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FariCARES coordinator resigns before starting

By Staff | Jul 31, 2016

As the saying goes, never count your chickens before they are hatched.

The FariCARES?Youth Coalition is learning that lesson the hard way after what the members of the coalition understood as a filled position for its much-needed alcohol and other drugs prevention coordinator opened again.

The coalition group met the morning of July 28 to hear from its fiscal host, United Hospital District, that their newly hired coordinator, after just accepting the position, had already declined to work. The reason for the coordinator leaving was deemed “personal concerns.”

Now, the FariCARES?coalition has to go back a few steps and restart the hiring process, which fortunately is already in the works.

“Efforts are already underway, and the position is already posted to our UHD?website, as well as a number of other job-seeking websites,” said chief financial officer at UHD, Patrick Justin.

A few highlights of the job description include providing assistance to the FariCARES?coalition in developing and implementing goals to reduce the underage use of alcohol and other drugs to bring Faribault County below the state average within five years.

The coordinator would be collaborating with community members and groups and engaging community leaders to promote participation in achieving prevention goals, as well.

FariCARES’ hope is that the position is filled before the beginning of the school year.

“I have the utmost faith in our process that we will find the greatest fit for this position,” said Justin.

Other members of the FariCARES? board expressed their hopes that the coordinator position would be filled, and potentially by a member of the Faribault County community.

“If we can find someone who can do this job who lives in our communities, I think that is all the better,” said coalition member Barb Roberts.

“I completely agree,” stated Mary Jo Volkman, who works with the Success Through Adults Reaching Students, or STARS mentoring program. “I know there are many qualified applicants right here in our community.”

Chairwoman Jennifer Crawford of United South Central Schools and KRISMA counseling stated after the resignation of the newly hired coordinator was announced that the purpose of the FariCARES?coalition is for the betterment of the youth in Faribault County.

“We need to, as an entire group, help all of our kiddos in our county, and that includes both school districts, United South Central and Blue Earth Area.”

After members of the board heard there may have been some concern that the USC School District was hosting the coordinator, rather than the BEA School District, Crawford wanted to make one thing clear.

“In 2012, when this group formed, we wanted to provide services to all of Faribault County, the need and the want is very much there, but it did not pan out that way especially in regards to our grant,” said Crawford.

“However, there is still an opportunity for FariCARES?to reapply for another grant specifically for Blue Earth Area, and we are most certainly looking into that as an option, but until then, we are still including BEA” stated Crawford.

FariCARES’ hope is to be able to, with the hire of a new coordinator, connect both school systems when different opportunities to share resources come about.

“We want to connect both of our schools in whatever ways we can, we are constantly brainstorming with groups, and we invite all community members to join us,” she said to the group.

BEA?High School principal Rich Schneider was in attendance at the coalition meeting and shared his input.

“I appreciate your guys’ effort. I don’t ever want this group to go away. Those of you who have been dedicated to this since the beginning and wrote the grant and are implementing this, I appreciate your endurance,” said Schneider.

And with FariCARES’ outreach, they have reached out to help other programs that strive for the same goals.

Two representatives from the Statewide Health Improvement Program, or SHIP, in Fairmont paid a visit to the coalition to talk about the process of grant writing and logistics as the health reform group is working through their own grant. FariCARES?was happy to help Chera Sevik and Elizabeth Durkee of SHIP.

“Absolutely, we need to work together for the benefit of our children and our families’ futures,” said Crawford. “This is what we have put these past four years of work into doing, to make a better future for our community, our entire community.”

The board plans to meet again next month in UHD’s Adolescent Treatment Center in Winnebago on Aug. 25 at 9 a.m.