Community & 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.

Page updated on Dec 11, 2019 at 4:33 PM

Welcome to the Department of Community & Human Services

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The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) provides social services and public benefits assistance; mental health, developmental 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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Check out the FY 2019 Community Impact Report and learn how DCHS programs and services are improving the well-being, safety and self-sufficiency of Alexandria residents. The annual report highlights fiscal information along with the accomplishments of the three direct care centers: Adult Services, Children and Families and Economic Support. This success is made possible by all DCHS staff, other City employees and community partners.


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The Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission (CYFCC) has released its “Children and Youth Master Plan Five Year Report” that highlights successes combating issues that impact the lives of children and families in our community. Read the report


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Read the latest stories and news about DCHS programs and services that support and increase the well-being, safety and self-sufficiency of all Alexandrians.


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Do you have a minute for a survey about the DCHS website?  Your feedback helps us improve.  Take a short survey.


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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a new “public charge” rule, used by immigration officials to help determine whether a person can enter the U.S. or receive a green card. Under this rule, several factors are reviewed, including whether a person has received benefit programs of cash assistance or health care. Read an FAQ regarding the new rule.


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The Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) is sharing the results of the Alexandria Community Needs Assessment Survey The assessment is one tool to help identify areas where goals are not being met and helps deepen the understanding of the struggle low-income residents face.


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DCHS offers free Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for laypersons. MHFA is an eight-hour training and certification on skills to help persons who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis. The training demonstrates the initial help given to a person showing signs of mental illness or a mental health crisis. More information about the course is available. Visit the online registration for class dates. Re-certification is available online, or by repeating the full course.


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The Department of Community and Human Services welcomes you to the online screening tool for mental health and 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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CommonHelp allows Virginia residents to apply online for public assistance benefits. Find out more.


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Learn how the national heroin and opioid crisis is affecting our community and how City programs and services are responding. Know how to recognize and respond to an overdose and how to help save lives. 


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Chronic stress can have negative side effects on everyone. Psycho-social factors, specifically, pervasive exposure to racism and discrimination, creates an additional daily stressor for people of color. Research shows this to be particularly true for African-Americans (APA, 2016).  Read more


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Adults in Alexandria who work with middle or high school youth can now be trained in mental health ‘gatekeeper skills’ through online at-risk training simulations. This short interactive online training is designed for mentors, juvenile justice professionals, school staff, youth development staff, recreation professionals and human-service staff. The training is not recommended for licensed clinicians.  Learn more and take the hour-long web-based training today!


Department of Community & Human Services

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