Message from the Director: Management Reorganization

Submitted by Clay Butcher on May 9, 2003 - 9:53am

Greetings to all DPA staff.

I am happy to note that we have made real progress on the integration of childcare services, formerly with the Department of Education and Early Development, into DPA. The need to organize this large working unit, with it's policy staff,contracts administrators, budget staff and licensing personnel into our structure was a big task.

To do a good job, we found that this task required re-evaluation of the existing DPA organizational structure. Your managers drew draft plans for efficient reorganization which were worked into the new organizational chart. In the process, we created some additional working units that did not exist previously. We expect that these units will be staffed with our current staff.

Foreign Language Brochures Available

Submitted by Clay Butcher on May 9, 2003 - 8:52am

The Food and Nutritional Services office (FNS - Food Stamps) has several foreign language brochures available on their web-site that cover topics such as "Questions and Answers about Getting and Using Food Stamps", "Immigrant Eligibility Questions and Answers" and a "Fact Sheet on Eligibility" just to name a few. Obviously not all languages are represented however some of these may prove helpful for you as you work with Food Stamp clients that do not speak English as their primary language. Additionally, brochures with income and allotment information will not reflect Alaska standards. You can find these brochures at:

More States Cut Aid for Child Care

Submitted by Clay Butcher on May 5, 2003 - 10:43am

Nearly half the states have reduced child-care subsidies for poor families during the past two years, according to a federal study to be released today, which shows that states' fiscal problems have prompted state agencies to restrict eligibility, stop accepting new families or charge them more for the care.

This Month's DPAstars

Submitted by Clay Butcher on May 2, 2003 - 9:55am

Our first star is highly respected and very dear to her co-workers. She is described as someone who has a uncanny knack for inspiring, supporting, and encouraging others. Professional, compassionate, friendly, easy-going, effective, up-beat, knowledgeable, positive, and diplomatic are just a few of the words her co-workers used to describe her. Known for her unusual taste in food - this star has a sweet tooth for such delicacies as frozen whip cream and any type of vegetable, especially green beans. She is originally from Iowa and enjoys running, ice fishing, cooking, making smoothies, and plants. Can you guess who this star is?

Exempt Native Village Changes

Submitted by Anonymous on April 30, 2003 - 3:17pm

This message is to let you know of changes to the time-limit exemption status for a number of Native communities. These changes are being made based on the 2000 census data, and are effective May 1, 2003. These changes affect communities in the Southeast, Northern, and Coastal regions; there are no affected communities in the Central region.

AK Journal of Commerce Interview with Commissioner Gilbertson

Submitted by Clay Butcher on April 29, 2003 - 10:24am

New state Health and Social Services Commissioner Joel Gilbertson has his work cut out for him. Gilbertson, 30, was chosen by Gov. Frank Murkowski to run, in terms of dollars managed, one of the state's biggest agencies. Within the Department of Health and Social Service's $553 million annual budget of state funds, Medicaid, at $225 million next year, is the 800-pound gorilla. Including federal funds, the department's overall budget is $1.7 billion.

Marcia Kennai, MSW, New Dep. Commissioner of Children

Submitted by Clay Butcher on April 25, 2003 - 9:43am

Recognized expert in child welfare issues, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), federal child & family services reviews.

Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced today the appointment of Marcia Kennai as Deputy Commissioner of Health & Social Services. Ms. Kennai will head the new Office of Children's Services announced last month as part of a major reorganization of the Dept. of Health & Social Services.

Director's Message - Spring Brings Opportunities for our Clients

Submitted by Clay Butcher on April 23, 2003 - 10:25am

Spring greetings to everyone from the Director's office. Brace yourselves. The recent weather map shows a statewide thaw that heralds the coming of spring activity. Even Barrow was a balmy 12 degrees yesterday. This means, of course, increased activity at our offices, as folks migrating into Alaska seek program assistance and others step up their job search efforts in anticipation of summer employment. Spring and summer always present our greatest opportunity to help our fellow Alaskans find self-sufficiency and self-esteem though employment.

New DPA Program Information Section Online

Submitted by Clay Butcher on April 18, 2003 - 3:13pm

There's new information available on DPAweb - a link on the Policy & Program Development page under "resources" called "DPA Program Information" which takes you to such interesting items as the "60-month Time Limit and Extension Frequently Asked Questions", "Outcomes for Families Reaching the 60-month Limit" and "When is an Overpayment Claim Required".