb. 8 about 1,131 applications have been submitted with 15 more pending. Rohde said the county is down about 100 applications from this time last year, or down by 10%.
"I would just encourage everybody who is or who might be eligible for LEAP to go ahead and apply," said Rohde.
Commissioners also approved two Temporary Assistance for Needy Families contracts between Otero County human services and the Manzanola School District.
The district requested one contract for its maker space that is being developed under its STEM curriculum.
Essentially, the school district wants a space for high school and middle school students to practice and study science technology and math, with an emphasis on getting female students into the subjects. Commissioners approved signing of the contract for $12,548.
Commissioners approved another contract for $30,360 between human services and Manzanola School Technology, which will fund the acquirement of iPads, iPod cases and charging cords for students.
Tribune-Democrat reporter Christian Burney can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c)2021 La Junta Tribune-Democrat, Colo
Visit La Junta Tribune-Democrat, Colo at www.lajuntatribunedemocrat.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.