Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare

 

Subcommittee on Families and Children

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 1st Meeting

of the 2011 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> November 16, 2011

 

Call to Order and Roll Call

The<MeetNo2> 1st meeting of the Subcommittee on Families and Children of the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare was held on<Day> Wednesday,<MeetMDY2> November 16, 2011, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Tom Burch, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Representative Tom Burch, Co-Chair; Senators Perry B. Clark, David Givens; Representatives Julie Raque Adams, and Brent Housman.

 

LRC Staff: Ben Payne, Jonathan Scott, and Cindy Smith.

 

First Steps Program Update

            Dr. Ruth Ann Shepherd, Director of the Division of Maternal and Child Health for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and Paula Goff, First Steps Coordinator in the Division of Maternal and Child Health in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services presented information on the First Steps Program. The program, which began in 1994, is a statewide early intervention system that provides services to children from birth to age three who have developmental disabilities and their families. The program serves over 14,000 individuals annually. First Steps is administered by the Department for Public Health within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The program offers a variety of early intervention services that meet a child’s developmental needs through coordination with a variety of community partners and agencies. The challenges of the program include continuing to improve results for families and children; improving child find; incorporating changes due to new federal regulations; anticipated decrease in federal funding and tobacco funding; and continuing to do more with less money.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Ms. Goff responded that every child gets a five area assessment. This is updated annually and the report reflects the entry and exit data of the children. Specifically, the exit data reflects children that have aged out or left the program early.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Ms. Goff responded that some children are mildly impacted, and some are more severely impacted, while others are good with social development. All three areas are examined to get the whole effect on the child. The data is looked at item by item and gets analyzed over time. This data factors into the entry and exit data pool of the child.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Ms. Goff responded that the cabinet has been measuring data since 2007, with a small data pool. Some data was thrown out for a variety of reasons, but now every piece of data is getting into the KEDS system. Their target numbers are now based on 125 children, while the original target numbers were only based on data from 75 children.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Ms. Goff responded that Kentucky will not be able to compare data with other states because not all states use the same information to determine the data.

 

In response to a question by Representative Housman, Ms. Goff responded that the big difference in the numbers of participants in the programs between 2010 and 2011 was mainly due to the implementation of the TOTS system which enabled them to get better, more accurate data.

 

In response to a question by Representative Housman, Ms. Goff responded that screening usually helps to show eligibility of the child for the programs. Not all delays make the child program eligible.

 

In response to a question by Representative Housman, Ms. Goff responded that the revenue data was not correct on the charts and she would have that data looked at and get the correct numbers back to the committee.

 

Family Assistance Programs

            Dr. Ruth Ann Shepherd, Director of the Division of Maternal and Child Health for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Jason Dunn, Family Support Division Director in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services spoke about Family Assistance Programs. Dr. Shepherd reported on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children that serve 136,000 Kentuckians monthly. The first WIC program began in Kentucky in 1974. Funding for the program is provided to each state in two categories: Nutrition Services Administration; and Food Funds. Kentucky WIC funding for 2010-2011 was $116,982,559. Mr. Dunn continued the assistance programs presentation and reported that the cabinet facilitated programs of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, K-TAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, K-CHIP, Child Care Assistance Program, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The eligibility requirements and access ability for all programs were detailed.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Dr. Shepherd said that the WIC program is completely federally funded, and the $5 million per month amount sounds right.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Dr. Shepherd said the income guidelines are all federally defined, and there is no state input.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Dr. Shepherd said that the 185 percent of poverty level is a concern and that some look at it as a disincentive to work, but the state does not set the level and the federal government may not want to increase the level.

 

In response to a question by Representative Housman, Dr. Shepherd said there is an average of $40 per participant, per month in Kentucky.

 

In response to a question by Representative Housman, Dr. Shepherd said the WIC program is completely separate from the Food Stamp program.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Mr. Dunn said that KTAP benefits do accumulate toward the income limit and this may also be the case in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Mr. Dunn said that every state, not just Kentucky, is struggling and experiencing huge caseloads.

 

In response to a question by Representative Housman, Mr. Dunn said he will prepare a one page sheet on all the programs and will provide that information to the committee.

 

 

School Physical Activity Initiatives

Jamie Sparks, Coordinated School Health Project Director in the Kentucky Department of Education spoke about School Physical Activity Initiatives along with Maria Conger, IB Coordinator and Sara King, Physical Education Instructor, both from Tates Creek Middle School in Fayette County; Lee Anne Browder, Principal, and Kathy Todd, Physical Education Instructor, both from Shannon Johnson Elementary School in Madison County; and Anthony Mazzei, Principal, and Amber Evans, FRYSC Director, both from Campbell Ridge Elementary School in Campbell County. Mr. Sparks reported on the Coordinated School Health Project programs. The subcommittee learned that these are organized sets of programs, policies, and activities that individual schools may voluntarily choose to implement. KDE has received funding for the development and implementation of these programs from the Centers for Disease Control and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Obesity Prevention Project. Tates Creek Middle School in Fayette County, Shannon Johnson Elementary School in Madison County, and Campbell Ridge Elementary School in Campbell County testified on the specific physical education activities they have implemented in their schools and the successes they have experienced.

 

In response to a question by Senator Givens, Ms. Browder and Ms. Todd reported that the information on the child’s BMI is not available on the infinite campus website, but a report goes home to the parents with that information.

 

Adjournment

            The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m.