Neighborhood Place is not a new program. It is a new way of delivering services. In the 2003 Regular Legislative Session, the Louisiana Legislature directed the Department of Children & Family Services to develop an integrated service delivery system in order to better meet the needs of clients.
In November, 2007 Leaders from the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services, along with community leaders, judges, and legislators visited Louisville to better understand several of Kentucky’s service delivery models related to child welfare. Louisiana leaders were introduced to Louisville’s Neighborhood Places. On April 17, 2008, the first Meeting of the NP Senior State Leadership Group (Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Department of Education, Office of Juvenile Justice and Department of Children & Family Services) met. In May, 2008 a second site visit was made. Three NP sites were visited. State and parish leaders returned from the trip with a goal to involve staff and the community in developing a comprehensive plan to work towards a “seamless” system of service delivery in Louisiana. On July 15, 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal signed Act 775 the NP Legislation into law.
|Sabine Parish Neighborhood Place - North
775 Hammond Street
Zwolle, LA 71486
Phone: (318) 645-2699
|Sabine Parish Neighborhood Place - South
910 West Mississippi Avenue
Many, LA 71449
Phone: (318) 256-4121
|Mahalia Jackson Neighborhood Place
2405 Jackson Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70113
(Open June 1, 2010)
BackgroundBefore Neighborhood Place was created, families who lived in different parts of a parish and needed help had to travel to various locations, to get the services they needed. They drove or took the bus to one building to apply for food stamps, Medicaid, or welfare benefits, another for health needs, one more for emergency financial needs, and still another to get help applying for jobs. None of the agencies formally knew what the other was doing with the families. Families were not routinely asked what they needed, but rather were fit into a program. They were determined eligible or ineligible for services, and were sent on their way.
What makes Neighborhood Place different?Neighborhood Place brings together staff from multiple agencies in one readily accessible location under a single team leader to work respectfully with families in their own neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Place centers will be developed on a shared vision that includes the following:
The size and constellation of services will vary from center to center according to the needs and scope of the existing service network of the neighborhood.
The core services at each Neighborhood Place will include: Truancy Intervention/Student Achievement, Housing Assistance, Child Care Assistance and Referral, Medicaid/LaCHIP, TANF, Food Stamps, LIHEAP, Workforce Development WIC, Nurse Family Partnerships/Early Steps, Prescription Assistance Program and Child Welfare Preventive Services. Providers of these core services will share a commitment to prevention, community education and family self-sufficiency.
What Are the Unique Features? Key features of Neighborhood Place include:
A single intake and assessment process that is driven by the simple goal that no client will be asked to repeat information multiple times. At the time of intake a worker collects all the information that the provider agencies generally need, though later the client may be required to verify or provide additional information.
A common release form, or “Consent to Release Information” form, allows workers to communicate, within the law, regarding the goals, plans, and progress of a client or family and to have the workers, not the client, make the necessary adaptations to facilitate coordination of services. This is particularly beneficial when a crisis occurs, as the client has access to a number of professionals who are in positions to help, rather than waiting until a specific staff person is available.
A team approach is central to Neighborhood Place. Workers select and design ways they can enhance each other’s functions through a team effort. Because communication between service providers occurs up front, workers are able to set priorities with a clear understanding of their colleagues’ activities. The result is a significant reduction of duplication and counter-productivity.
A community focus is what sets Neighborhood Place apart. Neighborhood Place is unique in that it targets the total population of Louisiana. In addition, each center is guided by a Community Council that should be largely made up of past or current clients and people who live or work in the service area.
A new service delivery model, Neighborhood Place, is of greatest benefit to the client. Because agencies are not competing with one another, they are positioned to maximize every resource available to them. In the Kentucky model client satisfaction surveys consistently show that more than 90% of clients would return or recommend Neighborhood Place to a friend. Neighborhood Place’s customer-friendly approach really works.