COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Human Services Investments Report
Commission on Children and Families Report to the localities on Human Services Investments in the Charlottesville/Albemarle community.
Tucker, White, Davis, Ellis
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
November 1, 2006
ACTION: INFORMATION: X
The Commission on Children and Families (CCF) was formed over ten years ago by the Board of Supervisors and City Council to insure an effective and efficient human services system for children and families in our community. Our joint agreement states, “The intended goal of the Commission is to improve services to children, youth and families, to be accountable for the efficient use of public/private resources and to be responsive to the changing needs of the community.”
To achieve this goal, CCF has a three phased approach: The first phase was a community needs assessment completed in 2004 that used a research grant and UVA graduate students to compile a comprehensive database of local community input and best practices research on children and family programs and services. The second phase produced the attached 26-page report (Attachment B), which is a comprehensive report on human services investments for the City and County, which includes all local, state and federal and some private funding during FY2004-2005.
The third phase will be to develop a human services strategic plan that prioritizes community human service needs over the next 3-6 years using the comprehensive assessment data, as well as this new report on current human service investments. This approach should provide both the county and the city with the comprehensive data and analysis needed to insure that community resources are allocated efficiently and effectively to meet the human service needs of the community. Work on the strategic plan has already begun.
It is anticipated that the human services strategic plan will support the County’s Vision for the future and Goal 1: Enhance Quality of Life for all Citizens.
For local government, the Board of Supervisor must make annual funding decisions on human service programs, but because of the complex funding streams for human service programs, it is difficult to see the total investment the community is making in a specific program or a specific agency. The Human Services Investments Report provides a tool for decision makers to understand the extent of non-profit and public investments, to match community investments with community needs and align future investment dollars where they are most needed, most apt to leverage additional funds and are proven to make the most difference in resident’s lives.
This project is the result of a collaboration between the University of Virginia and the Commission on Children and Families. With a research grant from a private donor, CCF hired a project director to lead the effort and the University provided funds for research assistance. Steven Stern, UVA Professor of Economics was the Research Director, who supervised the extensive research and analysis of two graduate students. The project was also overseen by a project advisory board composed of community and human service staff representatives. The research team was tasked with collecting financial data and analyzing the results. Information was collected from human service organizations by visiting the program directors and then audited data was collected by agency, funding source and program.
Only organizations with programs and services that receive at least some funding from government sources were contacted. Therefore, totally privately funded organizations, programs and services are not included in this report. However when an organization that receives government funding also receives private funding, those private funds are included.
For this report, human services was broken into ten categories; health care, mental health, mental disability and substance abuse services; transportation services; senior services; community recreation, family and community safety, youth development, early childhood development, housing assistance and financial assistance. Each of the ten categories is further broken down into sub-categories that help to distinguish what programs or specific services are being funded.
Summary Information is provided in an attached Executive Summary (Attachment A), which contains a brief description of the community investments by category, as well as by sub-categories. The first chart in the executive summary shows the total community investment in human services is approximately $486 million dollars. However, when funding for K-12 education and Medicare and Medicaid investments in primary health care are taken into consideration, the total community investment is approximately $135 million, a substantial difference without the two major infusions of local, state and federal dollars in the school division and primary health care. In the ten funding category charts on the following pages of the summary, all K-12 education funds are excluded and Medicare and Medicaid funding is only shown in the primary health care services section.
As referenced above, the full 26-page report is included as Attachment B. The appendix documents, which include funding spreadsheets, background information, the agency questionnaire, etc. are not included in the attachment, but can be found on the Commission’s website at http://www.ccfinfo.org/PDFs/hsi_fullreport.pdf
There is no budget impact, although this information will be used to assist with future funding decisions.
This report is provided for the Board’s information and does not require any action at this time. This valuable research project provides a comprehensive look at the investments currently being made in the human service field, data that we have not had before. The data will be helpful in looking at future investments, as the Commission moves into the strategic planning phase to align community needs with future investment dollars.
Although the Human Services Investments Report does show current investment dollars, it does not and was not intended to address either the efficiency of those dollars or the effectiveness of the programs. This is the additional analysis work that must be performed by the CCF budget review team and the County’s OMB office. This report provides data on community investments, but it also raises questions that will require further research studies, such as the need to distinguish between need and program effectiveness, a comparison of our community’s human service investments with similar communities across the country, an analysis of funding trends and an analysis of fiscal mandates on local governments for human services.
A – July 2006 CCF Executive Summary
B – July 2, 2006 Human Services Investments Report for FY 04-05 to City and County
Return to regular agenda