Dorinda Edmisten opened the meeting.
There were no proxies needed for this meeting.
Attendees: Dorinda Edmisten, Dr. Karen Worley, Sam Siegel, Candy Garland, Sara Rudolph-Pollard, Sherry Williamson, Laura Robertson, Stasia McDonald, Laura Abbott, Jeff Drew, Elizabeth Pulley, Dr. Rachel Clingenpeel, Dr. Sufna John, Melanie Mata, and Courtney Leach.
Child Welfare: update provided by Sherry Williamson. CW Committee was held in September. At the meeting we welcomed Stasia McDonald as the new Child Welfare Ombudsman and discussed the CANS RFP training and release. Major Drew provided a brief update to the Committee on the new child abuse hotline online reporting option. Committee will have Disability Rights of Arkansas provide an update on issues in Arkansas with behavioral health facilities and children. Next meeting will be January 25, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.
Dorinda Edmisten asked questions in regard to mandated reporter training: How many people have been trained this year? There have been 10,000 mandated reporters that have received training on the ar.mandatedreporter.org. website during the first quarter of SFY2023. We have not received the quarterly training numbers from PBS. Online training will be updated with information about the new online reporting option. Do schools have to sign in when doing the online training and can those who attend be identified? On the PBS provided training the teacher will sign in with teacher license # and DOE would have records of those who have taken the training. Is there notification of schools or teachers that do not take the training? Teachers have to provide proof of mandated reporter training to be licensed and to renew their license. ACT 1236 requires teachers to be trained within 12 months of receiving their license. School districts offer the training every 4th year. 25,000 people did the online ar.mandatedreporter.org training last year in Arkansas and an additional 25,000 completed the PBS online training last state fiscal year.
Sexual Assault Prevention: update provided by Melanie Mata, the new chair of the committee. Things are moving well on the Committee. The protocol flow chart and related training are being reviewed. Addressing how to meet deficit of knowledge brought on by the ever-changing practitioners. Crime Victim’s Reparations Board update was given. There is not enough funding, though Elizabeth Pulley said the Board has received funding from federal funds and the Governor’s office. Sexual Assault Crisis Centers are not being reimbursed for rape exams. Three of the centers are waiting on hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payments. Payments are 12-15 months behind. There are staffing issues with the Board which is adding to the delay. Melanie asked how we could get legislators involved in getting this issue resolved and how could Commissioners help in bringing attention to the matter.
There are confidentiality concerns with the Board and the fact that they have no training on HIPPA laws and laws pertaining to sexual assault victims. It was suggested that UAMS could provide training on HIPPA rules. There was discussion on who from the CRVB Board could come to Commission or Sexual Assault Prevention Committee meeting to answer some questions. Discussion about the difference between the CVRB and the Sexual Assault Reparations Program and how they needed to be handled differently during the review process.
Elizabeth Pulley provided some information on the CRVB Board and that their statutory duties are very broad. The meetings are public. Laura Abbott stated that victims’ rights to privacy do exist in state law. There was discussion about having the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety come to a meeting, but he is brand new and may not have enough working knowledge to be helpful. Suggested that a Board member be invited to a meeting. Dr. Worley said she could talk to Dr. Jan Church who is the Chair of the CVRB. Elizabeth Pulley shared Amanda Yarbrough’s name as an ASP attorney who understands the CVRB and has been very helpful. Sam Siegel also provided some updates. The subcommittee is working on updating educational materials for providers. Next meeting of the Sexual Assault Prevention Committee will be November 16, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
Domestic Violence Prevention: Sara Rudolph-Pollard provided the update. The DV committee meeting was held on October 17th. Provided an update on the committee hosting Neil Webdale of the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative. Commission gathering information on starting a DV Fatality Review Team in Arkansas. Free training can be provided by NDVFRI. SSBG funding has come in and the new RFP will go out in January 2023. The grant is awarded two years at a time.
CANS RFP Update: Sherry Williamson provided an update on the Child Abuse and Neglect RFP release and training. RFP was released on October 14 and deadline is December 16. Commissioners can help by sharing the RFP with agencies and organizations in their communities that could benefit from the grants. Elizabeth Pulley requested that a year-end summary of the funded programs be provided to the Commission. Sherry is available for questions and training if needed. Dr. Sufna John asked if the next version of the RFP application could be shortened so as not to intimidate agencies who may be new at grant writing.
Nominations for Vice-Chair: No nominations were received by deadline set at June meeting. That deadline was August 31st. New deadline will be set at ACCARDV Staff and Executive Committee meeting on October 26, 2022. Deadline and date for special election will be sent out to Commissioners after the meeting. Dorinda encouraged Commissioners to continue to be active on their committees.
Other Business: Dorinda provided a brief update on DFA issues with funding for those receiving VOCA, STOP, and FVPSA funds. There are complaints by grantees that the regulations are changed without warning or input. She will report back when she has more information on the situation and resolutions.
Next Commission meeting in January 18, 2023 at 1:00pm by Zoom. (Hoping that June meeting may be in person.)
Meeting was adjourned.