LeadUP 2016 Change Initiative Abstracts

The change initiative provides an opportunity for participants to put leadership and learning into action. This learning component will help accomplish the following goals:

  • Immediate transfer of leadership skills to the work environment, thereby improving the leadership practices of the individual leader and of DHS as a whole.
  • Provide cross-divisional sharing of leadership perspectives and create peer leadership learning networks.
  • Immediately begin building future leadership capacity as participants look for new approaches to current issues.

Throughout the LeadUP 2016 program, you will have opportunities to discuss how to enhance leadership skills through the change initiatives. In Session One, we discussed how to be a trustworthy leader and build trust among team members and other stakeholders through your authentic presence. Session Two included insights on how to engage and support employees in the process of change. In Session Three, you discussed the importance of a customer-centered approach and how your change initiative goals should be aligned with the customer experience.
Additional learning and support is provided through your peer learning groups that were established in the last session. This will allow you to openly discuss your projects, share learning and experiences, and provide peer support to one another.
Please select from the links below to view the change initiative abstracts.

Learning Group 1: Rená Bigby, Laura Cope, Tracey Humphrey, Zach Root and Diane Wood

Electronic HCM-92

Rená Bigby, Human Resource Management

The HCM-92 process is a tedious process. The process has a number of failure points that slow the process and hinder communication with the field. The Cabinet Secretary recommended DHS consider using the eHCM-92 program developed by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). The eHCM-92 is a very promising tool that limits the loss of paperwork, delivers immediate notification of actions, and provides a single data entry access point. This single point of access provides all users the ability to check the status of the eHCM-92. The information presented is more timely and accurate. The eHCM-92 will further streamline the approval process. Using the eHCM-92 will strengthen communications between all stakeholders while aiding DHS in meeting and exceeding Quality Standards.

DDS Employee Recognition Program

Laura Cope, Developmental Disabilities Services

My change initiative focus is on staff morale.  With the help of the DDS Employee Recognition Committee (ERC), I have established an Employee of the Quarter and Employee of the Year awards.  Each area in DDS and State office nominate co-workers each quarter.  A committee comprised of non-DDS staff meet quarterly to review and select a winner.  All nominees are invited to a year end award luncheon where the Employee of the Year is announced.

Foster Parent Association in Lincoln County

Tracey Humphrey, Child Welfare Services

My change initiative is to develop and establish a Foster Parent Association in Lincoln County. In District 23 Child Welfare Services, we want to improve communication and partnership with Resource Parents in which they are heard, supported and valued. We value their commitment to children and their importance to the Child Welfare Team.

Aging Services Academy

Zach Root and Diane Wood, Aging Services

Aging Services (AS) staff members are dedicated to their individual roles and responsibilities.  However, staff members work in silos and often do not see how their job affects the bigger picture.  We will co-lead an Aging Services Academy for staff in the Oklahoma City office and, via Adobe Connect, the Medicaid Services Unit (MSU) in Tulsa.  It will address topics relative to Aging and programs in AS. The impact made by this change initiative will be to equip, enhance and increase the knowledge of AS staff, outside of their normal daily activities. Recently, plans have been announced that would potentially merge AS with Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS).  While this poses obstacles in terms of scale, it also provides us with the opportunity to expand the Academy to wrap in those services provided by DDS.  To accommodate the change, the Academy will phase in DDS topics and staff.  The Academy is thus a timely aid in the eventual merger of our two divisions.

Learning Group 2: Joan Clay, Lu Ann Faulkner-Schneider, Tom Pennington, Gay Smith and Jennifer Towell

Peer Recognition

Joan Clay, Adult & Family Services

Share your experience, motivate and influence retention, display the outstanding work we do. Focus needs to be on the achievements of the AFS employees, the life changing affect they have on customers and the quality they bring into the workplace. By presenting human interest stories about the workers, it will create fresh enthusiasm for the job. Displaying stories of safety, integrity, professionalism and compassion on a monthly basis will bring positive energy and job enrichment.  Peers and managers will encourage workers to share their success, steer away from the low morale, and highlight strengths and opportunities. The goal is to increase the input and output monthly. Managers and lead workers will steer the committee and lead the drive, encourage sharing and implement creative ways to celebrate success not hardships.

Early Childhood Professional Development System

Lu Ann Faulkner-Schneider, Child Care Services

The 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) requires that child care providers have access to a progression of professional development that will result in opportunities for child care providers to accumulate knowledge, competencies and credits toward eventual completion of a professional certification or higher education.  Due to recent revenue failures and budget reductions the professional development system has reduced services. A cross-sector workgroup of professional development contractors and child care services administrators will determine the core professional development services and the procedures to ensure that the services provided align with the CCDBG requirements.

Worker Internship Program

Tom Pennington, Financial Services

My change initiative is a Worker Internship Exchange for Finance Services.  With the budget cuts and loss of personnel, the ability to get essential core work completed accurately and timely puts more pressure on the agency than before.  Our goal is to cross train staff in different units of Finance to be able to do certain core functions of other units so that if needed, they can help other units besides their own  to get the required work completed timely and accurately.  This will mean work will not pile up on a worker’s desk until they return from any extended leave.

Therapeutic Foster Care

Gay Smith, Child Welfare Services

The Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program is currently serving too many young children whose needs could be met in traditional foster care.  DHS Child Welfare Staff have lost understanding that a child’s placement in Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) is more than a placement for the child, but rather a venue for treatment of the child’s mental health and behavioral health needs and often seek TFC placement simply because they are unable to locate other placement options. The goal of this initiative is to reduce the number of young children identified for placement in TFC and assist CWS staff to identify supports needed for children which do not meet TFC criteria.  The primary target for this initiative will be children ages 4 and 5.

You Make a Difference

Jennifer Towell, Child Care Services

I will recognize approximately 30 people with a pay it forward “You Make a Difference” invitation.  I will acknowledge the person for their outstanding contribution, provide them with a “You Make a Difference” token of appreciate then request they participate in this pay in forward process.  If they agree, I will provide them with 2 additional “You Make a Difference” packets of information.  The first will be for them to give to another person just as I have given to them.  Now either they can ask the person to pay the remaining one forward or they can offer it to another person. 

Learning Group 3: Betsy Boyd, Holli Hagan-Rice, Kim Manning, Kristal Walton and Jerome White

Region 4 Retention

Betsy Boyd, Child Welfare Services

The goal of my initiative is to increase retention and natural supports within regional leadership and build capacity within the organization.  I will accomplish this by establishing peer supervision groups in Region IV, to include a blend of rural and metro districts.  These groups will provide a safe environment for case review and peer support.  By forming groups composed of every program from all districts in the Region, this will provide for input from multiple perspective perspectives, as well as create improved professional networks and cohesion throughout the Region.

ALC Documentation Generation Tool

Holli Hagan-Rice, Child Support Services

Over the years, more and more, CSS field staff has turned to MS Word, rather than the prescribed document generation system, because the look of DocGen 1 documents is not very attractive and there is very little flexibility. With the implementation of a new document generation system offering more flexibility and more attractive documents, it is the goal of this change initiative to integrate the ALC Document generation tool into the daily work of all CSS field staff. We intend to accomplish this through promotion, training, and being responsive to the needs of the field. We have the ability to monitor the number of documents produced on a monthly and annual, basis by document. We will monitor usage of ALC document templates before and after implementation for increases in usage of the user requested versions.

Region 3/District 7 Business Processes

Kim Manning, Kristal Walton and Jerome White, Adult & Family Services

Our initiative is designed in a time of shrinking resources, we need to continue striving to deliver services in a way that seeks to improve the customer’s experience and deliver benefits in an accurate, timely fashion.  In addition to our clients, workers within the region will be impacted by having an evenly distributed workload and cohesive environment as all Social Services Specialists & Administrative Technician III’s will work as if they are in one virtual office regardless of where they are physically located.

Learning Group 4: Shawn Davis, Carlene Harpe, Djuana King, Rebecca Snellen and Kerry Wilson

Quest Online Learning Portal

Shawn Davis, Child Support Services

My change initiative is to move from stand up – in person trainings to technology based delivery methods. All learning material will be moved to one central site called CS Quest. We will customize CS Quest to meet our needs, including all recorded material, documents on the education page, Infonet and LMS, creating a one stop shop of information. We will deliver most of our formerly stand up classes virtually in small chunked offerings. The field will be asked at regular intervals what topics that they need and shortly after we will deliver those topics.  We have already piloted this paradigm in enforcement trainings and it has been very successful.  It reaches far more staff and gives staff a voice in their needs. These methods will also save travel time and money.

Region 3 Teamwork

Carlene Harpe, Child Welfare Services

My change initiative will be to redefine and develop the Region 3 adoption and foster care team.  Currently there are two teams that we will be working to integrate into one.  Our focus to develop this team will include developing teamwork and understanding of all the different roles that individuals hold on the team and the value of all the positions for the team to work as one. Currently most of the members of the two teams do not know one another so introduction and team building will be a critical first step to this initiative.   We will be working on developing trust and accountability to one another.  For the success of this initiative the work with Leadership to develop a strong base to build from will be critical. Our goal is that the Region 3 foster care and adoption team is a strong functioning team that provides excellent customer service to each other as well as our customers.

Dedication APS Specialist

Djuana King and Kerry Wilson, Adult Protective Services

The District will dedicate two fully trained APSS who have extensive knowledge of complex exploitation investigations Medicaid policy and Long Term Care eligibility. These specialists will work with the assigned APSS from the County as well as the County APS Supervisor and the AFS Medicaid personnel to increase the knowledge base in the field. This process will help ensure that all possible assets are returned to the vulnerable adult, undue influence is considered by the Office of the District Attorney, will assist in hardship and legal impediment requests and appeals to the Director, assist with MIPT accounts and will assist to locate and obtain access to needed verification. The selected personnel will have specific knowledge of how to access documentation required and what action that must be taken on a specific timeline to stop exploitation and access service.

Aging Services Duplication Protocol

Rebecca Snellen, Aging Services

The Older Americans Act (OAA) and Advantage Waiver (ADV) utilize two different database systems which are not linked to communicate vital information between the systems.  This initiative will create comprehensive protocols and procedures to assist database and program staff within OAA and ADV programs to identify the participants receiving both services by sharing information.  This will include an integrated effort for implementing monthly monitoring reports and establish the necessary steps to be taken to correct the duplication of services.  The goal is to improve the efficiencies for Older Americans Act funds to provide services to the appropriate eligible participant and extend funding if duplicate services are minimized.

Learning Group 5: Stacey Chadwell, Andrea Giezentanner, David Odle and Alicia VanBuskirk

Region 5 TANF Processes

Stacey Chadwell, Adult & Family Services

With fewer staff in Adult and Family Services Division, our Region 5 goal is to pull our resources and staff together in order to eliminate waste and streamline our processes. By pulling our resources together, we’re able to equalize and shift workloads among staff, and effectively manage cases during times of continuous change. I will lead a peer group responsible for streamlining TANF processes and implementing Regional protocol. The TANF program is an intensive program that requires mostly face-to-face contact and presents a challenge to work as a Regional concept. We will streamline our intake processes and testing time to an average of one day. Streamlining this process will reduce the time the client spends in the office and manpower hours of our intake staff. We will begin servicing all TANF cases, in Tulsa County, at the Tulsa C office. TANF in the remaining Region 5 offices will be worked by a walk-in worker. We will utilize workers within the Region to manage ongoing cases.

CSS Office Relocation

Andrea Giezentanner, Child Support Services

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Services (DHS/CSS) will close the Bethany CSS Office as of June 30, 2016.  The employees from the Bethany office along with staff from a CSS, State Office unit will combine to become the Norman DHS/CSS Office and begin work July 2016.  This initiative will identify the steps taken to close an existing office, along with the actions necessary to complete the transfer and training of staff to begin work in their new location. This project will also cover the leadership, communication, resources and tools used to affect this change and to develop cohesive working teams. Our goal is to be trained and ready to provide quality service to partners and customers in Cleveland County.

ACIS Database Conversion

David Odle, Adult Protective Services

The current tracking system used by AIDS Coordination & Information Services (ACIS) staff documenting case activity and progress is a legacy system no longer supported by the manufacturer.  The vendor has completed a system upgrade converting the current legacy system to a web based system. The new system will bring significant changes to the data collection process, impacting what information is tracked and the case activity documentation process.  The new system requires staff to rethink how information is recorded, emphasizing the immediate need of the client and incorporating the long-term goal for the client to move toward greater self-sufficiency.  The changes resulting from moving to a web based system will improve customer service, increase the capacity for tracking outcomes, and improve case note documentation.

Drug-Endangered Children

Alicia VanBuskirk, Child Welfare Services

The number of drug endangered children (DEC) in the state continues to rise.  These children are often either physically affected by the exposure of a caregiver’s drug use and/or put into dangerous situations because of the volatility of the drug environment they are living in.  To better identify, intervene, and appropriate care and services for these children I am looking at four main areas: 1.  Improve screening/referral processes within the hospital systems in Oklahoma 2.  Medical training for the DHS hotline 3.  Coordinate a workgroup within DHS to review and update DEC policy 4.  Creating a community collaborative with local MDT’s to arrange specific members in a DEC tea.