This 14 month capacity-building project was funded by the Colorado Department of Human Services SSUF funds. Colorado WIN Partners teamed up with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council to form a Wellness Council (child care navigator, family navigator, public health nurse, Medicaid, workforce specialist, physician extender, mental health specialist, Part C specialist, and TANF caseworker). The Wellness Council was formed using existing navigation-type positions in Arapahoe County who were likely to be working with TANF-eligible clients. The goals for this council included (1) forming collaborative relationships to provide wrap-around care for TANF eligible families, (2) learning about the needs of TANF eligible families and what services exist in the communities, (3) learning what providers need in order to better serve TANF eligible families, (4) providing a multi-agency entry point for TANF eligible families, (5) providing comprehensive, collaborative services for TANF eligible families by tapping into the Wellness Council, and (6) creating and testing a plan to follow-through on referrals to ensure families are getting the care they need (closing the loop activities).
Over the grant period, the Wellness Council served 39 TANF eligible families who gave permission to have their cases discussed at a joint-agency case staffing. The Wellness Council met monthly to receive training on agencies/services in the community that could help TANF-eligible families, hold multi-agency case staffing, and come up with a close-the-loop referral approach that would work across agencies. The Wellness Council was very successful and continues to meet in Arapahoe County, even with no funding.