April 2018 Newsletter

Our mission is to promote professionalism and to facilitate the opportunity to provide training, networking and better communication for all Financial Workers and Case Aides in order to deliver human service programs effectively within Minnesota.

Happy Spring, I think! I am looking forward to warmer weather and enjoying the outdoors without worrying about slipping on the ice. 

The MFWCAA Board and our DHS Liaisons are busy working on this year’s conference. We recently met with staff from Crowne Plaza and addressed many of the concerns brought forth in last year’s survey. We are confident that this year’s conference will be even better.

Our conference theme this year is “Passport to Excellence.” The board and their committees have been diligently working to make this conference a success. We are positive you will not be disappointed.

As always we are open to session suggestions, so contact a board member with your ideas. We had many requests for round table sessions and are working to incorporate them into our session offerings.

Don’t forget that nominations for the Financial Worker/Case Aide of the Year are due June 30th. We all have coworkers that go above and beyond so let’s make sure they are recognized!

If you are interested in joining the board, we currently have two openings – Region 1 and a Case Aide Representative. Please contact any board member for more information.

I hope that warmer weather is on the horizon and you will all have a chance to enjoy it. Feel free to contact me with any ideas, suggestions or questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tara Vander Steen

We drew 10 names for the Early Bird prize. These were members whose dues were paid by 02/28/18. Each winner will receive a $25 Target gift card.

Marie Baron-Kelly, Todd County
Sarah Dahler, Benton County
Lynnelle Freiderich, Douglas County
Chris Donley, Douglas County
Troy Honzay, Renville County
Karen Swyter, Wadena County
Barb Piepenburg, Meeker County
Tammy Henry, Douglas County
Denise Zwart, Fillmore County
Laurann Johnson, Sherburne County

Financial Worker/Case Aide of the Year Award

We are looking for that amazing Financial Worker or Case Aide that goes above and beyond, the one you can always count on. The cream of the crop! The best of the best! It’s time to nominate your favorite Financial Worker or Case Aide for the 2018 FW/CA of the Year Award! Nominating someone is easy. Just complete the nomination form (attached to this newsletter). Include the person’s name, background, and the reason that you feel this person is deserving of this title. Remember this person must be a MFWCAA member. Nominations need to be postmarked by 06/30/18.

The nomination form on our website is currently not working. Please complete the paper form and mail it to our PO Box or email the completed form to Demi Young at demi.young@kcmn.us. Thank you.

Scholarship baskets are very important to our organization. They enable us to offer scholarships to our members and their families. Each year counties have the opportunity to donate a basket at conference. Some counties build a basket based on that year’s theme; others just go with what they like. It’s always fun to see the variety and creativity.

At conference, baskets are set up in the vendor room. Conference attendees are able to purchase tickets on Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday. They then put their ticket in the jar by the basket they like the most and cross their fingers. After the business meeting on Friday morning, the basket raffle is held. Some conference attendees go home with something new (and if you win Carver County’s basket, you have to figure out how to fit it all in your car!), others go home empty-handed but everyone always has a good time.

After conference, the ticket money is deposited in the scholarship account. The number of scholarships available for the next year is based on ticket sales.

In January, scholarship applications are emailed to regions and posted on our website. Completed applications are due by February 28th. The scholarship committee votes on the entries and each winner is awarded $500.

We reviewed the 2018 scholarship applications at our April meeting. The 2018 MFWCAA scholarship recipients will be announced in our July 2018 newsletter.

Thank you to everyone for participating in the MFWCAA Scholarship Program!

Help us welcome Larissa Rasmussen from Des Moines Valley Health & Human Services as our new Region 8 Representative and Karie Vogel from DHS as our new DHS Liaison! We still have vacancies for our Region 1 and Case Aide Representatives. Contact any board member if you are interested!

Hi everyone! My name is Larissa Rasmussen and I am excited to be the new Region 8 Representative. I have been an Eligibility Worker at Des Moines Valley Health & Human Services for 2 years now, working at the agency as an Office Support Specialist prior. Thank you for the opportunity to represent Region 8 on the MFWCAA board!

Karie Vogel is a part of the Instructional Design Training Team at DHS. She is the new DHS Liaison. The DHS Liaison helps the MFWCAA coordinate sessions for conference and provides a monthly board update with new SNAP and cash program information.

Regional Reports

Region 4 had a regional meeting at PrimeWest in Alexandria on April 18th. There were lots of round table discussions. West Central Community Action also presented.

Isanti County is hosting a Region 7 meeting on May 23rd.

Kandiyohi County is hosting a Region 6 meeting on May 18th.

Watonwan County hosted a Region 9 meeting on April 10th. Don Skoy from DHS presented on cash audits. There were also some presentations on SNAP education and stress management.

“Passport to Excellence”

October 24 – 26, 2018
Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN

Here is a TENTATIVE list of sessions that are subject to change:

  • Serving Homeless Families
  • MFIP Refresher
  • Refugees/Immigration
  • SNAP Refresher
  • Housing Support (HS) – Rate 2
  • Fraud
  • Cost Effective Health Insurance
  • Job Burnout
  • MA-EPD
  • Disability Hub MN (formerly the Disability Linkage Line)
  • 1619 A & B
  • Systems Modernization – Integrated Services Business Model
  • Addiction
  • ID Theft
  • Child Care Assistance Program – 2 sessions offered
  • Health Care – 6 sessions offered
  • SNAP Errors
  • MFIP Errors
  • SOLQ

Katie Nelson

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