Human Services Division Receives National Award
July 10, 2014
At its July 8, 2014 meeting the Placer County Board of Supervisors recognized the efforts of the Placer County Human Services Division, which was recently awarded a 2014 Achievement Award by the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its Human Services Center. The award was given to the Human Services Division for “the creation of an innovative Human Service Center that has improved performance, processes and services to the community.”
Board Chairman Jack Duran praised the Human Services Center team for their hard work and commitment to the community. “You provide a tremendous amount of service and I congratulate you,” he said.
The Human Services Center was created in 2011 to meet the increased demand for public assistance programs, despite decreased staff and resources, while being competitive with the private sector. The Human Services Center changed the way the Human Services Division does business by utilizing technology to establish a call center, implementing task-based workload management and increasing client self-service, and increasing customer service options in the Human Services Division’s lobbies.
Cheryl Davis, Human Services Division Director, said staff developed the Human Services Center based on the needs of the community and are constantly working to improve procedures and increase customer service to the public. “Every week I get an email from my staff or stopped in the hallway by someone who has a new idea for our continued improvement,” Davis said.
Along with Human Services staff, Davis praised the County’s Telecommunications Division, which created the call center for the Human Services Center. The call center has become a model for multiple local and state agencies as well as various nonprofit organizations that have visited the Human Services Center to learn how Placer County’s system works. “We received incredible, awesome, outstanding support from our Telecommunications Division,” Davis said.
District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler commended Davis and her staff for developing processes and procedures that are effective and efficient, but pointed out that it is the dedicated staff that makes it work. “It is the caring that you demonstrate and the commitment that you put into your jobs that wins those awards,” Supervisor Uhler said. “Thank you very much for honoring Placer County with this recognition.”
Since implementing the Human Services Center, the Division has exceeded private sector service levels across the board as well as state and federal requirements. A comparison of a pre-Human Services Center public survey and a post-Human Services Center public survey showed improvement in all areas of the survey. One of the many accomplishments of the Human Services Center is an improved CalFresh application process that gives seventy-five percent of people who visit the Human Services Center for food assistance the ability to purchase food the same day.
District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes echoed the sentiments of Supervisor Duran and Supervisor Uhler, applauding the Human Services Center team for the good work they do, which he said is often not in the spotlight. “Many times we only hear about things when something goes wrong,” Supervisor Holmes said. “An award like this really sends it home how precious you are to the people of Placer County.”