January 3, 2012
As we begin the New Year, we have an important announcement about an exciting change at DHS that we believe will have a positive impact on those we serve.
As you know, DHS currently has six program divisions. In January, 2012, DHS will be merging two divisions: the Division of Community Health and Prevention and the Division of Human Capital Development. Together they will form the Division of Family and Community Services.
It is our hope and belief that, as one division, we can more effectively meet the needs of children and families in an integrated way so as to maximize the use of resources we have been entrusted with and to reach those who need our services most. It's important that given our budget constraints we make every effort to consolidate for efficiency. While we have reached this important milestone, we must still recognize the importance of on-going dialogue that will include our staff who works on these programs, staff from sister state agencies, and experts in the field to discuss the longer-term synergies and policy issues surrounding programs serving young children, adolescents, and vulnerable families.
With the Division of Family and Community Services, we will emphasize a structure that provides services along a continuum of care from birth to death. We sought to organize programs to minimize disruption and to provide the best system for delivering services. The Division of Family and Community Services will represent a comprehensive approach to meeting the most basic needs of our customers including: access to food, nutrition education, and prenatal care, housing assistance, quality child care, income assistance programs and a variety of other supportive services.
I am also pleased to announce that Linda Saterfield has agreed to serve as the Director of the Division of Family and Community Services. We have assembled a team of outstanding leaders to work with her. We are in the final stages of developing the organizational chart and will share that with you at the appropriate time. We will also introduce to you the individuals who will be taking other leadership roles within the Division of Family and Community Services when this is solidified.
So while we ring in the New Year, we are also heralding the launch of a newly consolidated division that fosters the DHS "culture of caring" for one another and the two million people we serve. We look forward to our continued partnership with you.
Michelle R.B. Saddler