County Executive Molinaro Highlights County Workers

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro Tuesday continued his ongoing efforts to highlight the various aspects of County government and employee service to residents, answering phones and interacting with local seniors at the Office for the Aging on High Street.

CE_Marc_Molinaro_at_Office_for_the_Aging_06172016The Office for the Aging handles some 150 phone calls a day, assisting seniors with everything from Medicaid and insurance inquiries, to making arrangements for transportation and home-delivered meals or reservations for one of the OFA’s summer picnics throughout the county. The majority of the calls (about 47%) are placed by seniors’ family members and caregivers, while about 35% are placed by seniors themselves, and the remaining 18% by service providers.

Each year, the OFA’s reception staff handles approximately 33,000 phone calls and greets another 3,100 walk-ins.

“Our seniors deserve quality care, whether they call our Office for Aging receptionists, walk into this office or interact with our OFA personnel at events like our summer picnics,” County Executive Molinaro said. “We have a dedicated staff that works tirelessly with one goal in mind: provide our seniors with the best service possible. I’m proud of our Office for the Aging and the men and women who work here. Our seniors can feel confident knowing this office has their best interest in mind and will work their hardest to take care of them.”

Today’s interaction was just the latest for County Executive Molinaro, who has highlighted the service of county employees in several offices in recent weeks. The County Executive fielded nearly a dozen calls, which included reservation calls for tomorrow’s OFA picnic in Pine Plains.

Earlier this month, the County Executive joined staff at the Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS) lobby receptionist desk, helping with inquiries about benefits and eligibility. An average of 450 individuals are served in the DCFS reception each day (except for “Paperwork Day” on Wednesdays, when the number served is approximately 150). In addition to walk-ins, the DCFS switchboard handles approximately 225 calls each day, with a total of 56,035 calls in 2014.

“The employees in our Department of Community and Family Services are committed to helping the county’s most vulnerable residents when they need assistance,” County Executive Molinaro said. “When residents face a hardship, they often look first to these dedicated workers for guidance. Dutchess County and I appreciate the great lengths the DCFS staff goes to each day to ensure every county resident receives the attention and resources he or she needs to be self-sufficient.”

As part of his DCFS work, County Executive Molinaro had the opportunity to join Case Manager Paula Calli and DCFS Commissioner Sabrina Marzouka for a foster care family visit. Case managers visit foster homes on a monthly basis to visit with the children and assess their safety and well-being. The case manager sits with the foster parents and discusses any issues that need to be addressed, answers questions for the foster parents and gets updates with regard to the child/children. The case manager also has the opportunity to visit with the child/children and talk with them one-on-one as well as observe their interaction with the foster parents.

The County Executive met a family who is fostering three children, including two siblings. The couple is currently starting the adoption process for one of the children, a 5-year-old boy.

DCFS currently has 349 children in its foster care program. Of those, 185 children are in foster homes (including relative foster homes). Other children are in group homes or institutions. Foster parents play an essential role in providing temporary, safe, and nurturing homes to children when their parents are unable to care for them. DCFS is always looking for additional people to become foster parents.

County Executive Molinaro said, “The main goal of the foster program is, when possible, to help children reunite with their biological parents following difficult circumstances. While that process unfolds, foster parents play a vital role in nurturing these children – providing them with stability and a sense of ‘normalcy,’ giving them a safe place to call home, which every child deserves. I applaud foster parents for stepping forward and answering the call to serve, and I encourage more people to explore becoming foster parents.”

Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent and providing a stable, loving home to help children in need can contact the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services at (845) 486-3069 or (845) 486-3071, or click here.

Author: Harlem Valley News