DPSS News July 2020


S elf Sufficiency workers regularly go the extra mile to connect clients to the resources and support they need; and nothing, not even a coronavirus pandemic, will stand in their way of lending a helping hand when called upon. “This what our county badge is for—to serve the public,” said Anna Sifuentes, support supervisor in the Cathedral City office. In addition to processing tens of thousands of new applications for benefits over the past four months, members of the Self-Sufficiency team are helping get the word out about Great Plates Delivered, a statewide meal delivery service designed to keep older adults safe and healthy at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The Riverside County Office on Aging administers Great Plates in collaboration with dozens of partners and local eateries. Since its launch in late April, the Great Plates program has served 75,516 meals countywide. “This was a great opportunity to help reach people who qualify and who might not have been aware of this program,” said Kasey Rogers, supervisor program specialist. “The challenge was letting eligible customers without online or social media access know the program is available. Self-Sufficiency teams helped identify thousands of eligible clients 60 and older. Flyers were printed. Frontline workers stuffed almost 5,600. Sifuente’s team of three in Cathedral City printed, stuffed and mailed flyers to hundreds of eligible seniors. “We made the time to get it done right away so that those who needed the assistance could benefit from the program as soon as possible,” Sifuente says. “It’s what we do.”

Employees at the Fieldhouse Restaurant and Bar at the SilverLakes Sports Complex in Norco prepare meals for the Great Plates Delivered program. Courtesy of Fieldhouse in Norco.

Countywide, ‘Great Plates’ has delivered meals to 2,906 older adults and 51 local restaurants have participated. Although the statewide program was set to sunset on July 10, it will continue locally until August 10. Since the program launched, 76,516 meals have been served.

Parent partner programs are also beneficial to mentors like De Leon because they provide career opportunities that help lead others to change in themselves and their families. Peer-to-peer support is also designed to help the social workers who are managing their cases by connecting parents with resources and giving a warm hand off to the service providers when those first steps can be intimidating. In addition, parent partners have the flexibility to spend more one-on-one time with clients. Meetings can last from 30 minutes to two hours. They check in regularly to make sure their parents have the information and resources they need to complete their court-mandated programs, such as substance abuse treatment, counseling services, health care, parenting classes, housing or rental assistance. “We are always expecting for parents to reunify with children,” De Leon added. “Sometimes it may take longer than we might expect but we are there every step of the way to make sure that progress is being made.” MEET A DAD HELPING OTHER DADS IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4)

10 Ways to be a Better Dad:

1. Respect your children’s mother 2. Spend time with your children 3. Listen first, talk second 4. Discipline with love 5. Be a role model 6. Be a teacher 7. Eat together as a family 8. Read to your children 9. Show affection 10.Realize a father’s job is never done



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