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Summer 2019 Newsletter - Expanded Issue!

What a busy summer it has been! We hope you and those you are supporting have been having a very memorable, fun, safe time and that you all enjoy the last few weeks before school resumes. This expanded newsletter is jam packed with a ton of great stories on 4 our staff who will inspire you, important announcements, and info on upcoming training opportunities. 

* NOW ON INSTAGRAM! Follow us! 

* NOW HIRING! We are creating a new position, Family Support Assistant. The full-time position will work in our Camarillo office to provide general support to our Family Services team, cover caseloads when they are out of the office, perform outreach to families to encourage them to use their Respite, scan files, and perform other essential support tasks. The position is only being posted internally as a growth position. Interested applicants must be able to start by Sept. 9th, have a bachelor's degree in a related field and at least two years experience working for CISS helping children or adults with developmental disabilities, OR a minimum of four years of caregiving experience at CISS. Bilingual applicants are preferred. If interested, please forward your letter of interest and qualifications by reply email to 

* Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training - coming soon! If you have not already heard, there is a new state law in effect which requires all staff to undergo one hour of paid sexual harassment prevention training by January 1, 2020 and then every 2 years after that. We will be offering online training for all staff that will roll out in the next few months. We are asking all staff to complete the training module before Thanksgiving as the holidays get very busy. You will be contacted by the office with more details soon.
Annual CISS Family Picnic Fun!
On June 2nd, we hosted our annual family picnic for our Regional Center families and the Disney theme had everyone feeling like kids again. The Mariachis were incredible, the huge robots and DJ music had everyone entertained, and it was so great to see families relaxed and connecting.

View some photos from the event 

Thank you all for the incredible support you have provided all summer to our families! Good luck to everyone as you return to school 😄

Sharon M. Francis
Co-Founder and CEO

Our 2nd Caregiver Internship Program (CIP) starts this September. If you know anyone who is interested in gaining training and experience directly supporting individuals with disabilities, tell them to apply. This paid internship is for people with little to no experience in this field who are interested in becoming Respite Caregivers for CISS.

Criteria for CIP: Must be 18+, able to drive, pass our background check, have a flexible and open schedule from Sept - Nov., and have an open heart & mind!

Please contact John T. Francis, MSW at by 8/16/19 to be considered.

Have room in your schedule and your heart to help another family?

We update our Recruitment Board every few weeks to show a sample of those families currently needing respite support.

You can always find the latest info on the Staff page of our website. Click the image above updated 8/6/2019 and call the office for more info today!

😃 $50 referral bonus for referring someone we hire who work for us at least 3 months. Please talk to your friends, family and co-workers!!


Date: Wed. 8/28, 6pm-8pm
Dinner served at 5:30pm for those who register. Seating limited to 40.

Topic: Caring for Someone with Epilepsy and Seizures
Speakers will provide an overview of general care needs for individuals who experience various types of seizures and/or have a diagnosis of Epilepsy. Hear insight from a parent and support group facilitator, Ana Barranco, from Rainbow Connection.

Click the image above to RSVP. 

❤️ Meet Jodi - Caring is her Mission 

On July 12th, Jodi N. left for Uganda, in East Africa. "I'm doing a volunteer internship at God Cares Schools in Kampala for at least six months through Buyamba Uganda. I will be tutoring English, teaching violin, and assisting staff members. This will be my fifth time traveling to Uganda; it has become my second home.I have been working with Channel Islands Social Services since 2015.

Supporting foster families and special needs families through CISS has allowed me to have many experiences which have helped me to grow both personally and professionally. The training I have received through CISS has helped me to better care for children here in California and abroad.
My experiences working with foster and special needs children have changed me in many ways, and deepened my desire to care for and advocate for children in Uganda. I am so thankful for the flexibility that CISS provides, so I can pursue opportunities to serve in different areas that broadens my worldview and allows me to learn new things. 

I highly recommend volunteering with Buyamba Uganda; they are located in Westlake Village and take teams to Uganda twice a year. Being a Respite Caregiver with Channel Islands Social Services is such a privilege and I look forward to working with the families again upon my return."

With gratitude for all you do!

* May: Paolina B, William E, Mary M, and Rosario T.
* June: Ammie A, Kayla H, Nicolette H, and Gabriella S.
* July: Mark C, Jacob E, Anchana K, and Elvanidia R.

💙 Meet Danielle in Family Services
Danielle Gallo is one of our Family Support Specialists for the East County area. She is an essential member of our Admin team and can always be counted on to spread joy and uplift those who speak with her.

"These past 5 years have gone by incredibly fast at CISS and I’ve been BLESSED to be a part of such an amazing company, administrative team and wonderful group of caregivers. It’s been an enjoyable journey to help so many families. Great relationships with families have been built whether it be through laughter or tears, recruiting, referring, overages calls or quality assurance checks, following up on concerns, hearing positive feedback, calling on new authorizations/exceptions, and reaching out to parents who receive our services.
Being able to match a caregiver with a family has been more than rewarding. In my position, I love getting out in the community and meeting our families. Creating more of a personal relationship with the individual and their parents is fulfilling. Having a family put their trust in me and the caregiver(s) being referred is something that keeps pushing me to give it my all. Providing parents with a break so that they can keep their relationship solid, have some me-time, go back to school, run errands, breathe, take a nap or just have some peace of mind is our goal! It’s great knowing that each caregiver being referred is making a difference in each individual's life - whether it be by making the individual smile, taking them out in the community, and or just creating a positive, fun and interactive environment. 
Each caregiver I have met, interviewed and referred has positively impacted whether it be from hearing their experiences, seeing their talents, better knowing their heart, and hearing of their achievements. To every one of our Respite Caregivers - your support to our families is more than appreciated and it’s been admiring to see the difference we can all make as a team!
And I absolutely love my department (Family Services)! Being able to be surrounded by such an amazing group of women, who completely balance each other in our experiences and personalities has created an inspiring and motivating work environment. There is unconditional love between each of us and we all have a heart for what we do. Thank God for them and being able to be a part of this amazing company everyday!"
Celebrating 10 Years! (June - Aug)
Masha U., Donna W., Christina C., Jaclyn H., Janecy H.

Celebrating 5 Years! (June - Aug)
Candice M., Megan M., Irina M., Chung L., Sherylyn A., Camille C., Cruz B., Elisabeth M., Maria G., Erika C., Erika D., Emma B., JoAnn R., Christine P, Cynthia D, Holly S, Richard K, Jeffery S, Kaitlyn C,
and Danielle Gallo (Family Support Specialist)!

We are so grateful for all you do to support our families!
💙 Meet Maria R. - A Decade of Respite
We are so grateful for relative caregivers like Maria who give of their time and energy to strengthen their families.

"I have been blessed to work for Channel Islands Social Services (CISS) for the last 10 years. I take care of my 15-year-old niece and have learned to understand Emily with her Autism. With time, I have learned to be patient and understanding and have a lot of fun doing different activities together such as coloring, jumping on the trampoline, and looking at family pictures. Emily is a beautiful young girl with a strong spirit and she is full of energy. She loves to color, listen to music, dance and her favorite foods are pizza and tacos.
With the opportunities that CISS gives to caregivers, we help free up time for families like my sister and her husband to do some of their own personal activities like going out to dinner, the movies, and spending time with their friends and family. Caring for a loved one is the most beautiful reward that life can give us. Thank you CISS!
I am also proud to share that I work for Community Action of Ventura County (CAVC), a nonprofit organization as a Utility Assistance Manager in our Home Energy Assistance program (HEAP). We help eligible households with their Gas, Electric or Propane bill one time per calendar year anywhere in Ventura County. CAVC also provides other services such as: Utility assistance, Home weatherization, food assistance, homeless services, community workshops and bike repair. You can visit our website at or call 805-436-4000 for more information."
(Photo courtesy of CAVC)
In May, we were graced with the son & mother team of Diego and Edlyn Peña and Respite Caregiver Robin M. The seminar was entitled "From 'Non-speaking' to Author - a Family's Journey to Help Their Child Find His Voice." Staff in attendance heard Diego, age 11, discuss his personal experiences growing up mainstreamed and communicating via a letterboard. In 2018 he wrote and published his first book! His mom and CISS Respite Caregiver shared their experiences and some tips for others on how to support someone who types to communicate.

June's Training focused on the Basics of Crisis Intervention Principles and in July we featured strategies to support individuals who are dually-diagnosed (developmental disability + mental health diagnosis).

A big shout out to Alicia S who shared her experiences in July. Both seminars were well attended and attendees appreciated the information and personal insight from the trainers!
💗 Meet Donna - Doc, Grandma & Respite Caregiver!

"I had a big birthday recently and my daughter-in-law had a surprise party for me complete with a slide show of my life. I found out that the young moms in attendance were most impressed that:
  • I could still wear my wedding dress on our 17th wedding anniversary.
  • That we both finished our doctorates at USC with a 2 1/2 year old son.
  • I still have a childhood friend who I met at 2 years old.
  • We’ve lived in Okinawa Japan in a fishing village.
  • I swam with a dolphin, held a koala, and fed a white tiger cub.
  • I wrote an uplifting murder mystery, Leaving Innocence, a few years ago that Hallmark Channel Movies and Mysteries looked at (for a week).
My husband and I have been married 48 years, and we've moved 19 times. He serves as Executive Pastor at Calvary Chapel Oxnard so I am a pastor’s wife. We’ve lived near the beach in Oxnard since 1998. We have two grown sons, two wonderful daughter-in-laws, and 5 grandchildren: 3 in Southern California and 2 in Chiang Mai Thailand.

One of our grandsons has autism, and one grandson drowned but lived. He is considered to have traumatic brain injury. 
Besides being a grandmother, I am mostly retired after having taught more than 1400 graduate students (most face-to-face, some distance learning via TV, and some on-line), I had the honor of teaching at Pomona College in Claremont, University of Southern California, California State University San Bernardino, University of LaVerne, and Biola University. Now, I serve as Dean of The Urban Ministry Institute Ventura. I earned my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science at Oklahoma State University, and my Doctorate of Education in Instructional Technology from University of Southern California
What I love most about giving respite care with CISS is that it allows me to share special time with my grandson and get a little extra money doing what I love to do. The First Aid and CPR training is vital to excellent care. I had to use CPR once when our other grandson fell into the ocean. My grandson, Elijah, and I were featured in the Joni and Friends website. Elijah asked to go on because we took a Disney Cruise for his birthday. Besides the regular (food and stimuli) challenges traveling with an autistic teen, I helped him earn $400 through recycling. It took him months to collect all he needed and he tithed each week on his earnings so he earned $440. The Wednesday night before we were to leave for the cruise he kept asking about a “tie.” I finally realized he was asking to tithe for the last time so he put in his last $2. Smiling, he knew for sure he was going on the cruise. He had a grand time. The photo is of us counting the money to buy his cruise ship ticket.  
I am always encouraged by the wonderful team at CISS and the surprising number of others who faithfully care for people with special needs."
New Apps + Tips on Sending in Timesheets
A Note on Digital Signatures - We are not yet set up with electronic timesheets but we are working on it for 2020. Some staff have recently tried to submit timesheets with images of signatures claiming they are digital signatures, but they do not meet the legal standard to be considered a digital signature. Please use paper timesheets and obtain an original signature from the parent or primary guardian for each day you work, as is outlined in our employee handbook.

New Ways to Scan/Email us your Timesheet! Laura in Payroll has put together an instruction sheet to help our staff with the steps involved in sending timesheets via email. Did you know that your smartphone NOTES program is one of them? Thanks Laura!  Some apps like CamScanner have had recent changes. Click here for tips on scanning your timesheet and emailing it in, and remember to email the address listed at the top of your timesheet so you receive an automated confirmation we've received it.

About 50% of our staff have now enrolled in Direct Deposit. It takes 2 full pay cycles for it to take effect, so don't delay and sign up today! Most people wake up payroll morning with a notice that their wages have already been deposited!
Before clicking the photo link:
1) Register on our payroll website using company #N2014.  Directions in English & Spanish
2) Have a voided check prepared, or a printout from your bank (which you can download for direct deposit showing your name, routing number and account number).

Can I mail or fax the form instead?
Yes, click to download and print the form in English or Spanish, or call the office and request one be mailed to you. Complete it and attach the required proof of account and either bring it by the office, mail it, or fax it to our secure fax line at (805) 299-0600. 
Copyright © 2019  Channel Islands Social Services. All rights reserved.

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Channel Islands Social Services
4000 Calle Tecate, Suite 200, Camarillo, CA 93012
(805) 384-0983   Fax (805) 384-0986 

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