First Step/Step Ahead Council's Annual Retreat was held Friday at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. Dr. Kathy Ocampo, director of Hamilton Center, organized this year's retreat to give council members a chance to learn about new programs coming to Clay County "to power and sustain our families."
Jerry Laue, chairman of the Clay County Health Initiative Coalition, a group interested in health care issues, spoke with the council about the gaps in health care and what the agencies involved in First Step/Step Ahead can do to fill those gaps. They discussed the county's current status and did some "brainstorming," says Ocampo, about improving in this area.
Michelle Moreno and Chris Cook, representatives of the Technical Assistance Center, introduced the council to the Wraparound system, a new program in Clay County that Ocampo hopes will help get families off of assistance programs and become more "self-sufficient." Because the county has no prior experience with Wraparound, Moreno and Cook made an effort to let the council know "what to look forward to" and "what to expect."
Ocampo explained that the council meets once a year at the church to bring all the county's "agencies that work with families together" once a year to try to "coordinate services together." Hamilton Center recently applied for and received a 2-year grant that is being used to develop a "system of care," which includes the Wraparound program, in Clay County. The grant was effective Oct. 1.