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IHSS Public Authority Program wins national awards


June 9, 2017

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                                  Riverside County Program Receives 2017 Top Honors

National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award and 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work


Riverside-The National Association of Counties (NACo) has announced the organization’s highest honors have been awarded to Riverside County’s program titled “Ensuring Safety: IHSS Caregiver Back-up System (BUS).”  The entry, from the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), IHSS Public Authority, received a 2017 Achievement Award in May for its innovative, 24-hour, in –home emergency caregiver program.

Upon receiving the 2017 Achievement Award, the program was selected by NACo as a candidate for their Counties Matter Challenge: 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work.  The challenge identified 100 examples of visionary county leadership that resulted in improving residents’ quality of life in the category of Human Services.

“We are extremely proud of this national recognition but more importantly, we are pleased that we have the partnerships in place to offer such an important service that supports seniors and individuals living with a disability to remain safely in their home.”, said Lisa Shiner, DPSS Assistant Director of Adult Services.

The BUS system consists of a complex partnership between an identified pool of in-home caregivers who have agreed to respond to emergency situations on a 24-hour basis, Adult Protective Services (APS), the IHSS Public Authority (PA), and two local health plans: Molina and Inland Empire Health Plan. As emergencies arise the BUS system is activated which triggers a series of activities consisting of: the dispatch of an emergency in-home caregiver to address the immediate need; a coordinated multidisciplinary case review; health plan involvement; assessments and coordination with critical local partners, and the fiscal administration of additional pay incentives for the emergency caregivers.

IHSS customer Kristine Loomis called the BUS program her life-saving safety net. “Those of us living with extreme disability are incredibly vulnerable if something happens to our care providers so having this emergency back-up system helps me to have peace of mind and I hope other counties will consider the importance of implementing such a program,” Loomis said.

In their notice to DPSS, NACo indicated the entry showcased one of the best innovations in county government.

As part of the special recognition, representatives of the Riverside County IHSS Public Authority BUS program have been invited to NACo’s Brilliant Ideas at Work Presidential Initiative Reception on July 22, 2017 in Columbus, OH.

The NACo Achievement Awards Program is a non-competitive awards program which seeks to recognize innovative county government programs. Each year counties are asked to nominate the programs they feel represent innovation and accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Offer new services to county residents, fill gaps in the availability of services, fill gaps in or tap new revenue sources.
  • Improve the administration of an existing county government program.
  • Upgrade the working conditions or level of training for county employees.
  • Enhance the level of citizen participation in, or understanding of, government programs.
  • Provide information that facilitates effective public policy making.
  • Promote intergovernmental cooperation and coordination in addressing shared problems.


Winners of the 2017 Achievement Awards and Counties Matter Challenge: Brilliant Ideas at Work can be found on the NACo website: