From DHW Director Jeppesen: We remain focused on our mission to serve Idahoans. You can track our progress in our Strategic Plan and Performance Reports.

Although COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the past five months, it hasn’t changed the need to serve Idaho’s most vulnerable residents. We want all Idahoans to be able to live their best lives.

The impact we have on those we serve is often immeasurable. We work with struggling families to make sure they have a safe place to raise their children. We assist people in crisis – whether it is a physical or behavioral health crisis. We also help people who need public assistance, while always keeping the path to self-reliance in our sight.

We are focused on our mission: Dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans, and we keep track of our progress through our Strategic Plan. Our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan outlines our strategies to:

  • Address state and community issues (e.g. affordable, available healthcare)
  • Focus on public health issues and responses (e.g. COVID-19)
  • Protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults (e.g. reunification of families and behavioral health services)
  • Help Idahoans become as healthy and self-sufficient as possible (e.g. reduce Idaho’s suicide rates)
  • Strengthen the public’s trust in confidence in DHW (e.g. prevent accumulation of ineffective, outdated regulations)

We invite you to review our Strategic Plan and Performance Reports. As we continue with our plan, we will be able to show a positive influence on Idaho’s health and human services system.

Childcare Grants Reminder

DHW opened applications for the second round of emergency childcare grants to all licensed childcare providers on August 3. As of August 11, DHW had received a total of 248 applications from childcare providers. 

The first round of funding will be distributed this week. For those childcare providers who apply and are approved in August, they will receive the August monthly payment. The monthly amounts distributed (as outlined below) are based on facility size.

Phase II Idaho Child Care Emergency Grant
Large centers (Licensed capacity of 25+ children)$5,000
Small centers (Licensed capacity of 13-24 children)$2,500
248Licensed group homes (7-12 children)$1,000
Family childcare homes (Up to 6 children)   $500

For more information, please visit: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Children/ChildCareAssistance/tabid/292/Default.aspx

P-EBT Update

As I outlined in my blog last week, the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program provides eligible families with a one-time payment for each child who received free or reduced-price meals at in the last school year.

Working with the Department of Education, DHW was able to confirm eligibility of families.  Idaho’s application for the P-EBT program has been submitted and approved. We will now begin to distribute payments to those families on the list we received from the school districts. Additionally, private schools can “opt in” by sending DHW information about the children served.  

In Idaho, there are about 127,000 children in the public school districts who will receive this benefit for a total issuance of about $300 per child. Approximately $38 million in total funds will be distributed to low-income families.

Have a safe and healthy weekend, and #MaskUpIdaho.

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