2015 Employee Recognition Awards - Human Services


GOLD - Shared by members of the Family Stabilization Unit, Human Services Department - Family and Children’s Services

Left to Right:
Jim Narragon
Sarah Mason-Sheely
Leticia Arteaga
Victoria Regan
Maria Sanchez Nolazco
Barri Dommer

Not Pictured:
Vivian Fenner-Evans

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The Family Stabilization Unit is responsible for working with high-risk individuals and the most vulnerable CalWORKs families to help remove barriers to employment. The obstacles to employment include homelessness, mental illness, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, learning disabilities, physical illness, and legal issues. The Family Stabilization Unit’s social worker caseloads are equal to or above the major metropolitan counties including Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and San Francisco. Finding affordable housing is a major issue for families. The Family Stabilization Unit works diligently in finding housing for their clients including utilizing every resource to place families, piece together funding sources, and work with landlords to educate and expand the available units. The Family Stabilization Unit goes above and beyond for their clients to ensure a successful outcome and it is fitting to recognize the work of each member of the team.


SILVER - Shared by members of the Benefit Representative Training Team, HSD - Staff Development

Left to Right:
Andrew Stewart
Brittany Smith
Michael Rosales
Celina Orejel
Taylor Shellen

Not pictured:
Sean McAdam

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After the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Benefit Representative Training Academy team trained new Benefit Representatives. These representatives are trained to provide eligibility services for expanded Medi-Cal and expanded access to CalFresh, California’s nutritional assistance program. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Human Services Department experienced a 57% increase in hiring for new Benefit Representative’s to meet the need for the communities health and nutritional needs. The Benefit Representative Training Team meets challenges with flexibility and willingness to meet the need of open enrollment, horizontal integration, and Covered California application processing. With several moving targets in both policy and technology, the Benefit Representative Team has gone above and beyond to stay ahead of the constant change. This team ensures that eligibility professionals are available to provide the highest level of customer service in Santa Cruz County. Thank you for the commitment, flexibility and hard work on behalf of Santa Cruz County.

BRONZE- Margarita Gonzalez, Human Services Department

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As a Benefits Representative Supervisor, Margarita also known as Maggie, has demonstrated flexible support and understanding, while upholding the mission of the department. Maggie has created a level of morale within the department that employees admire. Maggie has earned the trust and confidence of the unit she supervises, thus improving the quantity and quality of the work done by her unit. Maggie ensures her trainees have all information needed to be successful in their new positions. She has an open door policy with her employees and makes them feel welcome to ask questions and to receive sound advice. Maggie is a great leader who supports her employees in all aspects of their work and they are grateful to have such a knowledgeable supervisor. Maggie’s expertise and grace are a huge asset to the Human Services Department and to the entire Santa Cruz County community which is why she is deserving of this award.