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.
The opening reception for the fourth annual “Art Uniting People” exhibition celebrating recovery, creativity and mental health will be Wednesday, May 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Convergence, 1801 N. Quaker Lane. The exhibition is open to artists whose lives have been affected by mental illness, addiction or intellectual disabilities. Artists are also invited to share the inspiration behind their work and their personal story. “Art Uniting People” seeks to engage the community in an ongoing conversation about each person's uniqueness and the commonality we share in effort to raise awareness about the stigma faced by those with mental illness, addiction and intellectual and developmental disabilities. See the entry form
, art loan agreement
. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
DCHS and the Center for Alexandria's Children (CAC) joined in a nationwide campaign that puts a new spin on child abuse prevention through the planting of a pinwheel garden.The pinwheel, the national symbol of Child Abuse Prevention and an uplifting symbol of childhood, represents the efforts of Prevent Child Abuse Virginia to demonstrate the importance of ensuring healthy, happy and full lives for all children. Members of the CAC Multidisciplinary Team, including City detectives, social workers, therapists and attorneys, joined together to plant 40 pinwheels to honor Alexandria children who have been harmed, and thrived despite adversity. The garden serves as a symbol of hope and resilience as well as a visual reminder that all children deserve a carefree childhood. Learn about signs of abuse, how to report, and see more on planting pinwheel gardens.
The Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission’s charge is to develop the City’s first Children and Youth Master Plan. On March 12, 2014, the Commission approved the Plan, developed with the support of a 35-member Design Team. It articulates a vision for the well-being of children and youth in the community and serves as the basis for the coordination, alignment and delivery of effective services for children, youth and their families. The next step involves presentations on the Plan to the City Council and School Board, which will be followed by a joint meeting of the two bodies (date, to be announced), and the scheduling of a public hearing prior to the Plan’s adoption by City Council.
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.
When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, becomes effective October 1, people will have the opportunity to use the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace to compare and shop for private health insurance plans, as well as determine their eligibility for tax credits to help pay for coverage. There will also be some changes to Virginia’s existing health care programs. Read more.
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.
We welcome this opportunity to share our FY 2013 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.
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.
The winter issue of the Department of Community and Human Services newsletter features: Director Mike Gilmore Retires from the Helm, Children with Disabilities at Play, Residential Program Participant Finally in a Real Home, Parent Cafés to Strengthen Families, and Ex-Offenders Find Opportunity Through CORE.