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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Community & Human Services
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Page updated Apr 9, 2015 4:30 PM
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Welcome to the Department of Community and Human Services

We envision a community in which residents enjoy a sense of well-being, safety and self-sufficiency. We strive to provide effective and essential safety net services that measurably improve or maintain the quality of life for Alexandrians. We are guided by the following values and principles: equal access for all people, dignity and respect, cultural competency, ethics and accountability, collaboration, competency, integrity and continuous improvement.

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Programs and Services

The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) provides social services and public benefits assistance; mental health, intellectual disability and substance abuse services; and supports initiatives for women through three direct care centers: the Center for Children & Families, the Center for Adult Services and the Center for Economic Support. Not sure what service you need? See our service chart, visit Call.Click.Connect or contact the DCHS Call Center at 703.746.5700.

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Hot Cars Can Be Deadly

On average, 38 children die in hot cars nationwide each year. Temperatures in a car can reach 125 degrees within 10 minutes, even when the outside temperature is only 70 degrees. Young children are especially vulnerable to because their body temperatures rise three to five times faster than an adult’s, which can cause serious injury to the brain, liver and kidneys, and result in death.  Many of these incidents occur as a result of parent/caregiver change in routine, fatigue, distraction or anxiety, bringing about a momentary lapse of memory. See the news release for important tips to prevent accidentally leaving a child in a car.

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Mental Health First Aid Training Continues

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training continues for laypersons and paraprofessionals in Alexandria. MHFA is an 8-hour training on skills to help persons who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Registration is open until filled. Limit 20 participants per class. More information about the training is available here, or visit our online registration form for class dates and registration. All classes are held at 4480 King St., fifth floor, unless otherwise indicated.  Attendees of the full 8-hour course will receive a three-year certification in MHFA. For more information about MHFA, visit mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

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Art Uniting People - Celebrating Creativity and Mental Health

Join us for Art Uniting People: Celebrating Recovery, Creativity and Mental Health. The exhibition is presented each year to reduce stigma and foster understanding by engaging the community in a conversation about each person's uniqueness and the commonality we all share. The exhibit presents the work of those whose lives have been affected by mental illness, addiction and developmental disabilities. Runs through July 9 at City Hall, followed by the second exhibit reception on Tues July 28 from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at St. Elmo's Coffee Shop, 2300 Mt. Vernon Avenue where the display will remain until Sept 8, followed by the third exhibit Oct 2- Oct 30 at Dr. Oswald Durant Memorial Center, 1605 Cameron St. View the promotional flyer.

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Learn to Identify Psychological Distress in Youth
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are taking on a challenge! Nearly one in five teens suffers from a mental disorder, such as depression or anxiety, and suicide remains the third leading cause of death in this age group. Our goal is to have 250 City of Alexandria mentors, juvenile justice professionals, school staff, youth development staff, recreation professionals, human service workers and other youth-serving professionals complete mental health 'gatekeeper skills' by June 30. These skills are for those working with middle and high school youth. Learn more and take the hour-long web-based training today!
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2014 Directory of Resources for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities Now Available

The City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services has updated the Directory of Resources for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities. The directory provides contact information for organizations and City departments that offer services for older adults such as assisted living facility placement, case management, in-home services and support for caregivers. The guide also provides information on resources for persons with disabilities. Download the Directory. To request a copy, call 703.746.5999, option 1.

 

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Safe Sleep for Your Baby

Every year in the U.S. more than a thousand babies die from unexplained causes. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) happens to babies under the age of one year and has no known cause, even after extensive investigation. Over the years health professionals have encouraged parents to place babies on their backs when putting them to bed at night or for a nap, with no loose blanket or bedding. This simple action has reduced the SIDS rate by 50%. To learn more about ways to ensure that your baby has a safe sleep, visit http://www.nichd.nih.gov/SIDS.

 

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Workforce Development Center Offers Job Search Workshops
Workforce Development Center, Alexandria's One-Stop Career Center, is now offering a variety of workshops to assist persons in finding employment. The workshops are designed for job seekers at all levels of the career ladder and all occupations. Learn more about the offerings and check out the calendar on the Workforce Development Center page.
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How You Can Play a Role in Preventing Suicide

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans, claiming more than twice as many lives each year as homicides. Learn more about this serious public health problem and what we can do to help prevent suicide.  

 

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Confidential Screening

The Department of Community and Human Services welcomes you to the online mental health screening and the screening tool for substance use disorders. This free screening is made available to the general public and is taken anonymously. The screening is provided so that you may find out - in a few minutes - whether or not professional consultation would be helpful to you.

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DCHS Strategic Plan Online

We are pleased to present the Department of Community and Human Services Strategic Plan for FY 2013 - FY 2015. The plan is a long-term blueprint aligned with the City of Alexandria Strategic Plan. The plans work to ensure we remain sound financial stewards of public resources by improving existing operations and responding to outside challenges while providing effective and efficient safety net services that measurably improve or maintain the quality of life for Alexandrians.

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Annual Report

We welcome this opportunity to share our FY 2014 activities.  The Department of Community and Human Services is organized into three direct care centers: the Center for Adult Services, the Center for Children and Families, and the Center for Economic Support, as well as two offices: the Office of Administrative Services and the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Communications. The pages of this annual report highlight our fiscal information along with the accomplishments of our centers, offices and those of the people we serve.

 

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Department of Community & Human Services