Human Services reorganization proceeding | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Human Services reorganization proceeding

Sep 16, 2019

Work continues on the concept of “human service zones.”

Under it, counties agree to work together to share services and administration.

State Human Services director Chris Jones said there are 19 zones identified.

"Right now, it's getting into the minor details that sometimes you trip over," Jones said. "But I feel really good about the work we've done with the Association of Counties and with the individual counties themselves to start the collaboration."

Jones said there are some tough decisions that have to be made. But he said he recently met with a county commissioner to talk about the zone concept, and those tough decisions.

"He said, 'You know what Chris? I feel so much better about how we're serving people,'" Jones said. "Yes, the administrative change is hard, but we can see the difference in how we're delivering services. It's much more collaborative, and much more impactful."

Jones said the whole Department is working on reorganization and knocking down "silos."

"We are reorganizing, not around programs, but around family stability and community inclusion," Jones said. "Those are the two big goals we have -- how do we make sure families are stable, so they can make the choices they need to make, and for those who have experienced vulnerability, how do we make sure we're providing opportunities for them to stay in the community, so they don't have to travel."