July 2019 Newsletter

FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Hello Everyone! Summer is finally here! I hope many of you are enjoying vacations, family time, and community celebrations. The month of July is usually an exciting one for your MFWCAA board—we are able to share details about the annual conference offered to members! Last year’s surveys were carefully reviewed to determine the line-up of sessions that will be offered this year.

This year’s 50 Years of Groovin’ conference will be held at the Mankato Civic Center (formerly known as the Verizon Wireless Center) from Wednesday, October 23 to Friday, October 25. There are two hotels available that are adjacent to the Civic Center. Tentative session listing, menu and hotel information is available here. Please note that conference registration forms should be mailed to MFWCAA and you must contact the hotel separately if you need overnight accommodations. Early bird deadline is September 15, 2019.

We are also excited to announce that our website, will be receiving some updates over the next few months. The same information will continue to be available, but may look a little different. We welcome any suggestions for improving the site.

Earlier this year, MFWCAA provided a letter of support regarding legislative proposals to improve calculation of self-employment income, and to include other sources of income (such as withdrawals from business assets used to pay for personal expenses) as countable income. While the proposals did not pass, the legislature did give direction to DHS to work with stakeholders to help resolve the issue. DHS developed a legislative work group to provide recommendations on how to count self-employment income for purposes of determining eligibility and has invited MFWCAA board members to participate. A few of our board members will actively take part in the work group. We invite you to share your ideas for maintaining the integrity of public assistance programs—if you have any suggestions regarding how to count self-employment income, please email or call me at (507) 359-6569.

Please consider renewing your membership for 2019. Membership dues are only $20 for the 2019 calendar year. Supporting MFWCAA enables our organization to provide training opportunities throughout the state, advocacy for program/policy change and coordinate an annual conference for workers and case aides in Minnesota. Please contact your region representative for registration information.

Thank you!
Andrea Nachreiner
President 

SCHOLARSHIP NEWS

Passport to Excellence: Thank you to all those whom accepted the challenge and provided a basket or purchased a raffle ticket or two for our annual scholarship basket raffle. Last year we had a great turn out with 35 baskets and a grand total of $4,059 raised for our scholarship program. Our goal each year is to increase the number of baskets to raffle and to increase our raffle sales in order to issue more scholarships.

Please continue to show your support for the scholarship program by bringing a basket to conference. Prize money will be given out to the top two baskets for sales, the most creative basket to fit our conference theme and a random drawing. Raffle tickets will be available at the MFWCAA vendor table in the vendor area and will be $1.00 per ticket. Drawings for the basket winners will be held immediately following the business meeting on Friday, October 25th. Please note you must be present to win. By popular demand we will also be selling beads for the “Heads or Tails” game. Stop by the MFWCAA vendor table to get more information.

We would like to thank all of you for participating in the scholarship fundraiser. Without your continued support we would not be able to have this wonderful program. We look forward to seeing you and your creative baskets this fall!

Please contact Vice President Jessica Buckentin at jbuckentin@co.carver.mn.us with any questions. 

The MFWCAA board awarded these 10 students with $500 scholarships this year: 

• Amy Hubbard
MFWCAA member: Self, Renville County  

• Ivy Finley
MFWCAA member: Kristy Tibor, Winona County 

• Elise Rasmussen
MFWCAA member: Larissa Rasmussen, DVHHS 

• Rachel Durant
MFWCAA member: LuAnn Durant, White Earth Financial Services 

• Elizabeth Milam
MFWCAA member: Suzanne Milam, LeSueur County 

• Katelyn Tolifson
MFWCAA member: Beth Tolifson, Swift County 

• Hanna Loxtercamp
MFWCAA member: Doris Loxtercamp, Todd County 

• Alexandra Syverson
MFWCAA member: Valerie Syverson, Beltrami County 

• Sarah Tollefson
MFWCAA member: Self, Benton County 

• Jessica Gould
MFWCAA member: Self, Sherburne County

Greetings! My name is Mandora Young and I am the representative for region 11A (Hennepin County) starting June 2019. I was previously on the MFWCAA board back in 2014, which I served one year and had to leave due to a job change. Now I am back on the board and I am looking forward to relearn my role and duties as a MFWCAA board member and representative. I have worked for over twenty years with Hennepin County and fifteen years as a financial worker or for us folks at Hennepin County, Human Services Representative. My knowledge includes programs such as GA, SNAP (for both adult and family populations), MFIP, DWP, Health Care (both adult and family populations), and MNSure/METS. I have been a Mentor for our MNSure team and Onboarding team where we do a lot of trainings for new workers. I am currently on the Quality Improvement Team where I share my knowledge, assist my fellow co-workers, and provide ideas and support to make improvements to the work that we do. I love the work that we do as financial workers because some days, it can be rewarding and other days it can be tough. But overall, the kind of work we do can make a difference in our clients’ lives. 

My name is Ge Her and I am the new Health Care Liaison. I am currently the team lead for a group of wonderful trainers on the DHS Health Care Training team. Prior to my current position, I was a health care trainer at DHS for over 10 years and was previously a financial worker at a county agency. I enjoy meeting and getting to know people from various parts of the great state of Minnesota. I also enjoy traveling with my family to see and try new things in other states and countries. 

Hi! I’m April Hansen and I work in Ramsey County. Thank you for welcoming me onto the board. I have been a financial worker since 2005, and I’ve specialized in Intake for Housing Support and MA LTC for the last 9 years. I am happy to be able to serve as an MFWCAA representative, and I hope I can fill Stacie’s shoes! 

Hi, I’m Benjamin Henry and represent Region 11 with the MFWCAA. I started in Anoka County in 2014 as a families worker and transferred to the Limited English Proficiency unit for the majority of my tenure there. In 2018, I accepted a position with Washington County as a Sr. Eligibility Specialist in adults. I’m a strong supporter of collaboration between counties and the state and want to find the best practices for everyone to be successful. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions or concerns in the region! 

BEING A MEMBER OF THE MFWCAA HAS MANY ADVANTAGES

  • We are recognized by the Minnesota Department of Human Services 
  • Provide a Quarterly Newsletter 
  • Provide staff development and training for Financial Workers and Case Aides 
  • Arrange regional meetings focusing on specific programs and problems 
  • Assist in caseload studies 
  • Help in rewriting program manuals 
  • Express our opinions and views at public hearings 
  • Are involved in developing curriculum for the Financial Worker programs at the Technical Colleges 
  • Are eligible for scholarships 
  • Attend fall conference (great place to network) 
  • Have working relationships with MSSA, the MN Fraud Investigators Association (MFIA), DHS and the Technical Colleges. 
  • Help with defining our job descriptions with the Merit System 

MFWCAA has become a highly respected organization across the State of Minnesota. We are Financial Workers and Case Aides who are committed to professional and personal development. The organization lends a hand to regional trainings and networking. We also help develop curriculum for the Financial Worker programs at several Tech Colleges in the state.

Our collaborative work with other professional organizations keeps us up-to-date with legislative and policy changes and gives us a voice in future changes. By becoming a member, board member, or serving on the Executive Committee, you will have so many opportunities to network, share ideas and learn new skills from other staff throughout Minnesota. Developing working relationships with other Financial Workers and Case Aides across the state is truly the biggest benefit of participation. 

Join us today!

WHAT DO REGION REPS/BOARD MEMBERS DO?

Region Representatives are primarily responsible for promoting membership in MFWCAA within their region, conducting membership drives, hosting regional meetings throughout the year and providing members with updates on legislation, policy and other critical issues that affect our job.

Board meetings, comprised of Region Reps, Board Members and DHS staff, meet once a month in St Cloud. This provides the opportunity for each Region Rep to update others on training and technical assistance, be notified of policy and procedure changes and to coordinate the conference planning. Voting occurs, minutes are taken and bi-laws are followed.

Region Representatives participate in committees that are devoted to preparing and planning for a statewide conference, which is held every fall. Committees focus on keynote speakers, workshop presenters, vendors, logistics and other planning. The annual conference is a great chance to network and attend sessions and workshops that provide exceptional learning opportunities. Representatives are required to attend and assist with the conference every year.

For more information on serving your fellow members of the Minnesota Financial Worker and Case Aide Association as a member of our outstanding board, please contact President Andrea Nachreiner at andrea.nachreiner@co.brown.mn.us

If you have any articles that you would like to have included in a future newsletter, please feel free to email Katie Nelson at: katie.nelson@co.todd.mn.us


Katie Nelson

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