Denver Agencies Consider One-stop Service


The recent move of John Jewett within one Denver social services agency could be a sign of things to come, following a nationwide trend of “one-stop shopping,” if policymakers agree.

Jewett, Oglala Lakota, announced he is resigning as executive director of Denver Indian Family Resource Center (DIFRC) to take the position of mental health program and Administration for Native Americans (ANA) grant manager at DIFRC.

His transition follows DIFRC’s move August 1, 2011 to space shared with Denver Indian Center (DIC). Boards of directors of the two agencies have discussed a board merger for some time, and if joint services should follow, it would be in line with a nationwide trend of “one-stop shopping” for Native services, he said.

Jay Grimm, DIC director, said a feasibility study has begun to study the possibility of combining the two agencies, including their services, personnel, and programs, though “nothing has been decided.” The study is expected to be complete this spring or summer, he said.

One drawback to a merger could be the loss of funds. Currently, the agencies each receive funding from an entity, but that would be combined with a merger. If they joined, the funder might offer less support than it did when the agencies were individually funded, Jewett said.

Jewett became DIFRC executive director in August 2010, after 20 years in nonprofit management and after receiving a Master’s Degree in Counseling and finishing Certified Addictions Counseling II.

“Over the next few months I will be transitioning out of the executive director role and into my new role as the Mental Health Program and ANA grant manager,” he said in announcing the change at DIFRC. “The move will take me back in the direction I have been envisioning.”

Applications for DIFRC close February 20, Jewett said. In addition to managing DIFRC and its programs, the executive director will be responsible for “augmenting the financial resources of DIFRC” to serve more families, the announcement states.

DIFRC was created to assist and strengthen Native children and their families in part through provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.