Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Update

On March 31, 2016, Daphne Kelker, Contracts Administrator of Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services testified in front of Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services & Aging Committee. The testimony surrounded the approval of several contracts.  One was a master contract for agencies to support the Cuyahoga County Tapestry System of Care program. The mission of the Tapestry program is “to enhance the lives of children with significant behavioral needs, who are involved in multiple systems, through family-focused, child-centered, strength-based, and culturally competent care in the community.” It was built on a 2003 grant from the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Tapestry Contract was originally with 8 agencies; four mental health agencies and four community organizations also known as Collaboratives. [1]

1. Catholic Charities Community Services Corporation dba St. Martin de Porres Family Center-$1,244,830.20
2. East End Neighborhood House-$1,315,749.08
3. University Settlement, Inc.-$178,943.45
4. West Side Community House-$1,575,632.62
5. Applewood Centers, Inc.-$1,461,787.77
6. Beech Brook-$2,366,762.92
7. Catholic Charities Services Corporation-$2,656,388.75
8. The Cleveland Christian Home-$1,556,720.40

This year Cuyahoga County proposed to reduce the number of contracts to six mental health agencies. This was done in order to maximize Medicaid reimbursement. The community organizations who previously had separate contracts with the county, to provide the community advocacy component, will now only be engaged if contracted as a subcontractor by one of the mental health agencies.

The Master contract will run for three years from March 2016 until December 2018.

The six agencies are:

1. Applewood Centers ($600,490.44)
2. Beech Brook ($1,389,705.42)
3. Bellfaire Jewish Children Bureau ($343,137.72)
4. Catholic Charities Corporation ($2,230,390.95)
5. Ohio GuideStone ($514,706.22)
6. Pressley Ridge ($171,569.25)

The Committee also discussed an allocation of $450,000 that has been historically a part of the Tapestry Contract, an allowance given to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) for evaluation and monitoring of the services provided by the agencies involved in the Tapestry Contract. According to the Cuyahoga Tapestry System of Care website, CWRU collects and analyzes data in four outcome goals “improved family and youth functioning, reduced recidivism in juvenile justice, reduced recidivism in child welfare and increased efficiency and effectiveness.” Additionally, Case provides quarterly improvement reports and an annual report on the program.[2]

Ms. Kelker and Mr. Thomas Pristow (Director, Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services), said that, in the future, they would like to bring the evaluation of the execution of the Tapestry contract “in-house” and have it be supervised by existing County employees.  Council had several questions around that idea, as they were not sure how much money that would save the County, what the impact of workload would be on existing County employees, as well as what level of expertise would the County be losing as a result of the institutional knowledge that CWRU has accumulated through their previous evaluation experience with Cuyahoga County.

[1] Source: Cuyahoga County