Question # 31: What was the budget, staffing and role of the former Office on Women?

Page updated on Mar 24, 2021 at 10:32 AM

Question:

What was the budget, staffing and role of the former Office on Women? (Councilwoman Jackson) 


Response:

The Office on Women was a free-standing separate Office within the City government prior to the creation of the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), which brought together that Office, the Community Services Board (CSB) and the Department of Human Services in 2011.  

Prior to the merger of the departments, the Office on Women carried out the dual purposes of service delivery/coordination and community education and awareness. The service delivery included Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (Safe House, counseling, support groups, individual therapy, Hotline Services, victim accompaniment, legal advocacy), as well as Youth Services Programs (Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy and Youth Outreach and Education).  

The stated goal of the Community Education & Awareness was to “provide information to residents to connect them with the services of the Office on Women, raise awareness about domestic violence, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, and breast cancer in the community and raise money to support the services of the Office of Women.”  

Once the merger occurred, it was determined that the services and personnel involved should be placed in the Center for Children and Families (CCF) and that some elements of Community Education & Awareness should be placed in what had been named the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Communication (OSIC). This largely meant the staffing and support of the Commission for Women and its primary activities (Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Salute to Women Awards, and key advocacy activities). This work was performed by the OSIC Director and an Administrative Assistant.  

The budget prior to the merger included all of the staffing for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault services, as well as the Community Education and Awareness. The total budget in 2009 was $1,884,598 and there were 20.3 positions (Attachment 1). Following the merger, the service-related positions that fell under the Office on Women were moved to the Center for Children and Families under the program name of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, which has a FY 2022 Proposed Budget of $2,138,538 and include 18.5 positions. All direct operating programs of the Office on Women that were in place in 2011 continue.  

The support for the Commission for Women is currently provided by the Director of the Center for Children and Families and the Division Chief of the Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program. Community Education and Awareness is carried out through the staff of CCF and the members of the Commission for Women. Currently fundraising and the Salute to Women are being carried out by the newly formed organization, Alexandria Celebrates Women.  

Attachment 1: FY 2009 Office on Women Approved Budget

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