Virginia Beach Human Services Department to Present Strategic Plan to City Council

“A Path Forward in Human Services”

Monday, October 09, 2017

​Serving nearly 80,000 residents each year with behavioral health assessment and treatment, SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, and child and adult protective services among other programs, the Virginia Beach Human Services Department (HSD) is taking steps for innovation, collaboration, and improved service delivery in the City. To move the HSD forward, it has created a strategic vision for the future; "A Path Forward in Human Services." HSD will present the department's strategic vision to the Virginia Beach City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. at the Municipal Center. The meeting will be cablecast on VBTV, streamed to and Facebook Live.  This plan, the first released under the direction of Director Dannette Smith, outlines the mission, values, and strategic direction of the department for the next three years.

"A Path Forward in Human Services" is a result of an intensive, yearlong process based on input from 15 community groups and over 250 Virginia Beach citizens, leaders, and Human Services employees and introduces the department's four pillars to move work forward into the 21st century:

The Pillar of Potential: Service Integration
As one of only two municipalities in Virginia with a combined public mental health and social services department, the department will foster opportunities to create joint efforts across its divisions and units as well as community-based partners, such as establishing internal and external liaisons to assist partners and staff with connecting our clients to the appropriate service.

The Pillar of Progress:  Access to Service
Currently located in 31 facilities across the City of Virginia Beach, the staff looks to increase its accessibility to citizens through investments in community outreach and strengthening partnerships with other city departments to provide information on HSD services in their facilities.

The Pillar of Promise:  Communication and Community Engagement
The department will continue and strengthen its commitment to communication and community engagement, both internally and externally, through working with stakeholders to examine its existing communication strategies and introduce new ones as appropriate to ensure that all Virginia Beach citizens are aware of HSD programs, services, and opportunities to get involved.

The Pillar of Enhancement: Talent Acquisition and Development
To assure that the high quality HSD services are delivered with respect by highly trained and qualified staff, the department will undergo improvements that support staff training and accountability as well as specific, targeted opportunities for volunteers to support its work.

"Over the next few months, we will develop implementation plans that will guide our team and work towards fulfilling the strategies laid out in the four pillars," Human Services Director Dannette Smith said.  "We look forward to doing so with the assistance of staff, clients, the City's leadership team, community and faith-based partners, and local businesses."

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