Colocation of Services Can Improve the Lives of Indiana’s Children

On August 21, 2013 I had the privilege to attend the Commission on Improving the Status of Children. The different agencies that attended presented what they saw as major issues for children in Indiana. One issue that came up repeatedly was communication between social services agencies in Indiana, and how that lack of communication can create service barriers for Indiana’s youth. This is an issue that I have seen come up before, despite my relatively short time working in social services.
            Lack of communication between agencies can create serious service barriers to consumers. It is something that can affect delivery of services for people of all ages, not just youth. Overall it can have a debilitating effect on the morale of the consumer base that you are trying to serve. It can also interrupt other vital services. My previous practicum experience was working with military veterans coming out of homelessness. The number of appointments that those clients had per day could almost reach double digits. When combined with the fact that many of these agencies are located in different parts of the city and many clients rely on public transport, the situation becomes one of deciding which appointment is the most important, because that is the only one they can make. These were single adults, if you factor in having children who also require services; it becomes practically impossible to reach all of these appointments.
            MCCOY’s advocacy for co-location of services is something that made me excited to be an intern here. A step like co-location, even though it may seem basic, can greatly improve the level and efficiency of service to consumers, which will in turn help improve their quality of life as well. I am looking forward to the opportunities that this practicum will bring.
            You can find more information about MCCOY’s advocacy for colocation of services on their advocacy page here.

Rise Against Bullying Video

Written by: Cindy Muse, Board Member of MCCOY, Inc.
Bullying isn’t just physical….it’s also emotional.  Check out the video on Time For Three’s website or You Tube (Time for Three – Stronger) for a poignant video on overcoming bullying. 

We are Time for Three and this is our story — the story of so many kids who every day face challenges to who they are and who they want to be: their dreams, their ambitions, their identity. This video is for you guys. Be strong. Stick with it. We did, and we are stronger for it.

Early Intervention & Prevention Update

Stewards of Children
In 2013 MCCOY has trained 594 adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse!!  We are so pleased and excited by all of the organizations that have hosted trainings and all of the parents and other community members that have taken time out of their busy lives to put the safety of children first.  We would love for you to join us at an upcoming Stewards of Children training so that you can better protect the children in your lives. 

We only have a few trainings scheduled through the end of the year, so if your organization is interested in hosting a FREE training contact Shanna today!! 

If you need some convincing, consider these facts: 

•    1 in 10 children are sexually abused. This means realities rather than blind trust should influence our choices regarding children’s safety from sexual abuse.

•    It’s likely that you know an abuser. The greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers, but from people we know and trust.

•    More than 80% of sexual abuse incidents happen in isolated, one-one-one situations with a child.

•    People who offend are rarely seen in the act of sexually abusing a child, but they are often seen breaking rules and pressing boundaries.

•    Most child victims never report sexual abuse. 

•    Few reported incidents are false.

To learn more read Darkness to Light’s 5 STEPS TO PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN, contact Shanna Martin at 921-1233, or attend a Stewards of Children training. 

Co-location of Services Center
The Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP) Initiative at MCCOY has been in the planning stages for a Co-location of Services center since 2011.  During the initial planning stages we assessed the need, identified Near West as the neighborhood, and learned about several organizations that were interested in co-locating and integrating their services under one roof with other organizations.  Work in 2013 has focused on building partnerships, creating the new 501(c)(3) to own and operate the building, completing the capital campaign feasibility study process, and initiating the collective impact work. 

Near West Early Intervention Collaborative, Inc.:
Near West Early Intervention Collaborative, Inc is officially its own organization. On May 31, 2013 Articles of Incorporation were filed for this new 501(c)(3) organization that will own the building and manage the partners, programs, and services of the center.

MCCOY continues to work with founding partners: Children’s Bureau, Fairbanks, and Midtown Mental Health, to move the project forward.  These organizations are board members of Near West Early Intervention Collaborative; they assist MCCOY in making decisions about the project, and will provide services once the center is developed. 
Additionally, MCCOY has continued to reach out to other potential resident partners who will provide services from the center.  If your organization is interested in being considered as a resident partner, please take some time to complete the Resident Partner application:

Capital Campaign Feasibility Study:
MCCOY has selected Johnson, Grossnickle, and Associates (JGA) to lead the feasibility study for the capital campaign.  The feasibility study was placed on hold for a short period of time to address some partnership issues with a potential founding partner.  The study has since resumed and is anticipated to be completed by mid-December. 

Collective Impact:
Collective impact is a structured process that leads to a shared vision, common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all partners.  MCCOY is engaging with collective impact consultants John Peirce of Fort Wayne and Patricia Bowie, M.P.H of the Magnolia Place Community Initiative / Magnolia Family Place Center in Los Angeles to create a unique collective impact model for the Near West co-location of services project.  Both John and Patricia will be visiting Indianapolis in September to provide hands-on guidance for successfully creating a collective impact model for the co-location center.  Learn more about the workshop that will be presented and register to attend. 


Efforts are continuing to be made to locate a suitable property for the co-location center. 

2013 Interim Study Committee Update

The Interim Study Committees of the Indiana General Assembly are now in full swing.  MCCOY has been following a few and provided testimony at the Safe Schools Interim Committee hearing on August 29.  The following is a brief summary of the meetings to date:
Commission on Improving the Status of Children
The Commission met for the first time on August 21.  This meeting served as the introductory meeting where each commission member gave an update on the services their agency provides and then provided a list of priorities that they would like to see the commission address, which include:
o   Improve health care policy and access
o   Address gaps in services to children
o   Increase mental health services for children
o   Juvenile justice reform
o   Increase substance abuse treatment for youth
o   Address staff recruitment and retention
o   Increase communication and collaboration among agencies
o   Many other topics were proposed and cover the continuum of prevention and intervention
The Commission’s next meeting is on October 16 and is open to public.  Location to be determined.
Commission on Education
The Commission on Education has held four meetings since June.  The June and July meetings focused on examining the causes for the ISTEP technical issues that arose with testing in May and proposing next steps for how to prevent those issues from occurring in the future.  In August, the committee examined how withholding Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits is used to address truancy and how certain school corporations are dealing with the issue of absenteeism.  The committee also debated whether to establish uniform definitions for excused and unexcused absences and heard testimony on the high performing school designation and how schools that are not considered high performing could be granted a waiver to allow flexibility in innovative solutions to improve their status.  The next meeting is scheduled for September 13.
Committee on Child Care
The Committee on Child Care met for the first time on August 27.  Bureau of Child Care director Melanie Brizzi provided an annual update on child care in the state and the committee also hear reports from the groups representing licensed centers, licensed homes and registered ministries.  The next meeting is scheduled for October 1.
Child Services Oversight Committee
The Child Services Oversight Committee met on July 31 and heard updates and presentations from the Department of Child Services (DCS) and the new DCS Ombudsman Alfreda Singleton-Smith was introduced.  The next meeting is October 23.
Commission on Mental Health and Addiction
The Commission on Mental Health and Addiction met on August 7 and reviewed progress of Children’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Plan and heard testimony regarding Crisis Intervention Teams.  The next meeting is scheduled for September 9.
School Safety Interim Study Committee
The School Safety Interim Study Committee held its first meeting on August 29.  This meeting focused on  issues related to use of School Resource Officers (SROs).  Testimony was provided on the grant funding process for schools, what state agency should certify SROs, and the role of an SRO including the importance of training and clear delineation of purpose in school policies.  MCCOY and its partners provided testimony on the importance of training, use of caution related to criminalizing behaviors, ensuring students’ Miranda rights, issues related to disproportionality in education and juvenile justice, mental health of students and data related to school violence.  The second meeting will be held on September 24 and will focus on issues related to guns in schools.
Central Indiana Transit Study Committee
The Central Indiana Transit Study Committee met on August 8 and received updates on transit in central Indiana and municipal transit issues.  The next meeting will be held on September 10.
For more information about the committees, visit the General Assembly’s website: