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January 4, 2017 at 6:58 pm #209
While working on my plan update, I found a place in the Table of Contents under Section III that says “A list and narrative description of all health and human services agencies and programs, and work force agencies, and contact information derived from a current, comprehensive inventory of such agencies.” So here are my questions…..
1. The last part reads as though there is an inventory like this that already exists; where can I find it?
2. I visited the Texas Dept. of HHS website and there are MANY programs, such as foster care, that may not be relevant to transportation issues. Do we include ALL programs or just those with a transportation aspect?
3. With all the recent changes made to the HHSC and the fact that their website isn’t completely updated (it still refers to DADS & DARS which are changing) how are we to provide the most up-to-date information?
4. I can only assume this information is required in order to complete section IV of the Regional Plan; why is it listed under section III then?
Hope some of you can help me and hope I’m not the only one finding difficulty in this particular section.January 5, 2017 at 9:13 am #210Nancy HoehnParticipant
I have forwarded your inquiry to Steve Wright. I read the same section this week and am perplexed by how we are supposed to accomplish this with any degree of accuracy. There are literally hundreds of these agencies within our service area. I will post once I hear back from Steve.
Nancy HoehnJanuary 5, 2017 at 6:13 pm #211rspforumMember
Rina, thank you for your question. The purpose for gaining this information is to assist region’s in their assessment of gaps and unmet transportation needs of transit-dependent populations, in particular priority population groups including individuals 65 and older, individuals with disabilities, individuals with low incomes and others. One of the primary reasons for having a public transit-human services transportation plan is to help connect people who need transportation services with those with transportation resources. Human services agencies serve the very population groups who we seek to serve and serve as a vital link for people with resources. The regional plan is greatly enhanced and the people of your region are better served by having these agencies identified and engaged in this process. These human/social services agencies can be invaluable in helping to identify gaps and unmet needs as well as identifying viable solutions for bridging these gaps and resolving these unmet needs. This set of activities is listed under Section III of the table of contents because this is generally seen as part of the comprehensive needs assessment, but your region can include this information wherever in your coordinated plan that your stakeholders feel is most appropriate. Your approach to start with the major public agencies such as DADS, DARS, DSHS and so on is a good one. You can start with these and then expand from there. Regions have approached gaining this information in various ways such as sending questionnaires to human services agencies or meeting face to face for personal interviews. At this point, lead agencies should have established relationships or contacts with many of the human/social services agencies in their respective regions. Of course, these agencies have staff turnover so contacts may have changed since your agency was in communication with some of these, so you may have to make some phone calls to connect with the right people. You might not connect with every single human services agency in your region, but you should make a good faith effort. Remember, the intent is not for this to be a meaningless exercise, but to gain highly valuable information on gaps and unmet needs of the various priority population groups. Once again, these human services and social services agencies are often the vital link for identifying and addressing gaps and unmet transportation needs of the very groups of individuals whom we seek to serve with the public transit-human services transportation plans. Establishing and maintaining relationships with these agencies will serve your region well in the future. Thanks again for your question. (Steve Wright)January 9, 2017 at 3:23 pm #212
Thank you for your response; I feel more explanation needs to be provided.
Throughout the process of completing a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA), I was in contact with many of these organizations who are also part of the RCTP committee. These agencies have been active and engaged in the Regional Planning process for quite some time now. My questions were more about specific programs. For instance, I have a committee member who works for the Texas Department of State Health Services but don’t have the direct contact for someone in Birth/Death Records, Health Data Compilation, or Chronic & Infections Disease programs. Is it expected to have ALL contacts for programs provided?
Also, you mentioned that this was listed in item III due to the CNA. However, this was not a required element of the CNA in the workplan so it was not completed at that time. I do have a contact list of all RCTP committee members which includes many of these organizations.
I’m not trying to be arduous, I just want to make sure I provide TxDOT with all the required elements of this plan.January 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm #213rspforumMember
Thank you for your follow-up questions.
1. Regions should use their best judgment and reason in determining which health/human services/social services programs to include. Again, the purpose for gaining this information is to assist region’s in assessing gaps and unmet transportation needs of transit-dependent populations who are often served by these programs. Regions can then use this information to develop strategies to help connect people with a transportation need with agencies/organizations with transportation resources. With this in mind, regions should make a good faith effort to include relevant programs that serve transit-dependent populations (in particular, individuals with disabilities, people 65 and older, persons with low incomes and so on) so that your plan can take into account and plan for the transportation needs of people served by these health/human services/social services programs. If a region makes reasonable, good-faith efforts to coordinate with and get information concerning these programs, but is unsuccessful, then document these attempts and move on. If you think that a particular program might not be relevant, then your region can assess and make the determination to not include that program. As a possible example — we are not familiar with the “Health Data Compilation” program that you mentioned, but if this program is simply an administrative program that deals with compiling data bases, but has nothing to do with the provision of health services to people who need transportation, then this program may have no relevance and your region may determine to not include this program. Again, the purpose is to gain information that will help you to develop the best plan for bridging gaps and fulfilling unmet transportation needs of the people in your region, in particular those who are most dependent on public transportation. Keeping this in mind should help as you determine which health/human services/social services agencies are relevant.
2. The Table of Contents (TOC) was attached to each regional planning project grant agreement in FY 2016 and FY 2017 and there was a reference in each workplan stating that every plan must include the information called for in the attached TOC.
3. Also, your earlier note asked whether their are existing inventories of health and human services agencies and I think we inadvertently did not address this question in our initial response to you. The response is that each planning region should have its own unique inventory from 2011 when the last 5-year plan was developed.
We hope this helps. Thanks again for your questions. (Steve Wright)January 11, 2017 at 8:46 am #214
Thank you Steve. Yes that makes more sense than gathering information for ALL programs as stated in the Table of Contents.
Unfortunately, when I completed the Comprehensive Needs Assessment, I went by the workplan and did not refer back to the table of contents. The workplan does mention the table of contents that should be included in the final regional plan. I will continue working on the plan and will include the list of agencies requested.
Thanks again and I hope the information found in this topic will be able to assist others.
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