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Business Plan

Aging

Services



FY 2016 & FY 2017
Department Overview

The Department of Aging Services serves as the Lead Agency of Community Care for the Elderly (CCE)/Case Management in Hillsborough County for the Senior Connection Center, Inc. (SCC). CCE Lead Agencies provide case management, develop client care plans and coordinate comprehensive in-home and community-based services to eligible frail and low-income seniors within available resources (state, federal, local, & private funds). Case Management is provided directly, while in-home services are provided by vendors who are contracted through the County. The Aging Services Department provides Nutrition and Wellness Services in the form of congregate meals, screening assessments, nutrition counseling, referrals, and active senior programming.  During the second and third quarters of FY 14, the department worked closely with contracted vendors to transition home delivered meal and senior adult day care service provision to the vendors. The department maintains strong oversight to ensure services are provided in accordance with contractual specifications and the County’s quality service standards.

Department of Aging Services Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Aging Services is to coordinate essential health and wellness services for older adults to encourage maximum independence and prosperity with an emphasis on the seven dimensions of wellness: physical; emotional; intellectual; social; spiritual; environmental; and financial.

Department of Aging Services Values
  • Consistently outstanding customer care

 

  • Acting with accountability & integrity

 

  • Positive attitude & work environment

 

  • Open and honest communication

 

  • Responsiveness with a sense of urgency

 

  • Effective work planning

 

  • Analytical innovation

 

  • Professional team-oriented workplace

 

  • Trust in relationships

 

  • Competency with unrivaled work ethic

 

  • Enthusiastic desire to improve

 

  • Creating remarkable experiences

Department of Aging Services Vision Statement

The Department of Aging Services will be recognized as one of the nation’s premier providers of services for older adults, by anticipating and exceeding the expectations of our numerous stakeholders through the efforts of trained, enthusiastic, and dedicated staff directed and guided by shared values.

Department of Aging Services Management Team Organizational Chart
Customers

The Department of Aging Services coordinates essential health and wellness services for older adults residing in Hillsborough County to encourage maximum independence and prosperity with an emphasis on the seven dimensions of wellness: physical; emotional; intellectual; social; spiritual; environmental; and financial. This is accomplished through the provision of a comprehensive array of services, including: Intake and Screening Assessments; individualized Information and Referral; Case Management; Senior Centers and Adult Day Care; Nutrition Services in the form of Home Delivered Meals and Congregate Dining; Transportation; In-Home Services such as personal care, homemaking, caregiver respite, and emergency alert response button; and a centralized Customer Care Line. While some services are provided directly by the department, many are provided through contracted vendors and community partners. Although many of these services are provided to homebound seniors, active senior programming is aimed at bringing seniors to locations throughout the Hillsborough County community where they participate in group activities with an evidence-based prevention focus. Aging Services has been providing services for active seniors since 1970, initially through our Nutrition Program- formerly titled Senior Citizens Nutrition and Activity Program (SCNAP). Through this program we offered field trips, exercise classes, seminars, and a variety of indoor games. Over the years, in an attempt to meet the needs of both our frail and active seniors, the County built additional senior centers to expand services throughout the county. With the graying of America and the influx of the Baby Boomers, the demand for both prevention services and home care programs continues to increase.

Customer satisfaction is measured routinely through a number of sources. The department’s Customer Care Line serves as a central point of contact for clients to report a concern with services.  The information is logged in a database, and Quality Management/Customer Care staff contact service providers to ensure prompt resolution of any problems reported. Case Managers also conduct quality assurance reviews to evaluate the client’s satisfaction with service delivery. Finally, the department administers an annual customer satisfaction survey of all clients receiving service, with questions specific to each service provided.  Feedback is used by Management and their respective teams of employees to address any identified opportunities for improvement. Additionally, customer satisfaction results and Customer Care Line data are used in the preparation of vendor monitoring feedback reports. The department has encouraged and empowered employees at all levels of the organization to pursue innovative approaches to save time and money and improve client satisfaction. In addition, the department has enhanced the Quality Management & Business Services Section to refine approaches to program and service evaluation and provide actionable feedback to service providers and program and process owners that will facilitate a positive customer experience at all levels.

The department remains aware of the need to continuously evaluate and identify our customers and their most important needs and expectations. According to the 2013 Estimated Census, Hillsborough County was home to 490,800 adults age 45 and older, including 165,322 seniors age 60 and older. Population projections conducted for the Hillsborough County Aging Services Needs Assessment indicate that nearly one in five (19.8%) people will be age 65 or older by 2030, and the racial and ethnic composition of this population will become increasingly more diverse.  Three in five seniors will be African American or Hispanic by 2030. 

Hillsborough County Department of Aging Services commissioned the Center for Housing and Long-Term Care at the University of South Florida to complete four studies of its 40 and older population in order to determine our customers’ most important needs and expectations, thereby enhancing the County’s strategic planning process.  Study 1 was an analysis of Census data organized by the four Commission districts for the 35-64 and 65+ populations from 2000-2030.  Study 2 was an assessment of private and public provider capacity for the aging population by Commission district. Study 3 was based on focus groups of consumers and providers to discuss quality of life of older and disabled individuals, including disaster preparation. And study 4 was a household survey of the 40 and older population. The information provided in these studies is helpful to the Department of Aging Services in planning for an Aging Society by providing detailed information on demographics, living arrangements; health, disability, and access to insurance and healthcare; employment and financial resources and planning; informal caregiving; current and future housing; transportation, social relationships, and social activities; physical activities; life satisfaction and needs met; and knowledge of county government programs. Synthesization of these four studies and other research was used as the rationale for each recommendation in the Master Plan. The Department of Aging Services continues to use the Master Plan Recommendations as a framework to examine all issues pertaining to senior adults and to help develop long-term solutions that will benefit the Hillsborough County community. The Master Plan Recommendations will help guide the planning, development, and expansion of functions, services, and facilities that will serve the growing population of older adults through 2030. The department continues to benefit from a strong Council on Aging that serves as an effective advisory group to the department on matters concerning programs and transition plans.

Outcomes

Outcome measurement is essential in determining how we are performing and meeting the goals established by our grantors and our leadership.  While we have a number of performance measures that we report on a monthly basis, the following three measures provide the most high-level indication of how we are performing in our coordination of essential health and wellness services for older adults to encourage maximum independence and prosperity.  Each of these performance measures link to the Board Strategy Area “Great Places” and align with the Strategic Priority of Public Health, Safety, and Well-Being.

Performance Measure #1


Goal:
Hillsborough County residents who are unable to remain safely in their home without outside assistance will be able to accomplish activities of daily living and maintain or improve their independence after receiving services through Aging Services' In-Home Services Program.

Name of Performance Indicator: Maintained/Improved Independence 

Why is it important: Clients receiving in-home services through the Department of Aging Services were assessed and identified as needing assistance with activities of daily living in order to maximize their ability to remain as independent as possible in their home.  In-home services provide assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming and essential housekeeping including laundry, vacuuming/mopping, garbage removal.  These services are critical in assisting clients with maintaining or improving their ability to maintain their independence is the community and avoid costly long-term care placement. 

What is measured: Maintained or improved independence in performing activities of daily living for clients receiving in-home services is measured.

How is it measured: Maintained or improved independence is measured by evaluating the percentage of clients with improved or maintained activities of daily living scores from initial assessment (prior to receipt of assistance) to reassessment. This outcome measure is calculated using the Department of Elder Affairs centralized client database and will be reported on a quarterly basis.

Performance Measure #2


Goal:
Hillsborough County residents who are at risk because of poor nutrition or inability to access adequate nutrition will get their basic nutritional needs met and lower their risk after receiving services through Aging Services' Nutrition Services Program.

Name of Performance Indicator: Improved Nutritional Health 

Why is it important: Clients receiving home delivered and congregate meals through the Department of Aging Services were assessed and identified as being at risk for poor health as a result of their inability to access and prepare an adequate and balanced diet.  Studies have shown that when seniors do not consume nutritionally well-balanced diets, their health can deteriorate and they can develop symptoms of serious disease or illness, which can lead to costly health treatment.  Aging Services' nutrition programs are essential in ensuring these seniors have access to adequate nutrition by providing at least one daily meal that meets 1/3 of the recommended nutritional daily allowance. 

What is measured: Improved nutritional health is measured by comparing clients' nutritional risk prior to and after receiving home delivered or congregate meals.   

How is it measured: Improved nutritional health is measured by determining the percentage of clients whose comprehensively assessed nutritional risk score has improved after their first year of receiving services, compared with their risk score prior to receipt of this assistance. This outcome measure is calculated using the Department of Elder Affairs centralized client database and will be reported on a quarterly basis.

Performance Measure #3


Goal:
Hillsborough County residents who are dependent upon a family caregiver or other informal caregiver to be able to remain safely in their home will be able to continue to avoid costly long-term care placement upon receiving caregiver support services through the Senior Adult Day Care and In-Home Services programs.

Name of Performance Indicator: Caregiver Ability to Maintain Care

Why is it important: Many clients who have remained in the community have only been able to do so with the constant support of a family member or other informal caregiver.  This can present a significant burden and high level of stress on a caregiver, and without appropriate supportive services can place the caregiver at risk for physical health problems of their own, as well as depression, anxiety, and loss of income from employment.  Client and caregiver support services such as senior adult day care, facility-based respite, and in-home respite care, as well as caregiver support groups and education offered through the senior centers, provide the caregiver with some much-needed resources and relief, while ensuring the client’s safety and improving caregiver ability to continue in their role.   

What is measured: Maintained or improved ability of caregivers to continue to provide care after receiving caregiver support services is measured.

How is it measured: Maintained or improved ability of caregivers to continue to provide care is measured by comparing the caregiver’s initial ability to provide care (prior to receipt of assistance) to their ability to continue to provide care at the time of reassessment. This outcome measure is calculated using the Department of Elder Affairs centralized client database and will be reported on a quarterly basis.

Performance Measure #4


Goal:
Hillsborough County residents who take better care of their health will experience greater prosperity through improved health, ability to live independently longer, and the experience of a better quality of life.

Name of Performance Indicator: Health and Wellness

Why it is important: Active seniors who participate in the Department of Aging Services wellness offerings will be healthier, able to live independently longer, and experience a better quality of life. The Department’s wellness programs are critical in assisting seniors with improving their health and preventing the need for more intensive and costly home-based or long-term care services.

What is measured: Percentage of active seniors enrolled in Aging Services’ Active Seniors Program who self-report that since they have become a member, they are taking better care of their health.

How is it measured: Health and Wellness is measured by seniors self-reporting on annual survey and documented participation in health and wellness programs.

Strategic Alignment


The department understands the importance of aligning our Business and Strategic Plans to the County Administrator’s targeted performance indices. We have made an effort to ensure that our outcome measures and priority projects identified in the Key Initiatives section of this document clearly demonstrate the connection.

Operating Environment


The Department of Aging Services continuously reviews programming and services to evaluate conformity with the County and department’s core mission.  While an examination of our services yielded a finding that our programs are in alignment with our core mission and several of the County Administration’s Essential Service Goals and performance indices, we realize that some services could be provided by external entities more efficiently.  In particular, the provision of home delivered meals and senior adult day care services were identified for outsourcing which took effect during the second and third quarters of FY 14.  The department continues to work closely with contracted vendors to oversee the transition of home delivered meal and senior adult day care service provision to the contracted vendors.  The department maintains strong oversight to ensure services are provided in accordance with contractual specifications and the County’s quality service standards. In conjunction with the outsourcing of these services, the department enhanced quality management initiatives and vendor oversight to refine approaches to program and service evaluation and provide actionable feedback to service providers and programs to ensure a positive customer experience.

The aging population is growing, yet Older American's Act (OAA) funding in 2014 had changed little from a decade ago ($1.80 billion in FY 2004 to $1.88 billion in FY 2014).  Over this time, the program experienced increases in 2009-2010 due to temporary stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In FY 2013, however, funding declined roughly five percent due to congressional sequestration budget cuts, and post-sequestration funding levels continued for most OAA programs in FY 2014.  For Home and Community-based Services, the same funding levels remained in FY 2015 as enacted in FY 2014.                                               

In April 2014, the Long-Term Care Managed Care program was fully implemented and the transition of clients from Medicaid Waiver programs to Managed Care programs was completed. This impacted approximately 575 clients that the Aging Services Department provided services to, as they were transitioned from the department to a managed care entity.  As a result, the caseload demands were reduced for Case Managers which allowed for more comprehensive care management and improved quality initiatives, as well as freeing up staff resources to address clients currently on the waiting list under other funding streams.  Care Management responsibilities have been realigned within the department and across programs to ensure consistency of services and manageable workloads. Additionally, case managers are now responsible for all home delivered meal clients, which allows for a more comprehensive evaluation of the needs of these homebound seniors.

Key Initiatives


The Department of Aging Services is working closely and collaboratively with other County Human Services Departments to design a fully integrated approach to the delivery of our services.  While each of the departments have historically worked well together through informal cooperative efforts, this formal collaboration is in its infancy and is among the highest of priorities for human services individually and as a whole. The achievement of an Integrative Human Services Business Model will empower us to focus on addressing the root causes of client needs and problems by coordinating and integrating services at an optimum level, thus creating distinctive experiences and innovative products that make Hillsborough County a “great place.”

 

In alignment with the County’s Essential/Core Services goal of cultivating recreational resources that nourish body and spirit, the Nutrition and Wellness Section staff is continuing to implement strategies to enhance evidence-based programming that focuses on the seven dimensions of wellness programs. The ultimate goal is to make all of our centers places where active seniors will enjoy distinctive experiences and want to continue to come and dine and participate in activities. Employees are equipped with the resources and training to accomplish this task. To assist us in this undertaking, three teams have been established: aesthetics, activities, and marketing. The aesthetics team ensures that all of our centers are inviting.  The activities team ensures that we have programs which will attract area seniors such as wellness activities, educational forums, nutrition counseling, and other programs. The marketing team ensures that our centers and activities are properly advertised. Staff resources have been redirected to ensure that we successfully meet goals and objectives that have been established as related to the Adult Day Health Care Program phase out. Program goals have been fully deployed to staff to make all of our centers places where active seniors will want to attend and dine and/or participate in activities. Collaborative efforts with the Parks Department will enhance the options available to senior adults, expand community outreach and accessibility, enable a sharing of resources, and improve coordination of services available within a geographic area.

 

With the establishment of our Volunteer Services Team, the department seeks to mobilize and manage the talents and resources of volunteers to execute a wide-range of volunteer opportunities to achieve the goals and objectives of Aging Services. Volunteer opportunities are being created to meet the interest of both traditional and non-traditional volunteers (i.e. remote, episodic, family volunteering), as well as to provide seniors with volunteer roles that enhance their contribution to their communities and increase socialization. This initiative will continue to cultivate & foster relationships between other County entities and the community to promote and encourage volunteerism.

 

1. Lead Agency Designation

The County Administrator’s Public Safety index and Vision for Essential Services will continue to be addressed by maintaining our designation as Lead Agency for Case Management Services in Hillsborough County. Through this designation, we are able to provide for the health and safety of our senior residents by providing a comprehensive assessment of their ability to perform daily living activities independently or with assistance, and subsequently coordinating services that will promote maximum self-sufficiency and prevent or delay the need for institutional care. Examples of services that are coordinated through the Case Managers include: personal care to ensure safety while bathing; homemaking to assist with essential household chores to provide a sanitary environment and reduce the risk for falls or other injury; respite care to enable a caregiver to attend to personal needs while ensuring the safety of the client while they are away; companion care to provide socialization and reduce feelings of isolation that can lead to depression; emergency alert response button to provide a means to call for emergency assistance if unable to make it to the phone.  Case Management is provided directly by the department, while in-home services have been fully transitioned to contracted vendors.

2. Quality Management and Business Services

The County Administrator’s Vision for Essential Services that provide for the health and safety of our residents is also addressed through the Department of Aging Services’ Quality Management and Business Services Section.  As noted earlier in this Business Plan, the department is enhancing its Quality Management and Business Services Section to coincide with the department’s outsourcing of service provision.  Quality assurance initiatives consist of quarterly and annual compliance monitoring for all contracted vendors, direct service observations of service delivery, and the implementation of corrective actions if deemed necessary. Annual training and on-site technical assistance are important components of the monitoring process and are key elements in the vendor’s success. Quality Management will provide internal compliance reviews, inclusive of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, and provide performance results and recommendations. In addition, case management activities will be monitored to ensure compliance with grant requirements and to identify opportunities for improved efficiency and effectiveness.  The intent is not solely directed on overseeing service provision by vendors, but rather to augment the department’s current program structure to ensure compliance with grant requirements and serve as an additional resource for developing new and refining current policies and procedures in cooperation with affected programs and departments. The department’s Customer Care Line is an ongoing initiative that provides a central point of contact for customers to call if they need to ask a question or report a concern regarding their services.  The Customer Care Team (CCT) works closely with the client or caregiver, the case managers, and the contracted vendors to quickly respond to and resolve any issues that are identified.  The establishment of this centralized team has improved communication and turnaround time in the resolution of concerns. Consequently, we are realizing the County Administration’s Vision of Customer Service, by creating positive, memorable, and distinctive customer experiences while proactively addressing customer needs. CCT is responsible for central intake which serves as the initial point of contact for seniors and their caregivers who are in need of information regarding community resources and referral to local organizations that could provide support.  CCT employees are also trained on the Department of Elder Affairs’ Uniform Client Assessment – Intake and Screening tool.  When a caller is in need of formal and informal services through the Department of Aging Services, the intake employee conducts this screening assessment to determine the client’s level of need and what services could potentially assist the client with any functional deficits. The assessment is entered into a centralized Department of Elder Affairs client database, and results are used to prioritize the client for assistance as resources become available.  The CCT makes every effort to link the client with informal and formal community resources while they are waiting for Case Management services from the County.

3. Resources and Partnerships

The department is actively seeking grant opportunities and/or legislative funding opportunities for projects such as short-term care management, with the desired outcome of reduced dependence on formalized county and grant-funded services by providing short-term care management and advocacy assistance to seniors who require assistance with navigating through the continuum of care, but are able to manage once private resources are in place. The department is also researching new funding sources for securing non ad valorem dollars for transportation. This approach will ultimately reduce reliance on the County’s general fund and expand services.

 

Public/private partnerships are another key area of opportunity that the department will continue to.  We will be reaching out to both non-profit organizations and private entities to identify mutually beneficial and groundbreaking relationships that will ultimately conserve resources while expanding or enhancing services.

 

In addition to the above-mentioned ongoing priorities, the department is also implementing and exploring resources for new initiatives. Each of these new initiatives would target seniors 50 years of age and older, and would involve partnerships with other county departments as well as community organizations.  For example, a new partnership with the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy began in the Spring 2014 semester.  Through this agreement, 42 first year students were placed at senior centers and select nutrition sites under their "Senior Companion" Program. The 2014 Summer semester included having 3rd year students facilitate medication workshops and presentations in the mutual efforts of the Department of Aging Services and the USF College of Pharmacy to educate our seniors on their medication management.  Ongoing plans include offering these services to seniors from the community and who are homebound via Skype. This plan is in alignment with the initiative to increase and enhance wellness services to homebound seniors with a focus on seniors living in rural and low income areas through the use of various technology.

 

Aging Services is enthusiastically pursuing community partnerships which promote and expand senior services not directly provided by the department, including faith based organizations and other senior service organizations. Improved linkages with senior service organizations will result in a greater awareness of community services, new methods and types of service delivery, and increase service levels.  The department is also collaborating with other county departments to maximize initiatives related to improving the quality of life of older adults such as: Communities for Lifetime, Livable Communities, Senior Zone Program, and Senior Safety Zone Program. Aging Services continues to work with Pet Resources to encourage and facilitate adoptions of pets for seniors who are interested in and capable of caring for them. The desired outcome of this partnership is three-fold: reduce feelings of loneliness by providing an animal companion; reduce the number of animals requiring shelter in the Pet Resources facility; and ensure pets of clients are immunized, nutritionally maintained, and have leashes for walking. This aligns with the wellness focus for seniors and minimizes risks associated with pets that are improperly cared for.

 

An emergency preparedness initiative, for which we are exploring partnerships and funding opportunities, has the desired outcome of seniors being prepared in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency by partnering with the County’s Emergency Management Department to provide seniors with education regarding how to prepare for an emergency, evacuation protocol, and a preparedness kit that contains essential supplies. 

 

Several opportunities have been identified by the department for leveraging technological resources aimed at improving business operations:

 

  • Formalize plans to transition from paper client records to solely electronic files.  This will involve the scanning of historical paper files and formalizing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with record-keeping requirements of grantor agencies.  The department will work closely with Grantor Agencies, Information and Technology Services, and the County Attorney’s Office, and other appropriate support departments to address all requirements and potential risks related to electronic files. Electronic client files will not only reduce costs related to paper, ink, storage, etc., but will also reduce HIPAA risks related to maintaining and transporting hard-copies of Protected Health Information.

 

  • Explore, and ideally implement, an electronic solution for service visit verification.  The program software should meet the following minimum qualifications: (1) Record the exact date services are delivered; (2) Record the exact time the services begin and exact time the services end; (3) Verify the telephone number from which the services were registered; (4) Verify that the number from which the call is placed is a telephone number unique to the client; (5) Require a personal identification number unique to each worker; and (6) Be capable of producing reports of services delivered, tasks performed, client identity, beginning and ending times of service and date of service in summary fashion that constitute adequate documentation of service. A system such as this will allow for real-time verification of service provision, thereby reducing the risk of fraudulent claims and payments.

 

  • Consider the use of dictation software/applications for use in documenting case notes.  The ability for Case Managers to dictate case notes that would be transcribed into the client management system software could be particularly beneficial in ensuring more timely, accurate documentation in case files. 
4. Re-branding

The Aging Services Department will work with the Communications Department to consider a “re-branding” of the department.  With a new focus on healthy aging and preventative health measures, and the potential for a perceived negative connotation of the term “Aging,” a new title may be appropriate in marketing services to older adults at any level of need or interest.  If a determination is made to move forward with this consideration, the department will also consult with its Council on Aging for expert and representative input.

 

All of these new initiatives that are being explored tie in with the County Administrator’s goals of essential/core services that provide for the health and safety of the community and residents, and that protect and nurture seniors and families to promote self-sufficiency and community prosperity.

The Future

The department continues to make great strides in improving its technology, process efficiency, vendor related services and client satisfaction.  The department has achieved these goals through the use of sound process design and through constant monitoring and measurement.  Major accomplishments include the ongoing refinement of the SERVtracker client management system, a high level of stakeholder satisfaction, and the successful transition of services to vendors.

The Aging Services Department will continue to refine its Strategic Plan with several new and revised key results envisioned.  This current plan is designed to refine and improve processes in order to provide greater value to the citizens of Hillsborough County. We continue to strive to build a more agile and responsive organization through aggressive application of information, communication and business technologies. The future service environment for older adults continues to experience dramatic and ongoing changes in the areas of service financing, administration, design and assessment. Accordingly, Aging Services continues with its vision of being a flexible and transformative organization by being proactive and through continuous self-assessment and improvement.

Most significant is our obligation to transition the organization’s culture to embrace the changes. Investing in employees, and including them at every step of the evolutionary process provides the core leadership needed to bring the community to a level never before reached. The inclusion of our employees in key business decisions will facilitate the Organizational Culture Vision of employees who feel empowered to deliver service to the community with accountability to their customers and to each other.

We respectfully submit the Department of Aging Services Business Plan as a template to focus meaningful action towards these outcomes.

 
 
Business Plan

Children's

Services



FY 2016 & FY 2017
Department Overview

The mission of the Department of Children and Youth Services is to play a prominent role in the rehabilitation and development of our most vulnerable youth and assist their families with comprehensive intervention and prevention services to enhance their quality of life.  

 

The missions of the Department’s programmatic divisions are highlighted below:

 

  • Children’s Services is designed to strengthen, empower and protect youth, adults and the family unit through therapeutic, behavioral, regulatory, prevention and intervention services.

  • Head Start/Early Head Start provides quality educational opportunities for ALL children and their families, in a safe and nurturing environment to help build a foundation for self-reliance.

 

The Children’s Services Division is one of two county operated residential programs in the state of Florida serving youth ages 7-17 and their families, in both outpatient and residential programs located at the Lake Magdalene Campus. The Child Care Licensing program serves providers of child care centers and family child care homes. Hillsborough County is one of only three county governments in the state that regulates family child care homes, non-public schools and religious-exempt centers.

 

Hillsborough County’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide early childhood development and education, dental and mental health, nutrition, parent involvement opportunities. Head Start also provides family support services specific to men, women, relationships, and expectant mothers.

 

The Department operates with an approximate $43 million dollar budget, more than half of which is federal revenue dedicated to Head Start programs. The Children and Youth Services Department accomplishes its work through the efforts of 392.05 FTE staff, the majority of whom are associated with the Head Start program.​

The overall mission of the Department is accomplished by assisting our most vulnerable community members in achieving their maximum level of self-sufficiency through an integrated network of early childhood, health and social services – with an emphasis on protecting and nurturing at-risk children and families – in partnership with the provider community and institutional stakeholders.

Customers

The Children and Youth Services Department serves the most vulnerable residents of Hillsborough County, including:

  • low income children and families;
  • adolescents in foster care;
  • adolescents experience truancy, delinquency, runaway behaviors, domestic violence and trauma issues;
  • young children in foster care;
  • young children categorized as homeless;
  • youth exposed to the degradation of human trafficking;
  • infants and toddlers, preschool aged children and their families who are otherwise unable to access quality care and preparation for school and for family self-sufficiency; and
  • families in crisis needing rent, utilities, food, employment, and other types of assistance to remain in their homes or get their lives on track, through referrals and linkages.

 

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 15% of the 1.2 million county residents were living at or below the Federal Poverty Level. In the period between 2010 and 2012, the population grew to almost 1.3 million, and the rate of poverty grew to 16.5% (higher than the state rate of 15.6%). Almost one-quarter of that population is under the age of 18. In 2012, there were well over 200,000 Hillsborough County residents living in poverty, including 70,000 children. There is also an estimated 10,000 families with children locally that are homeless. By almost any measure, it is clear that there is a substantial need for a strong health and human services safety net in Hillsborough County.

 

Reinforcing the need for a strong health and human services safety net, are the number of youth who are currently being served through foster care. Nationally, almost 400,000 children are in foster care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Report, July 2013). In Hillsborough County over 4,573 youth under the age of 18 are served in foster care. From July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, Children’s Services provided nurturing care and support to approximately 99 foster care youth who have experienced traumatic events such as, physical, sexual or mental abuse or neglect. The Children in Need of Services/Families in Need of Services Program (CINS/FINS) served approximately 763 youth in shorter term respite care and outpatient counseling from July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014.

 

In addition to our residential programming, the Children and Youth Services Department houses the Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing office. The Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing office regulates 1,124 programs that serve approximately 60,000 children and their families countywide. Customers receive technical assistance and training. The program also provides additional training to citizens interested in opening a childcare business. The focus of these services is to ensure that young children are provided safe and healthy learning environments.

 

The Department also oversees the Head Start/Early Head Start program. Head Start is currently funded for 3,474 children and pregnant women; serving 3,107 Head Start children, 343 Early Head Start infants and toddlers, and 24 pregnant women. The Head Start program serves low income families with children; prenatally through age four, to include children diagnosed with disabilities.

 

Outside of our client base, the Department had a number of institutional customers – such as the Florida Department of Children and Families, Administration of Children and Families – Office of Head Start, Eckerd Community Alternatives, Florida Network of Youth and Family Services. Department of Juvenile Justice, Federal USDA Food Programs, Sunshine Health and the Florida Early Learning Coalition. These partners provide financial and technical support consistent with their missions.

 

Overall, the Department’s customers have few financial resources and frequently manifest health, economic, transportation, familial, social, educational, legal and/or emotional issues that make it difficult for them to maintain stable, self-sufficient, independent lives. They need assistance in these areas, sometimes on a one-time basis, other times with a more comprehensive approach. The Department strives to provide a continuum of services to provide a range of support, tailored to specific customer needs.

 

Children and Youth Services Department has a physical presence in much of the county, including six CINS/FINS non-residential sites located in North Tampa, Central Tampa, Carrollwood, Brandon, Town & Country and Ruskin. To further improve access for our clients, the Department operates a number of county owned and leased facilities located in different regions throughout the County. These facilities include 19 county-operated Head Start centers and four contracted sites, and a 33 acre campus with shelters and facilities serving adolescent youth in residential and non-residential group care programs, including the Child Care Licensing program. Some departmental facilities and information technology systems are in need of modernization, complete redesign or new applications to effectively meet the future needs of our customers.

 

To expand on our current program offerings, the Department will be adding the following programs to its service delivery system in 2015: Residential Treatment Services for youth stepping up and stepping down from psychiatric services and Lockout Dependency and Residential Services for youth who are locked out of their homes and those pending investigation. Children and Youth Services is also exploring partnerships with MacDonald’s Training Center. Armadillo Enterprises and United Way Suncoast in an effort to secure workforce development opportunities, mentorship and volunteer opportunities for business partners and youth.

 

In an effort to gauge the satisfaction level of our customers, the Children and Youth Services Division conducts surveys and receives informal and formal feedback from youth and stakeholders to identify issues and tailor services to customer needs. Feedback from youth concerning their safety, as well as input from stakeholders and members of the law enforcement community, resulted in campus-wide safety and security enhancements. Additional feedback from the youth served through our programs, resulted in the program strengthening the dining services by offering brunches on the weekend, more individualized menu items, and youth participating in taste tests of new foods.

 

Customer Satisfaction survey tools and assessments identify community risk factors, as well as gaps in services and resources. Each Head Start/ Early head Start program conducts a Community Assessment within its service area once every three years. The Community Assessment includes:

  • demographic make-up of Head Start eligible children and families;
  • other child development and child care programs;
  • information on children with disabilities
  • data regarding the education, health, nutrition, and social needs of Head Start eligible children and their families
  • resources in the community that could be used to address the needs of Head Start eligible children and their families

This assessment is used to determine recruitment area, locations for centers, as well as determining the appropriate selection criteria for enrollment of children into the program.

 

An internal assessment, using a SWOT analysis method was done by the Department’s management team to identify internal and environmental factors will impact the program’s future performance. This analysis was paired with customer feedback to create the financial and operation goals set forth in the Business plan for the FY 16-17 program goals. Quality improvement/Quality assurance reviews, analyzes program-wide data ensure compliance with established outcomes, to improve practices, and modify systems, as well as report on strengths and successes.

 

The Department of Children and Youth Services will continue to use a holistic approach to providing services to internal and external customers. The health and wellness of our clients and our staff is important to the overall success of attaining departmental goals. Business plan goals and objectives will drive the department to succeed in its mission. It will include healthy workplace goals for employees and health education for our clients. Strategies will be tailored to be inclusive of the workforce as well as the community.
Outcomes

Children and Youth Services is committed to delivering the highest level of outcomes for the children, youth and families served in its programs, as well as to the citizens of Hillsborough County. As one component of a healthy risk management program, customer satisfaction surveys are administered to maintain program accountability and assess the quality of service delivery. Contextual data is then used to make programmatic changes, respond to employee performance, and contribute to the success of the program’s participants. Each division will refine client survey tools and data collection methods, analyze survey results, and develop and implement action plans. This process will allow the Children and Youth Services Department to reinvent customer experiences, track changes in program outcomes and services, and strengthen business results.

The Department continues to employ outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of its work. Listed below is a sampling of outcome measures of the Department’s programs:

Youth Remain Crime Free
  1. 90% of youth served through the Child and Family Counseling Program will remain crime free for at least 6 months following participation. The Department tracks recidivism rates every 6 months. 
Client Satisfaction
  1. 75% of families who participate in the Children in Need of Services/Families in Need of Services (CINS/FINS) Non-residential program for one month or more, will report being satisfied with the services received from Children’s Services, as measured by the Florida Network Youth and Family Services Participant Satisfaction Survey.
  2. 83% of children in the Residential Group Care (RGC) program will report feeling safe and satisfied with services received.
School Readiness and Parent Involvement
  1. 70% of the Head Start children will be ready for entry into kindergarten as demonstrated by their meeting and exceeding educational domains across eleven standardized tests which measure the knowledge, skills and behaviors that are most predicative of school success.
  2. 75% of parents will demonstrate increased knowledge of child development and awareness of their children’s developmental progress.
Wellness
  1. 85% of youth served in clinical services for two months (RGC/CINS FINS Non-Residential) or at discharge (CINS/FINS Residential) will report an increase in their functioning in five of the seven wellness areas in their lives as reported by their answers on the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument and Follow-Up Questionnaire.
Child Care Licensing Violations
  1. The Child Care Licensing Program will have a 10% reduction in the number of Class II and Class III violations.
  2. 75% of all licensed facilities and homes receiving a Class II or III violation, will not incur a repeat violation.
Strategic Alignment

The Children and Youth Services Department activities are in overall alignment with the County Administrator’s vision for creating Community Prosperity. Consistent with the strategic goals, the Board of County Commissioners has opted to fund a variety of programs for vulnerable children and their families.

 

The Department of Children and Youth Services social capital is an added value that is specific to the flow of trust, information, and cooperation associated with our social network. A collective community impact approach can foster new networks, both internally and externally (e.g., nonprofit, faith-based, civic associations and private sector) to benefit clients and the community. The Department’s selected strategic goals and objectives are summarized in the following chart, along with a reference to how they align strategically to the Administrator’s vision statement.

Strategic Prioritization

Strategy Definition

Objective

1. Professional Standards

Facilitative Leadership (5)

· Streamline workflows and implement process improvements across and within divisional operations

· Maintain current accreditations for the Children and Youth Services Department

Demonstrate accountability and compliance with professional standards

2. Case Management

Innovative Products (1),
Distinctive Experience (2)

  • Complete the integration of our client management system via Integrated Client Eligibility Systems software.
  • Evaluate opportunities for efficiencies through advancing the use of technology in conjunction with IT and Fiscal and Support Services.
  • Complete the implementation of Childplus.net and Master Tracker information systems to utilize full functionality.

Improve, integrate and modernize case management system to reduce cost and improve the quality of service delivery

3. Facilities

Great Places (4), Distinctive Experience (2)

  • Work with Real Estate Services to develop plans to update facilities for energy and operational efficiencies
  • Work with Real Estate Services to update facilities to expand capacity
  • Ensure all facilities are in compliance with local, state and federal regulations

Modernize facilities with a customer-friendly focus and an efficient layout

4. Revenue Optimization

Pro-market Governance (3),
Innovative Products (1)

  • Secure funding through grants and other non-county resources
  • Capitalize on the use of in-kind match as opposed to the use of cash-match for grants
  • Monitor surplus/deficit status of grant funds on a monthly basis to ensure full expenditure of awards
  • Ensure accurate and timely submission of Medicaid reimbursements

Maximize cost efficiency by seeking county

owned facilities

Evaluate opportunities to diverse revenue streams through external funding opportunities, while also optimizing current revenue streams

5. Staff Awareness

Facilitative Leadership (5)

  • Standardize minimum levels of position-specific training across the department
  • Enhance staff recruitment, professional development and retention of qualified staff
  • Obtain credentialing for applicable child care staff

Increase knowledge and professionalism of Department staff through training to enable them to share in decision-making and create solutions to improve services and cost-effective operations

6. Safety & Security

Great Places (4), Innovative Products (1)

  • Complete security profile of all Children & Youth Services facilities to ensure safety
  • Upgrade the current security systems that are in place based off of security profile recommendations
  • Enhance the current systems that are in place to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal guidelines
  • Develop plan to implement key card system for building access

Enhance program safety and security initiatives to ensure children and their families are safe in our care

7. Client Satisfaction

Great Places (4), Distinctive Experience (2)

  • Develop cross-departmental survey that identifies common components of customer satisfaction that will provide productive and actionable feedback
  • Institute benchmarks for improvement in future results of customer satisfaction surveys

Conduct client surveys that demonstrate an overall improvement in client satisfaction

8. Employee Morale

Facilitative Leadership (5), Great Places (4)

  • Develop and administer staff survey to determine staff needs
  • Empower employees through the adoption and ownership of the high performance organization philosophy
  • Create an information and idea sharing portal for staff to easily express their thoughts and concerns
  • Recognize employees for exemplary performance, as well as for special occasions

Improve employee morale by creating a culture that recognizes the value of staff contributions and exemplary performances


Operating Environment

The programs offered by the Department of Children and Youth Services represents key elements of ensuring community prosperity, which include supportive and wrap-around services for children. The department seeks to increase prosperity by addressing the overall health, mental health, juvenile justice, runaway and substance abuse concerns of the youth and their families in Hillsborough County. The Department provides key services to children and their families through unique programs and collaborative partnerships throughout Hillsborough County.

​The Department of Children and Youth Services management team conducted a SWOT analysis to identify the internal and environmental factors that will impact the programs future performance. This analysis was paired with customer feedback to create the financial and operational goals for the FY 16-17 program years.

 

Strengths

Our vision/common mission and vision to strengthen families/core values in serving needs of children and families

Longevity in the Community/ Longevity of staff (continuing knowledge)

United-Executive level support in reference to County Admin overall goals

Potential Partnerships

Operational supports in place

Recognition of diversity of families

We are diverse/Diversity (in how we look, solutions)

Long Term investment in our youth and families

Provide a holistic approach to providing services/not just to the child but entire family

Expertise in all of the various areas

Buy in, in reference to our willingness to work together.

County support in ensuring our programs continue even when other things happen (funding issues)

 

Weaknesses

Lack of knowledge across programs

Change-definition for department as a whole

Community perception – programs are separate/can’t answer questions

Challenge drilling down the County Administrator’s overall goals to line staff.

Fear of the unknown/Upcoming move

Communication down the line

Longevity/Resistance to change

Management/Leadership Team-needing to be re-energized/rejuvenated/need for off-site management retreat/strategic planning.

Trust and honesty – silos (can relate to knowledge across programs)

 

Opportunities

Potential Partnerships

Seek out new funding streams

Additional collaborations between programs

Resource sharing (w/wo money)

Integrating some of our business functions

Raising Standards (legislation)-opportunity for additional training

Strategic Planner coming on- will look at operations -opportunity to streamline our resources/cut wastes, share costs

Principal Business Analyst coming – can analyze some of our processes and look for ways to improve

Increasing the education of the community at large regarding both division-getting the word out more about what we have to offer.

Human Services and technology

 

Threats

Funding

External Competitors

Privatization

Not maximizing our resources

Citizen’s perception of the role of the County in children and families lives (connects to the BOCC’s buy in of our programs)

Community – lack of awareness of what we do

Political climate

Children’s Board referendum

Federal/Congressional/State legislative changes

Not staying abreast of trends (in social services)/County government as a whole

Human services and Technology

Foundation – Building the house correctly/Setting the internal foundation

Health and Wellness of Leadership

Inability to separate personal interest from professional-personal agendas/intrapersonal conflict


​Under federal mandate, Head Start utilizes trained staff in education, health and nutrition, family services and quality assurance to operate a comprehensive early childhood education program. The majority of program funds are administered by the Federal Head Start program, with additional funds being provided by the County and other funding sources. State and federal efforts to finance health care reform may have ripple effects on funding for the Head Start Program over the next five years.

​The Children’s Services Division provides key services to children and their families through unique programming geared towards specialized populations. Program funding for these individual programs are generated through fines and fees, contracts, as well as service revenue. Since 2010 the local Child Care Licensing Program has had a contract with the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County to fund fifteen (15) child care licensing positions and program operating expenses. To maximize the amount of subsidized funds to the County, the County pays the Coalition an amount equal to the fines and fees collected by the Child Care Licensing Program. These funds are used as a grant match to maximize state funding.

The Children’s Services Division generates revenue to help support services through contracts with Sunshine Health and Eckerd Community Alternatives. Additional funding is provided by Medicaid for behavioral intervention services.  The Department as a whole has not been consistently aggressive in pursuing new grants. However, a more concerted effort to increase grant funding is a priority for all Department programs going forward.

Key Initiatives

Children and Youth Services is a newly formed Department. Department leadership is in the process of evaluating programs, assessing management and staffing needs, developing a culture of professionalism, upgrading systems and facilities, and removing the organizational silos and barriers that impede on developing full partnerships, both internally and externally. This process will continue for at least the next three to five years. Streamlining and quality control improvements will create program efficiencies and introduce more evidence-based practices across departmental programs.

The Department actively seeks opportunites to maximize resources through cross organizational projects, both within and outside of the organization. 
Child Care Licensing continually interacts with the Department of Children and Families IT section to develop a new inspection process and systems. Child Care Licensing also collaborates with the Early Learning Coalition, the Head Start Division, and School Readiness program in ensuring the provision of quality child care to children and families in the community.

There are a number of exciting initiatives within the Department involving new programs and partnerships that merit mentioning:

Creating a Community of Care
The Children’s Services Department has identified a new scope of service that is based on the 7 Dimensions of Health and Wellness Model. This model provides our youth with opportunities for recreational, intellectual, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and environmental therapies and activities that give them purpose and a feeling of self-actualization. The Department has adopted several therapeutic/clinical evidence based tools that contain benchmarks to determine program effectiveness.
Extended Foster Care
On January 1, 2014, the State of Florida’s Extended Foster Care Program went into effect extending the age of youth eligibility for foster care services up to 21 years old. This law allows foster care youth turning 18 years of age the option to remain in foster care until they reach the age of 21. The youth can choose to continue to live with their foster parents, and/or continue to live in their group home. The state will in turn provide youth with an array of wrap around services to include independent living training, funded housing, education/vocational or collegiate and/or employment. The Children’s Services Division currently provides residential services to youth 17 years old on the verge of being eligible for these programs.
Water Safety Initiative
Drowning, is the #1 cause of accidental death in children ages 0-4. Florida leads the nation in the drowning of children under age 5.  The Water Safety Initiative will provide access to drowning prevention resources and swimming education (including swim lessons) for all BOCC Head Start children. This program is a collaboration between Hillsborough County Government, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, City of Tampa Parks and Recreation, Brandon Aquatics, the YMCA and other local organizations.  The intent of this project is to enrich the lives of those who would never be able to afford high-quality swim lessons.  Swimming lessons save lives and build healthy minds and bodies.
Career & Vocational Development

Hillsborough County Children’s Services has identified a potential partnership with the MacDonald Training Center, which is one of the premier providers of employment services in the nation for persons with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities.  This partnership will provide employment and career development services to our at-risk population and assist in reducing risk factors and future difficulties young adults face when leaving the foster care system.  Children’s Services Job Shadowing Program will be one part of a series of planned intellectual activities for program youth. Youth will “shadow” professionals during a normal work day to gain a first-hand view, at the skills, knowledge, and education required to succeed in a career. We also plan to expand the service to vocational training. We are in the process of developing a maintenance, cosmetology, and barbering program for our youth on campus.

Youth Swimming Project

The goal is to have our youth participate in the Swim Safety Initiative with Parks and Recreation Department.  The Swim Safety Initiative is funded through the BOCC and would assist our teens in developing valuable skills and a lifetime love of the water, while instilling responsibility and safety instruction.  The following benefits to our youth would result from participation in this initiative: 

  • Personal Safety:  Youth will learn to be safety conscious in and around the water, survival skills, and self-rescue. 
  • Personal Growth:  Learning new skills builds self-esteem.
  • Stroke Development: Youth are taught, through stroke techniques, paddling skills, treading, floating, basic rescue skills and safety using life jackets.
  • Water games: Enhance skills learned.
  • Rescue: Youth will learn safety techniques.
Community Collaboration on Victim Services
The Board of County Commissioners directed Children’s Services to collaborate with a number of community partners to highlight ways to recognize and report child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Over seventy-five organizations, as well as our sister Department, Family & Aging Services, have joined together to address this growing concern.
The Future

The ultimate success of the Department of Children and Youth Services is dependent on the increased levels of transparency, accountability, partnership and leadership we are able to bring against the County’s vision of Community Prosperity. In order to ensure that we are realizing our mission, the Department is in the process of identifying and developing new programs and community partners to achieve its goals. Below is a list of programs, as well as funding sources, that the Department has identified to help fulfill the County’s vision of prosperity.

The Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) program

The P3 program will provide innovative outcome focused strategies to achieve significant improvement in educational, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth using flexibility to blend of Department of Education Federal funds to existing programs.  Through a combination of careful implementation of evidence-based and promising practice, effective administrative structures, alignment of outcomes and performance measures, and more efficient and integrated data system, P3 may produce better outcomes per dollar by focusing resources on what works.

Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT)

The POSIT is a multidimensional tool intended to identify adolescents needing further assessment with substance use and nine other functional areas. It will be used to measure progress at the time of intake and two month intervals during treatment.

 

Volunteer Management program

Children and Youth Services will collaborate with HandsOn Suncoast, which is the Suncoast region’s premier platform for volunteering and community service. Brought to you by United Way Suncoast, HandsOn helps build a strong, caring community by mobilizing volunteers to engage in meaningful service projects across Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. As a community partner we have an online volunteer management system, that businesses and individuals will have ways to make a difference.  We offer a wide variety of educational enrichment, skilled-based, fun, flexible, hands-on projects every month with Children and Youth Services. 

 

Build – Engage – Sustain - & - Transform (BEST) Skills-base Volunteers program

Skills-based volunteering (SBV) is an innovative approach that is rapidly gaining recognition as a powerful driver of both social impact and business value. SBV is a strategic type of volunteerism that exponentially expands the impact of nonprofits and government by incorporating a whole range of skills that strengthen the operations and services of these organizations. Skills-based volunteerism can be a pathway to employment by maintaining skills or learning new skills. The access to leverage Volunteer Florida State Funds BEST Skills-Based Volunteers program will target skills-based volunteers from the businesses and community partners to enhance workforce development opportunity for the clients of Children and Youth Services.

 

AmeriCorps VISTA

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is a federal national service program designed to strategically partner with nonprofit organizations and public agencies and increase their capacity to lift Americans out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA is an evidence-based approach program. Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) supports projects that demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed interventions in addressing relevant community needs.

 

My Brother’s Keeper

In response to the President’s call around the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to support Children and Youth Services boys and men of color and all youth, AmeriCorps VISTA will aim to support its goals through projects focusing on:

  • Entering School Ready to Learn – closing the word gap, ensuring access to high-quality early care and education, and expanding health and developmental screenings
  • Reading at Grade Level by 3rd Grade – joint book reading or in-home literacy programs and increasing the capacity of successful reading proficiency programs
  • College Access – improving access to college advising and support tools, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in low-income communities
  • Workforce Development – programs aimed at increasing entry-level jobs, mentorship, and apprenticeship options.

 

Healthy Marriage Initiative Federal Grant

Head Start Healthy Marriage Improve child well-being by strengthening family formation and healthy marriage among families, including married/engaged couples or couples planning marriage by developing relationship skills for the future purpose of forming a healthy marriage and family. This will be accomplished by including preventative education to help individuals avoid negative relationship decisions, and/or interventions to lower existing relationship risk factors.

 

Fatherhood Federal Grant

Fatherhood Initiative- will aim to improve the well- being of children and strengthen the role and bond between fathers and their children in order to assist in fostering healthy relationship and help fathers overcome obstacles and barriers that often prevent them from being the most effective and nurturing parent possible.


Relocation of Head Start Programs and Administration

To maximize cost efficiencies, the Department will seek county-owned facilities to operate services instead of leased facilities (Lee Davis, Plant City, Lake Magdalene and Town and Country area).

Authorized Provider Accreditation

In order to ensure that we are meeting our goal of employing and retaining; highly qualified and professional staff. The Department is currently exploring the application process to become and Authorized Provider of Accreditation of Continuing Education Units (CEUs). This certification will not only allow us to increase staff knowledge, and reduce training costs; it will allow for the possibility of future revenue by opening the trainings to the general public on a fee basis.

 

Potential New Partnership

The Children’s Services Department has been approached to provide service assistance with Eckerd Community Alternatives Lockout/Dependency youth. The Department has also identified the need to provide Residential Treatment Services to youth at our Lake Magdalene campus. The development of these two programs will allow for the potential expansion of services to 18 new beds.

The Department of Children & Youth Services has undergone significant changes over the past few years, which has led to the development of a new strategic direction. As the number of youth who need the services provided by our programs continues to rise, our level of service must also rise. Only then will we be able to begin the realization of true Community Prosperity. 

 
 
Business Plan

Communications

&

Digital

Media



FY 2016 & FY 2017
Customers
Communications and Digital Media customers are both external (residents, businesses and partner organizations) and internal County associates.
Internal customers include:
  • ·      County Departments
  • ·      County Commissioners
  • ·      County Administration

For external customers, customer satisfaction is measured by interaction with the County’s direct communication channel. How frequently customers seek us out (web hits, social media interactions, hours of original programming) to easily locate needed information measures our success as a source of relevant, accurate and timely information. For internal customers, customer satisfaction is measured by the campaign outcomes versus campaign goals. Whenever possible, program participation indicates how successfully we inspired residents to engage with the County. In other instances, communication channel presence (reach of media coverage and social media interaction) gauge how well we spread information to the public.  

The department’s Digital Media Division provides live televised coverage and video streaming coverage of County Commission meetings as well as live televised or recorded coverage of nine other boards and councils. These meetings are closed-captioned, with the searchable transcripts available online at no cost to the public. The division also records the County’s special events, and produces informational videos about County programs and services. Web services are in constant demand; advanced registration and payment services were added in 2014, along with a number of other new online applications. A new Digital Content Coordinator is working to continually make it easier for visitors to the County website to find what they are looking for, to understand the content, and to accomplish their intended task. The division’s services provide for transparency in local government for both internal and external customers, while continuing to evolve and grow through technology to meet customers’ needs and expectations.  

The Public Relations & Marketing Division is establishing broader outreach, increasing conversation and growing influence through the most widely used social media platforms. This outreach complements the division’s work with traditional media outlets to promote County activities, events and accomplishments. Special emphasis is placed on economic development announcements and promotions, per the County Commission’s Strategic Plan. With partners like Visit Tampa Bay, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsborough County Schools, and the Health Department regularly liking, commenting on and retweeting, our messages get greater lift and public visibility. New staff members have joined the team this year, and they are working closely with their client departments (internal customers) to understand those specific County operations, business needs and their intended outcomes for the community. With this knowledge, these PR practitioners are providing professional counsel and services to meet our internal customers’ needs.

Both divisions of Communications and Digital Media will be working together to support the efforts of the Chief Communications Administrator’s other department, Communications and Citizen Support. During FY 15, we will introduce and promote the County’s new citizen service center. This online portal is the first of this type for the County. We will develop messaging to facilitate inquires and concerns through the online portal as well as reintroduce the County’s main phone number with a secondary market promotion. In addition, the Citizen and Communications Support Department will provide Communications and Digital Media with reports to include trending from inquiries received. This will allow for more direct, targeted messaging efforts for the community, based on the citizen contact data.  

External customers
  • ·         Residents
  • ·         Other Government agencies
  • ·         Civic Organizations 
  • ·         Media
  • ·         Business Community

External customers need timely, meaningful and accurate information about County government services. They expect the information to be provided in easy-to-access locations, via their preferred channels (social, media and web outlets), with a customer service focus. External customers are served in varying ways, depending upon the nature of the campaign and the intended target audience. Information sharing takes place in person at meetings; online by web content and interaction; on television with news breaks and public service announcements; and by information provided to the media for wide dissemination. 

Core Services/Products Related to Primary and Secondary Customers’ Needs
  • Crisis/Emergency Communications
  • Public Information
  • Strategic Communication and Branding
  • County Website
  • Media Relations & Measurement
  • Meeting Coverage
  • Public Meetings
  • Promotion & Marketing
  • Technology Solutions
  • Video Programs
  • Special Events
  • Commission directed events/programs
  • Proclamations and Commendations
  • BOCC Awards
  • County Intranet (COIN)
  • Language Services
Core Services/Products Related to Primary and Secondary Customers’ Needs
  • Crisis/Emergency Communications
  • Public Information
  • Strategic Communication and Branding
  • County Website
  • Media Relations & Measurement
  • Meeting Coverage
  • Public Meetings
  • Promotion & Marketing
  • Technology Solutions
  • Video Programs
  • Special Events
  • Commission directed events/programs
  • Proclamations and Commendations
  • BOCC Awards
  • County Intranet (COIN)
  • Language Services
The Future
  • ·         Undertake strategic communications initiatives for government services and programs so that they can be designed for sustainability, and to serve the needs and desires of both existing customers and the community at large
  • ·         Demand for online services, technology-based services and social media presence will increase dramatically and those who engage us will want a 24/7 response
  • ·         Newspapers are no longer a strong, broad-based advertising tool; media fragmentation continues, so there is no single or easy way to reach broad audiences
  • ·         Develop and brand an improved customer experience for County Center’s first floor and improve way-finding and branding at other County facilities
  • ·         Provide transparency of government operations through open and customer-friendly data tools and resources
 
 
Business Plan

Customer

Service

&

Support



FY 2016 & FY 2017
Department Overview
The Citizen & Communications Support Department provides support for services that are focused or related to the external customer with an emphasis on organizational communications in order to enhance the customer service experience across all departments.  The Citizen & Communications Support Department consists of the Customer Engagement Division, which is comprised of the Customer Service Center, formerly known as the Information Service Center, Citizen Engagement section and the Neighborhood Relations Office, and Organizational Communications.  

The Customer Service Center works to centralize customer service efforts countywide. The Citizen Engagement section supports the County’s efforts to inform and educate residents about County projects, initiatives and meetings. The Neighborhood Relations Office is also a part of the Customer Engagement team in order to ensure a special emphasis on the County’s neighborhood and civic associations.  The Organizational Communications section focuses on effective employee relations, which is vital to achieving excellence in both internal and external customer service. 
Mission
To ensure alignment with the mission statement of Hillsborough County, the Citizen & Communications Support Department’s mission is to create community prosperity by delivering effective and efficient quality service to all residents of our community as well as to all County departments.  

In carrying out the mission statement, the department adheres to the values of Hillsborough County:

1) provide stellar customer service;
2) agile performance; 
3) innovation.
Customers
Citizen & Communications Support has several service areas.  However, all of the areas and sections come together to provide customer service and support services to both internal and external customers.  Below is a breakdown of the customers served by all sections of Citizen & Communications Support.
External customers include:
1.      Residents

2.      Neighborhoods

3.      Civic Associations

4.      Civic Organizations

5.      Business Community

​External customers require information and service in a timely and efficient manner.  Much of our success in creating community prosperity, will be reflected in our ability to achieve positive customer satisfaction that reflects the organization’s core values. External customers are served in varying ways depending upon the nature of the information being communicated or the service being provided.  External customers are served by: the communication of basic county information through traditional methods (face-to-face meetings, newsletters, mailings, online content, signage); the online customer service center, a citizen portal that allows residence 24/7 access to county government; assistance with neighborhood-wide concerns, programs, events, planning and/or issues; the physical customer service center (call center representatives that serve the residents of Hillsborough County, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.); and the general planning, execution and/or support of all County public meetings and external events.
Internal customers include:
1.      Board of County Commissioners

2.      County Administration

3.      County Departments

4.      County Employees

5.      Department representatives that manage the Customer Service Center

Internal customers are equally as important, but the ways in which customer results and satisfaction are achieved within the organization, differs.  As we enter the next fiscal year, the Citizen & Communications Support Department will be working with all County departments to make adjustments and improvements to the external customer service portal as it relates to the work by all users in the departments in order to streamline processes internally that will inadvertently have a positive impact to our external customers. Additionally, the department is expected to institute a division focused on Organizational Communications.  This area is expected to have the most impact on internal customers, primarily the County’s administration, departments, and employee audiences.   This area will focus on aligning the organization both horizontally and vertically in order to make meaningful progress that moves the organization forward and further allows us to improve the service to our residents. 

Customer satisfaction for both areas will be measured in various ways.  For internal customers, satisfaction will be measured by outcomes in service levels; participation in programs to promote internal communications; small, short surveys that evaluate the delivery and effectiveness of county-wide employee programs; and informal, qualitative feedback.  For external customers, satisfaction may be measured through performance dashboards, comprehensive market research, focus groups and short-survey post service.
Strategic Alignment
All areas of the Citizen & Customer Support Department align with two major performance indices as outlined by County Administration: Social Capital and Public Safety.  Additionally, much of the daily work is in support of departments that align with Physical Capital. Furthermore, the work completed by the department aligns with both the county’s vision for enhanced quality of life and the long-term mission of creating community prosperity – specifically achieving this prosperity through public service. Individual employees’ performance measures identify their value to county government as well as their direct contribution to carrying out the mission of the Citizen & Communications Support Department.
Social Capital
Most of the work completed by and tasked to the Citizen & Communications Support Department is in support of the residents of Hillsborough County – our most critical social capital.  From public outreach, public meetings, award programs, and neighborhood relations to the components of the Customer Service Center, the department’s core functions support and align with county government’s core function of public service.
Public Safety
The Customer Service Center is charged with executing and staffing the citizen’s call center in support of emergency management.  Additionally, the department is responsible for the public notification of all street closures related to construction projects or maintenance efforts.  The Neighborhood Relations component also works with Emergency Management personnel on outreach efforts related to emergency preparedness, special needs registration and general information.
Operating Environment
The Citizen & Communications Support Department was created in FY 15 to better serve the residents of Hillsborough County.  Aligning the core functions of Customer Engagement, Customer Service, Neighborhood Relations and Organizational Communications, promotes a more comprehensive engagement experience for county residents, while providing additional resources to expand timely, efficient service both internally and externally.  As the department moves forward in the coming year, adjustments will be made to further improve service
Department Strengths
  • ·         Employees are dedicated and committed to a job well done
  • ·         Employees are experienced in their work areas
  • ·         Clearly defined purpose through the realignment of the department and the addition of a Director and establishment of a Division Director
  • ·         Team mind set & support – tackle issues together
  • ·         Repurposed two positions to support Neighborhood Relations, creating a stronger unit
  • ·         Professional Customer Service Center using new technology
  • ·         Development and implementation of an online Customer Service Center for residents
  • ·         Employee Organizational position established to create an enhanced supplement
Department Opportunities & Needed Resources:
  •          Maintenance for the continued implementation of the online Customer Service Center is critical to continued success
  •          Additional resources will be needed for the Organizational Communications section in order to fully implement an effective program county-wide
  •          Department is well positioned to deliver quality customer service
  •          Technical resource needed in order to implement future phases of the Customer Service Center
  •          Neighborhood Relations is well positioned to serve as a resource on issues to County Administration and the Board of County Commissioners
Key Initiatives
  •          Implement the County’s new Customer Service Center across the county
  •          Serve as the resource expert on the Customer Service Center county-wide
  •          Work with departments to integrate/bridge work order systems to the Customer Service Center software (various departments)
  •          Develop a new training module related to achieving customer satisfaction county-wide
  •          Public notifications for Customer Engagement meetings, events and projects
  •          Develop an effective and efficient Organizational Communications program county-wide
The Future
As technology improvements continue to occur and as the county continues to address the needs of the residents of Hillsborough County, the Citizens & Communications Support department will need to remain flexible yet dedicated to its core mission of service that contributes to community prosperity. This department needs to continually monitor developments across the county as well as stay current on changing environments, both internally and externally, in order to impact successful outcomes for all audiences and/or customers.
 
 
Business Plan

Health

Care

Services



FY 2016 & FY 2017
Department Overview

HCS is responsible for managing the HCHCP, the Ryan White Program, and the Health Care Responsibility Act (HCRA).  Functions of the department include a specialized customer call center, provider relations responsibility for four (4) contracted HCHCP Medical Service Organizations, nine (9) hospitals, 2500 specialists, and a host of ancillary provider vendors, which provide primary, specialty and ancillary services to HCHCP plan members and Ryan White Program clients.  HCS manages a subcontracted TPA that processes in excess of $62M in claims including appeals.  The department manages and provides oversight to a subcontracted medical management vendor that performs utilization management and disease/case management functions for the plan.  HCS certifies eligibility for both the HCHCP and the Ryan White Program and conducts enrollments and re-enrollments for both programs.

 

The department has management and oversight responsibility for a budget of approximately $128M dollars, approximately 16,000 customers, and a staff of 55 full time employees to serve them, most of whom are located at the County Center.  HCS manages and oversees the Trust Fund for the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan and also funds the County Mandates for Medicaid, as well as, BOCC approved innovative programs as provided for in the Florida Statute.  Fla. Stat. §212.055(4)(a)4 (2014).  The Ryan White grant program mandates a planning council who maintains authority and oversight of the allocation and prioritization of the federal funds for HIV/AIDS patient care.  The department ensures that all required slots are filled and other conditions of award are satisfied on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).


A. Mission
The mission of the Hillsborough County Health Care Services Department consists of the following:

The department is to assure, within available resources, the delivery of quality health care for the County’s eligible medically poor residents, Ryan White participants, and others who lack health care coverage through sterling customer service, quality health care delivery systems, and other efficiencies designed to maximize the use of information technology and expand access to health care services within Hillsborough County for it indigent population.

Customers

Health Care Services Department (HCS) customers include eligible Ryan White Program clients and Hillsborough County Health Care Plan (HCHCP) members, who are our most vulnerable population.  Customers include individuals and family members who have limited assets and meet the relative Federal Poverty Level guidelines for the particular program.  These eligible members do not have health insurance or health coverage by any other source.  Our HCHCP members are found throughout the County and are served in their region or at available locations they choose.  Ryan White clients are served in four (4) counties including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, and Hernando County.  HCS is exploring how we will measure our customer satisfaction while continuing to monitor the cost effective utilization of trust and grant funds on behalf of taxpayers.

 

Additionally, we contract with nine (9) hospitals, four (4) HCHCP Medical Service Organizations who in turn contract with 2500 specialists and a host of ancillary provider vendors, all providing primary, specialty and ancillary services to HCHCP plan members.  In addition, the Ryan White Program contracts with 13 providers who provide various services for program clients throughout the four respective counties.  The department also works with a subcontracted Third Party Administrator (TPA) that processes claims including appeals.  HCS is exploring how we will measure and analyze our customer relations with this diverse group of professionals while continuing to ensure we monitor their cost effective utilization of funds and provide quality care for those who enroll in HCS client services.
Outcomes

The proposed outcomes for HCS consist of the following:

1. Per Member, Per Month Costs
Promote expansion, as well as efficient and effective access to health care services within Hillsborough County as measured by the Per Member, Per Month (PMPM) costs for the HCHCP.  The PMPM should be less than or equal to $470.  (Social Capital)
2. Customer Satisfaction
Provide a special emphasis on customer service delivery systems that include health education, prevention services, early intervention, disease and case management, and service coordination among agencies to increase customer satisfaction as gauged through standardized surveys and measurements.  Customer satisfaction should be at least a rating of 75%.  (Social Capital)
3. Healthy Living
Motivate and educate various Hillsborough County agency clients to take a proactive responsibility for their health through programing at proposed Healthy Living Centers to be located in various Community Resource Centers throughout the county.  Success will be dependent on University of South Florida (USF) completing its program proposal and presenting to BOCC for approval and adoption, with one center operational by the end of the fiscal year.  (Physical Capital)
4. Information Technology
Establish information technology systems that support effective program and data management, delivery of quality health care services, and fiscal stewardship through increased data collection, analysis, and reporting capabilities.  Completion of all phases of the ACES system and new data warehouse must occur.  (Financial Capital)
5. Payment Models
Review and make recommendations related to structuring the HCS and HCHCP reimbursement model and other incentives in support of the above outcomes through the use of electronic claims processing.  Need at least a 75% provider participation rate.  (Financial Capital)
Strategic Alignment
As identified above, HCS Outcomes align with the County Administrator’s targeted performance indices of Social Capital and Financial Capital.  HCS staff will fully participate in drafting and selecting appropriate performance measures related to their specific areas.  Certification, Ryan White, and call center staff will contribute to Outcomes 1, 2, and 4, while recovery staff will contribute to Outcomes 2, 4, and 5. 

What is the desired outcome for client?

Performance Measure

Physical Capital

Social Capital

Financial Capital

Access to health care for residents at or below the poverty level.

Promote expansion, as well as efficient and effective access to health care services within the County as measured by the Per Member, Per Month (PMPM) costs for the HCHCP.

 

<=$470 PMPM

 

Optimal response and turnaround of client requests and satisfactory coordination of services provided to clients.

Provide a special emphasis on customer service delivery systems that include health education, prevention services, early intervention, disease and case management, and service coordination among agencies to increase customer satisfaction as gauged through standardized surveys and measurements.

 

75% satisfaction on survey scores

 

Motivate and educate various Hillsborough County agency clients to take a proactive responsibility for their health.

Complete programing at proposed Healthy Living Centers to be located in various Community Resource Centers throughout the county.

At least one (1) Healthy Living Center operational

 

 

Provide better information to inform decisions related to services, costs, and future programming.

Establish information technology systems that support effective program and data management, delivery of quality health care services, and fiscal stewardship through increased data collection, analysis, and reporting capabilities.

 

 

Complete all phases of ACES system and new data warehouse.

Quicker and more accurate processing of provider claims and invoices.

Review and make recommendations related to structuring the HCS and HCHCP reimbursement model and other incentives in support of the above outcomes through the use of electronic claims processing.

 

 

75% provider base using electronic claims processing


Operating Environment

The most prominent headlines relating to the department’s operating environment continue to be related to the economy, the Affordable Care Act, and Medicaid expansion.  HCS must continually assess these situations and develop viable options for future operations.  The task is made more difficult by the complexity and system of care approach necessary to address these areas as well as the many partners involved. 

 

Our mandated services, the HCHCP, funding Baker Act transportation for the indigent, the Health Care Responsibility Act, and the Low Income Pool, are among the department’s core responsibilities.

 

Should the county choose to divest itself of non-mandated services, the most responsible course would involve assisting the community to create an infrastructure over a transitional period of time and would likely require some ongoing county financial investment.  State and federal efforts to finance health care reform may have ripple effects on some of our other funding for programs like HCRA, and the Low Income Pool over the next five years.

A. General Health Care Plan Strategies FY16-17 will include:

 

  1. Transform the HCHCP to a plan that will meet the challenges of the future health care environment
    1. Expand Membership through increased education and outreach
      1. Hire an education and outreach consultan
      2. Manager hired for Education and Outreach
    2. Explore expansion of membership services to include Mental Health, Vision and Dental
    3. Expand Network Hospitals to increase access
      1. Moffitt
      2. Memorial Hospital
    4. Increase wraparound mental health services to Homeless
      1. 10 Beds for Jail Diversion in DACCO Project
    5. Participate in IGT Program for FY16
    6. Monitor Medicare Payment Models
    7. Mandatory use of  Patient Assistance Program (PAP)
    8. Pilot Programs for Jail Diversion and Mental Health

Notes:

  1. Please note that Legislation governing Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act continues to be monitored to determine impact on the HCHCP.
  2. Some of these projects are already underway.
  3. Expansions require further Actuary Studies from our new Actuary.
  4. May consider Consultant at some point if required.

 

B. Continued Florida Position (No Medicaid Expansion)

  1. No Change – Status quo
  2. Increased enrollments or expanded covered services (Reviews using Actuary)
    1. Maintain status quo
    2. Mental health programs
    3. Substance abuse
    4. Vision and hearing
    5. Out of area care
    6. Transportation
    7. Expand outreach efforts
      1. Video productions
      2. Financial
      3. Geographic
      4. Clinical
  3. Outreach and Access
    1. Focus on parents with children to expand marketing and access
    2. Add health care navigators
    3. Use churches and other community organizations to get the word out
    4. Refer to exchanges
    5. Define multiple levels of service
  4. Medical Strategies Previously Recommended by the Medical Committee, the Management Committee, and Approved by the Health Care Advisory Board (HCAB)
    1. Require that all new enrollees and re-enrollees see their assigned primary care clinic provider within 60-days of enrollment or re-enrollment date
    2. Enhance the re-enrollment process to ensure members are reviewed at 12 month intervals with the goal of ensuring members participate at least one continuous year in the program without a break in enrollment
    3. Consider the utilization of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) tool, the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), for measuring performance of the HCHCP to assist in decisions to improve the quality of care and services provided to HCS clients

 

C. Medicaid Expansion

  1. Clients will qualify for care with the Medicaid increase to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level  (No partial increase allowed)
  2. Gap Analysis will be required to ensure equivalent services are provided
    1. Add vision, dental, and hearing benefit
    2. Dental is preventative and minor restorative
    3. ER Gap Coverage
    4. Add reproductive health program
    5. Short term bridge funding
  3. Clients will require transition from HCHCP to Medicaid beginning on the date Medicaid Expansion is implemented
  4. Public Hearing will be required within 90-days from the date of implementation to determine what to do with existing Trust Fund and ½ cents sales tax revenue
  5. Determination as to whether the Medicaid Match will actually increase as a result of the transition to ACA will have to be made in coordination with Medicaid
  6. Mandates, if not changed, will still be required and must be funded from the Trust Fund or paid from general funds
  7. Innovative Programs currently funded by the Trust Fund must continue or paid from general funds – or discontinued
  8. HCHCP operations for FY16 are estimated at $118M and claims would have to be paid for up to a year after the program is discontinued
Key Initiatives
Priority Projects
1. Video Productions
Finalize the coordination of digital video productions enhancing outreach to Hillsborough County citizens in need of services provided by the participating county agencies.  Tampa Bay Community Network will continue to provide recording and broadcast services until the end of their contract term.
2. Review Payment Models
Continue to review new payment models and make recommendations for use with the Hillsborough County Health Care Plan in coordination with or in lieu of traditional fee for service approaches.
3. Healthy Living Project
The Healthy Living project is envisioned as a partnership with the Social Services Department, Aging Services Department, various other County departments, and USF Faculty and Students.  The project will reside at all Social Services Community Resource Centers to provide a holistic approach in addressing the well-being of Hillsborough County citizens.  These partnerships will provide a resource to address the financial, physical, emotional, and mental well-being of participating citizens through services provided by the various entities.  Coordination of the effort will take time and require engagement from the management level to front-line staff providing the services.  Contracts with outside providers will need to go through the Requests for Proposal process, which will require working with Procurement Services.
4. Mental Health Pilot Project
As approved by the BOCC, the Mental Health pilot program will establish a partnership with contract providers to better address mental health needs of adults on the HCHCP who are between the ages of 19 and 64 and meet specific criteria.  This program will serve clients who have mental health issues, have at least one or more chronic diseases, have a Body Mass Index of greater than 25, and are high volume users of hospital emergency departments.  The program will also target school-based children age 8 and above who display behavioral health problems.  Child candidates will be identified by behavioral health providers in the schools.  The program will provide the following services:
 
  1. Outpatient services only
  2. Medications covered through the HCHCP Patient Assistance Program only
  3. No additional substance abuse treatment above existing services
  4. USF will provide and monitor evidence based training using the Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH-ADTC)
The Future
As discussed in the Operating Environment section, any legislation on the state or federal level pertaining to the Affordable Care Act can affect the Health Care Services Department and the management of HCHCP, the Health Care Responsibility Act, the Inter-Governmental Transfer program, the Low Income Pool, and the Ryan White Program.  HCS will continue to monitor any proposed legislation and work with the HCAB, the County’s Legislative Affairs Officer, the County Administrator, and the Board of County Commissioners to provide any input, education, and awareness efforts for decision making on behalf of the County.
 
 
Business Plan

Sunshine

Line



FY 2016 & FY 2017
Department Overview

Sunshine Line’s mission is to created community prosperity by providing safe and cost-effective transportation to those who, because of disability, age or income are unable to provide or purchase their own transportation and do not qualify for other local transportation services. Sunshine Line provides access to medical appointments, grocery shopping, social services and other resources for those unable to get there on their own.  Service includes door to door transportation and a bus pass program.  Daily or monthly bus passes are provided to those who are able to use transit service. Door to door transportation, including assistance to and from the vehicle, is provided for users who are unable to use transit service or where fixed route transit service is not available. Sunshine Line vehicles are ADA compliant, wheelchair accessible and designed for mobility and shared ride service.  Drivers also have extensive customer service and passenger assistance training.

Sunshine Line's organizational structure is shown below:

Customers

Sunshine Line’s customers are low-income, disabled, elderly or those classified by the state as transportation disadvantaged who have no other means of transportation. In a larger sense Sunshine Line’s customers are also their family members, medical providers and local agency social workers as they are assisted in providing a network of support and access to resources that they are not able to provide on their own.  Sunshine Line supports dialysis centers, mental health providers, drug treatment programs, and agencies serving persons with disabilities enabling people to receive services who would not otherwise have access due to their lack of transportation.  Hillsborough County Aging Services, Hillsborough Healthcare Program, Social Services, Homeless Services and Veterans Affairs are also customers of Sunshine Line which transports clients to Aging Services sites, transports and provides bus passes for Hillsborough Healthcare clients to get to medical appointments, and provides bus passes or transports Social Services, Homeless Services, and Veterans Affairs’ clients.  Sunshine Line also partners with Hillsborough Health Department supporting its dental program for at-risk children, and participates in the Tampa Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities and the County Alliance for Persons with Disabilities.

 

Service is provided throughout Hillsborough County through a bus pass program where transit service is available and through door to door service where transit service is not available or not appropriate for the user. Sunshine Line operates as a complement to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) service and other local transportation services. Door to door service is provided by Sunshine Line in County vehicles with County drivers when no other transportation is available.

 

In order to look at opportunities to serve customers in a different manner, the Center for Urban Transportation Research conducted a study in 2013 to assess the feasibility of combining this service with that of HART, and concluded that both agencies work effectively together and that there would be no benefit in combining the services or changing the way services are provided.

 

Customer satisfaction is measured annually through an evaluation conducted by the Hillsborough County Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board (TDCB), which includes a client survey designed to measure customer satisfaction. The TDCB, appointed by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, is made up of service users, funding agencies, and members of local service agency stakeholders representing various user groups, such as the elderly and veterans, and serves as an advisory board for Sunshine Line, providing input from the community on a regular basis. Customer satisfaction is also gauged monthly based on service performance measures and an assessment of and response to customer concerns, complaints or compliments.

 

Human services transportation such as Sunshine Line provides is part of a healthy transportation system in any successful community.  Sunshine Line currently provides transportation primarily for medical appointments, Aging Services’ programs, social service appointments and grocery shopping.  The TDCB has identified an unmet need for additional transportation for employment, training and for social or recreational trips, more weekend and evening transportation, for transportation to adjoining counties and for more public transportation.  Meeting this current unmet need would require additional resources in vehicles and drivers. Currently, even HART is at maximum fleet capacity given their existing funding sources.

Outcomes

Service provided by Sunshine Line is integral to the self-sufficiency and prosperity of residents by enabling access to basic resources and services throughout the County. This service is often the missing link between the individual and the community.  Users of Sunshine Line often say such things as “without it, I would not be able to attend the center because I no longer drive”, “If not [for Sunshine Line], I'd have no way to get to my doctors and back”, “without your … service, I would not be able to reach the VA services and because of your services my health is maintained”.  This access fosters the prosperity of the individual and the family by providing a supportive community environment in which they can live successfully. The transportation provided by Sunshine Line is also an essential component in enabling other Hillsborough County programs, such as Aging Service, Social Services, and Hillsborough Healthcare Program, to meet outcome goals for their customers.

 

According to the US Transportation Research Board and the Federal Transit Administration, transportation outcome measures typically include customer satisfaction measures from customer surveys and an analysis of complaints relative to service levels.  Sunshine Line’s advisory board, with representatives of users throughout the community, also places strong emphasis on its customer satisfaction survey as a measure of the success of the program. Thus the percentage of user satisfaction with transportation service provided is used as a primary outcome measure and is measured annually. Several performance measures closely linked to overall customer satisfaction, such as on-time performance, the ratio of complaints to units of service provided, and call hold time for reservations, are also developed by this community advisory board and measured regularly to assess the success of the program.

Sunshine Line will continue all efforts to maintain this high level of customer service. This will require continued replacement of vehicles on a timely basis and on-going staff training. Since transportation is particularly technology dependent for scheduling, communications, dispatch and reporting, this will also require on-going updates to technological equipment, infrastructure and software.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an industry accepted measure of the successful outcome of transportation services and is used to assess whether or not the service has actually met the needs of those who use the service.  Sunshine Line’s goal is a 90% satisfaction rate for clients served as measured by annual customer surveys conducted by the Hillsborough County Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board.  The most recent survey shows a 98% client satisfaction rating.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an industry accepted measure of the successful outcome of transportation services and is used to assess whether or not the service has actually met the needs of those who use the service.  Sunshine Line’s goal is a 90% satisfaction rate for clients served as measured by annual customer surveys conducted by the TDCB.  The most recent survey shows a 98% client satisfaction rating.

2. On-Time Performance

Poor On-Time performance leads to missed appointments for medical and other services and does not meet the needs of the customer, negating the purpose of access to transportation. On-Time performance gauges the reliability and success of transportation service.  Sunshine Line’s goal is 90% of all trips will be on time, as set by the TDCB. This goal is tracked on a regular basis and reported monthly and annually.  During the past year 94.5% of trips were on time.

3. Complaints per 1,000 trips

The number of complaints is a reflection of customer satisfaction and the success of the service.  Customer complaints, including investigation, resulting actions and responses are tracked by Sunshine Line to ensure that all complaints are resolved in a timely manner and that identified service issues are addressed. The goal is no more than 2 complaints per 1,000 trips, as set by the TDCB. During the past year Sunshine Line received .10 complaints per 1,000 trips.

3. Complaints per 1,000 trips

The number of complaints is a reflection of customer satisfaction with service and the success of the service.  Customer complaints, including investigation, resulting actions and responses are tracked by Sunshine Line to ensure that all complaints are resolved and that identified service issues are addressed. The goal is no more than 2 complaints per 1,000 trips, again as set by the Hillsborough County Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board. During the past year Sunshine Line received .10 complaints per 1,000 trips.

Strategic Alignment

Human services transportation like the service provide by Sunshine Line is an important part of any successful community providing a means for those with limited resources or with special needs to get where they need to go.  This is not only better for the individual and their immediate family, but for the larger community as well.

 

The service provided by Sunshine Line enhances the County’s Social Capital by increasing self-sufficiency and access to basic needs for vulnerable populations.  Public Safety is enhanced by providing a safe alternative for those who should not drive and provides for emergency evacuation transportation for the transportation disadvantaged population. Sunshine Line provides Financial Capital in a return on investment by allowing transportation disadvantaged individuals to remain living at home and accessing local resources instead of being institutionalized. The service also increases visibility of this population which can help identify and reduce abuse and neglect thus contributing to enhancing Social and Financial Capital and Public Safety.

 

Sunshine Line staff performance measures emphasize efficient delivery of service, stellar customer service, and standardization of policies and procedures.

Strategic Alignment

The service provided by Sunshine Line enhances the County’s Social Capital by increasing self-sufficiency and access to basic needs for vulnerable populations.  Public Safety is enhanced by providing a safe alternative for those who should not drive and emergency evacuation transportation for the Transportation Disadvantaged population. Sunshine Line provides Financial Capital in a return on investment by allowing transportation disadvantaged individuals to remain living at home and accessing local resources instead of being institutionalized. The service also increases visibility of this population which can help identify and reduce abuse and neglect thus contributing to enhancing Social and Financial Capital and Public Safety.

 

Sunshine Line staff performance measures emphasize efficient delivery of service, stellar customer service, and standardization of policies and procedures.

Operating Environment

Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, operating through the Sunshine Line, is designated by the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged as the Community Transportation Coordinator for Hillsborough County and is responsible for coordinating and ensuring access to transportation for the transportation disadvantaged.  Sunshine Line provides mobility management and works closely with HART and local transportation providers to coordinate the use of local resources, prevent duplication of service and ensure access to transportation to the County’s most vulnerable citizens throughout the entire county. 

 

As a human service transportation agency, where clients are assisted from the door of their home to the door of their destination, and income-based assistance is provided to access local transit service, Sunshine Line is ideally situated within the responsibility of the Chief Human Services Administrator, where it provides linkages to clients and services across departments.

 

Sunshine Line is physically located at the Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center, scheduled for major renovations in the next few years. This will include relocating Sunshine Line either within the building or to another site. In either case this must be done without disrupting daily or future service. Costs, technology and service needs will all need to be considered as this project moves forward. Also during the next few years various service vehicle parking locations may need to change due to planned changes at various County sites, which may require expenses for paving or fencing.

 

After several years of budget reductions and restraints, service that remains would all be considered to be part of the core mission of the program.  Additional funding will be needed to meet the previously identified transportation needs of the community.

 

During the next several years an emphasis will be made to continue replacement of vehicles and technological equipment and software, including in-vehicle mobile data units. In-vehicle units present a particular vulnerability as the technology currently being used is being phased out and must be replaced in order to ensure there is no disruption of service. Planning for this replacement project is currently underway. While some available funding has been identified, additional funding will likely be needed to complete this project. It is also likely that technology updates and innovations will become necessary to provide more on-line client access to request service, pay user fees, link to other agencies or resources, or other uses.  Increased resources for these initiatives and staff training will be necessary to continue to meet service demands and provide a high level of customer service and satisfaction for years to come.

 

A reorganization is needed to accommodate recent County reorganizations and initiatives that changed previous processes requiring additional staff and or job changes.  Additional funding will be needed to meet these needs.

Key Initiatives

In addition to the initiatives listed below, Sunshine Line also regularly participates in cross-organizational projects including providing transportation for special events for Parks, Recreation and Conservation; event and activities for the homeless; Veterans events and various job fairs; assisting with driver training programs with the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF; sharing HART’s training site for new driver bus training; and providing special needs evacuations for the Office of Emergency Management. 

Key Initiatives

In addition to the initiatives listed below, Sunshine Line also regularly participates in cross-organizational projects including providing transportation for special events for Parks, Recreation and Conservation; event and activities for the homeless; Veterans events and various job fairs; assisting with driver training programs with the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF; sharing HART’s training site for new driver bus training; and providing special needs evacuations for the Office of Emergency Management. 

1. Employment Transportation

Improving Hillsborough County residents’ ability to get to job training, look for employment and get to a new job, so that they can become self-sufficient, has become an important initiative for Sunshine Line as part of the overall goal of self-sufficiency for residents.  Previously a Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) grant provided funding for door to door employment transportation for low-income residents. This was an important resource providing unemployed and underemployed residents a means to improve their own lives, while individual employment and self-sufficiency contributes to the economic health of the community. While this funding is no longer available to Sunshine Line, the program has begun providing limited employment transportation to disabled persons who do not have access to HART service. Sunshine Line provides bus passes for job search and employment funded by Hillsborough County Social Services, for their clients.  In addition, Sunshine Line is pursuing additional funding to increase employment transportation.

2. Timely Vehicle Replacement

The quality of service provided by Sunshine Line is directly dependent on the condition and availability of its vehicles. Several years during which vehicles were not replaced has led to an older fleet of vehicles which have more mechanical issues and more time out of service.  This had a negative impact on service due to breakdowns and lack of vehicle availability.  Fleet Services is working with Sunshine Line to get this replacement cycle back on track and has already replaced many vehicles in FY14/15. Continuing this replacement cycle catch-up and regularization of the replacement cycle will be an important initiative for the next few years and will improve service for all of its transportation-dependent riders.

3. Innovation in Technology

Updates will be particularly important for the foreseeable future. In particular, computer workstations in the office, and mobile data equipment which drivers use in vehicles are due to be replaced.  This will not only replace older or obsolete technology but will also enhance functionality of equipment, ultimately giving drivers remote access to County intranet, Oracle and Kronos, which they currently do not have. This will require some initial investment of funds but will result in greater efficiency and capabilities and are in line with County initiatives. 

4. Policies and Procedures

Sunshine Line’s current initiative, emphasized in program and staff goals and performance evaluations, is to review, update, and organize all program policies and procedures to ensure consistency, compliance, and job knowledge across the Department. Staff training will be an important part of this initiative.

1. Employment Transportation

Improving Hillsborough County residents’ ability to get to job training, look for employment and get to a new job, so that they can become self-sufficient, has become an important initiative for Sunshine Line as part of the overall goal of self-sufficiency and prosperity for residents.  Previously a Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) grant provided funding for door to door employment transportation for low-income residents. This was an important resource providing unemployed and underemployed residents a means to improve their own lives and contributing to the economic health of the community through individual employment and self-sufficiency. While this funding is no longer available to Sunshine Line, the program has begun providing limited employment transportation to persons with disabilities who do not have access to HART service. Sunshine Line provides bus passes for job search and employment funded by Hillsborough County Social Services, for their clients.  In addition, Sunshine Line is pursuing additional funding to increase employment transportation.

2. Timely Vehicle Replacement

The quality of service provided by Sunshine Line is directly dependent on the condition and availability of its vehicles. Several years during which vehicles were not replaced has led to an older fleet of vehicles which have more mechanical issues and more time out of service.  This had a negative impact on service due to breakdowns and lack of vehicle availability.  Fleet Services is working with Sunshine Line to get the replacement cycle back on track and has already replaced some vehicles in FY13/14. Continuing this replacement cycle catch-up and regularization of the replacement cycle will be an important initiative for the next few years and will improve service for all of the transportation-dependent riders.

3. Innovation in Technology

Updates will be particularly important for the foreseeable future. In particular, computer workstations in the office, and mobile data equipment which drivers use in vehicles are due to be replaced.  This will not only replace older or obsolete technology but will also enhance functionality of equipment, ultimately giving drivers remote access to County intranet, Oracle and Kronos, which they do not have currently. This will require some initial investment of funds but will result in greater efficiency and capabilities and are in line with County initiatives. 

 

1. Employment Transportation

Improving Hillsborough County residents’ ability to get to job training, look for employment and get to a new job, so that they can become self-sufficient, has become an important initiative for Sunshine Line as part of the overall goal of self-sufficiency for residents.  Previously a Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) grant provided funding for door to door employment transportation for low-income residents. This was an important resource providing unemployed and underemployed residents a means to improve their own lives, while individual employment and self-sufficiency contributes to the economic health of the community. While this funding is no longer available to Sunshine Line, the program has begun providing limited employment transportation to disabled persons who do not have access to HART service. Sunshine Line provides bus passes for job search and employment funded by Hillsborough County Social Services, for their clients.  In addition, Sunshine Line is pursuing additional funding to increase employment transportation.

2. Timely Vehicle Replacement

The quality of service provided by Sunshine Line is directly dependent on the condition and availability of its vehicles. Several years during which vehicles were not replaced has led to an older fleet of vehicles which have more mechanical issues and more time out of service.  This had a negative impact on service due to breakdowns and lack of vehicle availability.  Fleet Services is working with Sunshine Line to get this replacement cycle back on track and has already replaced many vehicles in FY14/15. Continuing this replacement cycle catch-up and regularization of the replacement cycle will be an important initiative for the next few years and will improve service for all of its transportation-dependent riders.

3. Innovation in Technology

Updates will be particularly important for the foreseeable future. In particular, computer workstations in the office, and mobile data equipment which drivers use in vehicles are due to be replaced.  This will not only replace older or obsolete technology but will also enhance functionality of equipment, ultimately giving drivers remote access to County intranet, Oracle and Kronos, which they currently do not have. This will require some initial investment of funds but will result in greater efficiency and capabilities and are in line with County initiatives. 

4. Policies and Procedures

Sunshine Line’s current initiative, emphasized in program and staff goals and performance evaluations, is to review, update, and organize all program policies and procedures to ensure consistency, compliance, and job knowledge across the Department. Staff training will be an important part of this initiative.

1. Employment Transportation

Improving Hillsborough County residents’ ability to get to job training, look for employment and get to a new job, so that they can become self-sufficient, has become an important initiative for Sunshine Line as part of the overall goal of self-sufficiency and prosperity for residents.  Previously a Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) grant provided funding for door to door employment transportation for low-income residents. This was an important resource providing unemployed and underemployed residents a means to improve their own lives and contributing to the economic health of the community through individual employment and self-sufficiency. While this funding is no longer available to Sunshine Line, the program has begun providing limited employment transportation to persons with disabilities who do not have access to HART service. Sunshine Line provides bus passes for job search and employment funded by Hillsborough County Social Services, for their clients.  In addition, Sunshine Line is pursuing additional funding to increase employment transportation.

2. Timely Vehicle Replacement

The quality of service provided by Sunshine Line is directly dependent on the condition and availability of its vehicles. Several years during which vehicles were not replaced has led to an older fleet of vehicles which have more mechanical issues and more time out of service.  This had a negative impact on service due to breakdowns and lack of vehicle availability.  Fleet Services is working with Sunshine Line to get the replacement cycle back on track and has already replaced some vehicles in FY13/14. Continuing this replacement cycle catch-up and regularization of the replacement cycle will be an important initiative for the next few years and will improve service for all of the transportation-dependent riders.

3. Innovation in Technology

Updates will be particularly important for the foreseeable future. In particular, computer workstations in the office, and mobile data equipment which drivers use in vehicles are due to be replaced.  This will not only replace older or obsolete technology but will also enhance functionality of equipment, ultimately giving drivers remote access to County intranet, Oracle and Kronos, which they do not have currently. This will require some initial investment of funds but will result in greater efficiency and capabilities and are in line with County initiatives. 

 

The Future

Any changes in the geographic distribution of housing (low-income and senior housing in particular), employment centers, medical facilities, and social services will always impact how and how much transportation is needed and can be provided, as will any changes in the County’s transportation plan and funding. Sunshine Line will continue to reallocate resources and adjust daily schedules to reflect the changing needs for service throughout the county as other programs, such as Aging Services, relocate or open new facilities.

 

Because service is provided complementary to and in conjunction with local transit service, Sunshine Line is also directly impacted by changes in local transit service, including route and schedule changes, fare increases, and technological improvements.  Sunshine Line hopes to use HART’s proposed new swipe card technology to improve the efficiency of its bus pass program. Although this may require startup funding for software or other initial costs, it should have a viable return on investment through accountability, reduced risk of theft or misuse, and an easier process for customers.

 

Recent budget reductions restricted service to core, higher priority trips, such as medical and social service appointments, grocery trips and Aging Services group site trips.  We look forward to a time in the future when residents without transportation can also take more recreational and social quality of life trips throughout the Hillsborough County community, and when lack of transportation is no longer a barrier to education, training and employment.  Sunshine Line is working to identify and pursue additional funding to provide employment and other identified transportation needs.

 

Sunshine Line will continue to evaluate its core services, the needs of the community and identify the best means of meeting those needs.