DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES

FUNCTIONS


[photo, 311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland] Created in 1975, the Department of Human Resources serves families and individuals who, due to financial hardship, disability, age, chronic disease, or any other cause, need help in obtaining the basic necessities of shelter and food. Children in particular are the concern of day care, foster care, adoption, and protective services that also extend to vulnerable adults. The Department directs State programs for homeless persons, refugees, migrant workers, victims of crime, and women who are displaced, battered, or assaulted. It also administers federally funded programs, such as Family Investment, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (Food Stamps), and Medical Assistance (Medicaid) (Code Human Services Article, secs. 2-101 through 6-708).

Department of Human Resources, 311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland, January 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


OFFICE OF SECRETARY

311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3521

Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary of Human Resources directs the Department (Code Human Services Article, secs. 2-202, 2-203). The Secretary serves on the Governor's Executive Council, the Children's Cabinet, and the Advisory Council to the Children's Cabinet, and chairs the Advisory Council for Alternative Response. The Secretary also serves on the Advisory Board on After-School and Summer Opportunity Programs; the Interagency Committee on Aging Services; the Behavioral Health Advisory Council; the State Child Fatality Review Team; the Task Force to Study Recording Deeds for Victims of Domestic Violence; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Governor's Family Violence Council; the Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee; the Health and Human Services Referral Board; the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs; the Interagency Council on Homelessness; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the Council on Open Data; the Council for the Procurement of Health, Educational and Social Services; the Work Group to Study Safe Harbor Policy for Youth Victims of Human Trafficking; the Task Force to Combat Habitual Student Truancy; the Maryland Veterans Trust; the State Board of Victim Services; the Board of Directors, Maryland Workforce Corporation; and the Governor's Workforce Development Board.

Reporting to the Secretary are four offices: Employment and Program Equity; Government Affairs; Inspector General; and Modernization. Also within the Office of Secretary are the Foster Parent Ombudsman and the Foster Care Youth Ombudsman.

Appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources with the approval of the Governor, three deputy secretaries oversee: Operations; Programs; and Strategy and Administration (Code Human Services Article, sec. 2-204).

The Department is aided by the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect; the State Citizens Review Board for Children; the Governor's Commission on Migratory and Seasonal Farm Labor; and the Maryland Commission for Women.

CHIEF OF STAFF

FOSTER PARENT OMBUDSMAN
The position of Foster Parent Ombudsman was created within the Office of Secretary in 2008. From April to December 2015, the Ombudsman reported to the Executive Director of the Social Services Administration. In December 2015, the position was transferred to the Office of Secretary.

The Foster Parent Ombudsman serves as an advocate for foster parents and kinship providers, and may act as an intermediary between them and local departments of social services when issues need to be resolved. Further, the Ombudsman may investigate complaints against foster parents.

OFFICE OF EMPLOYMENT & PROGRAM EQUITY
In 1968, the Office of Employment and Program Equity started as the Office of Equal Opportunity under the Deputy Secretary for Operations. The Office adopted its present name and moved to the Office of the Secretary in January 1999.

The Office works to ensure that Department programs and offices statewide operate in an equitable manner for all Maryland citizens.

Department personnel programs are the responsibility of the Office. Local departments of social services in each county and Baltimore City also are aided by the Office in recruitment, selection, classification, compensation, employer-employee relations, employee benefits, and staff training.

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Audits of local departments of social services, as well as Department programs and activities, are conducted by the Office of Inspector General. The Office also investigates all reports of alleged fraud and abuse, either by a recipient, providor, vendor, or employee.

OFFICE OF MODERNIZATION
The Office of Modernization was organized under the Office of Secretary in July 2015.


OPERATIONS

The Deputy Secretary for Operations oversees seven offices: Administrative Operations; Budget and Finance; Communications; Legal Services; Licensing and Monitoring; Procurement; and Technology for Human Services.

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS

In 1987, the Office of Administrative Operations was established as the Office of Administrative Services. It transferred under the Chief of Staff and assumed its present name in December 2003, and later was placed under Operations.

To provide a safe, efficient, and comfortable work environment for Department employees, the Office oversees facility planning, architectural design, space allocation, lease management, workspace planning and installation, building alteration and renovation, and building operations. The Office also operates a warehouse, supply office, mailroom, and graphics media center. Additional responsibilities include risk management, emergency response, and fleet operations.

The Office oversees units for emergency operations, fleet and facilities management, procurement compliance, risk management, and support operations.

OFFICE OF BUDGET & FINANCE

Organized in 1989., the Office of Budget and Finance manages and controls the fiscal systems of the Department. These systems assure that the Department operates within its budget and meets mandates of federal and State government.

OFFICE OF LEGAL SERVICES

The Office of Legal Services, then known as Judicare, was created in 1971. Formerly under the Community Services Administration, the Office transferred to the Office of Secretary in May 2008. From November 2009 to December 2013, the Office reported to the Deputy Secretary for Operations. From December 2013 to November 2015, the Office reported to the Deputy Secretary for Programs. Since November 2015, the Office again reports to the Deputy Secretary for Operations.

Court-appointed attorneys are paid by the Office of Legal Services to represent indigent adults in Adult Protective Services proceedings, and children in Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) and Termination of Parental Rights cases. To provide these services, the Office contracts with legal firms, monitors attorney performance, and oversees the interaction between client and attorney. The Office also administers the Court-Appointed Attorney Program. The Program compensates attorneys who are appointed under special circumstances to individual cases.

OFFICE OF LICENSING & MONITORING

In January 2006, the Office of Licensing and Monitoring was established under Operations by the Secretary of Human Resources. In 2008, the Office transferred to the Office of the Secretary, and in July 2015, back to Operations.

Approximately 200 privately-run group homes for troubled youths are licensed and monitored by the Office. Additionally, the Office reviews applications for new group homes and coordinates group home oversight with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Juvenile Services. Approximately 100 licensed programs for foster care treatment also are overseen by the Office.

OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY FOR HUMAN SERVICES

Formed in 1987 as the Office of Information Management, the Office of Technology for Human Services reorganized under its present name in July 2000.

The Office of Technology for Human Services reviews and approves the Department's technology plans, programs, projects, budgets, staff, and purchasing. It manages and directs the Department's information systems, including computer applications and systems, and computer and communication equipment. For Department facilities throughout the State, the Office also administers computer applications, systems, and peripheral equipment, as well as computer and communication equipment, telephone systems and equipment, ancillary facility and support equipment, and consumables and supplies. In addition, the Office advises the Secretary of Human Resources on information technology issues.

Under the Office of Technology for Human Services are the Electronic Benefits Transfer System, and three main units: Planning and Policy; Systems Development; and Technical Services.

PLANNING & POLICY
Planning and Policy oversees the Enterprise Project Management Office.

SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT
Systems Development is responsible for Department of Human Resources Information System (DHRIS); and the Maryland Children's Electronic Social Services Information Exchange (MD Chessie).

TECHNICAL SERVICES
Technical Services oversees Security Services.


PROGRAMS

311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3521

Programs administers the Department's major programs. In conjunction with local departments of social services, these programs are overseen by the Deputy Secretary for Programs. Originally, they were carried out by four administrations: Child Care; Community Services; Family Investment; and Social Services. A fifth administration - Child-Support Enforcement - transferred to Programs in 2003. In July 2005, the Child Care Administration was renamed the Office of Child Care and moved to the Division of Early Childhood Development in the State Department of Education (Chapter 585, Acts of 2005).

In April 2008, the Community Services Administration was disbanded and its functions dispersed to other agencies. In June 2008, the Social Services Administration moved directly under the Office of Secretary, and in 2015, moved under Programs.

Presently, Programs is responsible for three administrations: Child-Support Enforcement, Family Investment; and Social Services. Since March 2007, Programs also has overseen local departments of social services.


CHILD-SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION

311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3521

Enforcement of court-ordered child support formerly was the duty of the Division of Parole and Probation in the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Then, from 1979 to 1984, the Income Maintenance Administration under the Department of Human Resources became the public agency through which support payments were channeled. In 1984, the Child-Support Enforcement Administration formed in the Department of Human Resources to provide child-support services for families (Chapter 296, Acts of 1984; Code Human Resources Article, sec. 2-301). Formerly under Operations, the Administration transferred to Programs in 2003.

Through local departments of social services, courts, State's Attorneys' offices, and other agencies, the Administration locates absent parents; determines paternity; establishes, reviews, modifies, and enforces child support orders; and collects and distributes support payments (Code Family Law Article, secs. 10-106 through 10-117). Recipients of Non-Public Assistance Medical Assistance receive services at no charge and are required to cooperate with the Administration in order to secure support. Families not receiving medical or cash benefits from the Department pay a $25 fee when they apply for child support services. Collections made on behalf of such families are paid in full to the family.

Oversight of State programs is provided by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, which maintains the Federal Case Registry, a federal database that consolidates state child support data. The federal Office uses the Registry to help state offices find delinquent parents.

At the State level, the Child Support Enforcement System (CSES) is used to record child support case information, including enforcement efforts; and to account for the collection and subsequent distribution of support payments.

The Administration's Executive Director is appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources.

The Administration works through two agencies: Operations, and Programs. In addition, directly under the office of Executive Director, are the child support enforcement offices for Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's counties (Code Family Law Article, secs. 10-102 through 10-119.3).

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY OFFICE OF CHILD-SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
On July 1, 2002, State government assumed responsibility for the Anne Arundel County Office of Child-Support Enforcement (Code Family Law Article, sec. 10-117).

BALTIMORE CITY OFFICE OF CHILD-SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
The Baltimore City Office of Support Enforcement was initiated as the Bureau of Support Enforcement under the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. Responsibility for the City Bureau was assumed by State government on October 1, 1990, when the Bureau transferred to the Child-Support Enforcement Administration. The Bureau in 1993 was renamed Baltimore City Office of Child-Support Enforcement.

In 1995, under the Chief Support Enforcement Privatization Pilot Program, administration of the Baltimore City Office of Child-Support Enforcement was privatized (Chapter 491, Acts of 1995). Authorization for the Program continued until October 31, 2002 (Code Family Law Article, sec. 10-119.1). Since 2002, State government resumed administration of the Office (Code Family Law Article, sec. 10-117).

BALTIMORE COUNTY OFFICE OF CHILD-SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
On July 1, 1999, State government assumed responsibility for the Baltimore County Office of Child-Support Enforcement (Code Family Law Article, sec. 10-117).

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE OF CHILD-SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
The Montgomery County Office of Child-Support Enforcement started as the Family Service Division under the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Later, responsibility for its operation transferred to the Administrative Office of the Courts. Since October 1996, the Office has been administered by the Child-Support Enforcement Administration (Code Family Law Article, sec. 10-117).

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY OFFICE OF CHILD-SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
The Prince George's County Office of Child Support Enforcement has been administered by the Child-Support Enforcement Administration since July 1, 2002 (Code Family Law Article, sec. 10-117).

OPERATIONS

Operations was created within the Child-Support Enforcement Administration in 2000. It was renamed Support Services in August 2007, and reverted to its original name in 2012.

Maryland Fatherhood Initiatives. This program helps fathers become involved with raising their children. It works through five programs: Absent Parent; Access and Visitation; Maryland Fatherhood Initiative Grant; Partners for Fragile Families; and Young Father Responsible Fathers.

OFFICE OF COLLECTION MANAGEMENT
In 1981, the Office of Collection Management originated as the Office of Central Operations, overseeing intercept programs. The Office of Policy and Central Operations assumed that oversight in 1991. By reorganization in 1992, the Office of Intercepts and Adjustments was created and the Office of Program Initiatives formed in 1992 to assume duties formerly administered by the Office of Program Development and Management, and the Office of Policy and Central Operations. In 1996, the Office of Program Initiatives merged with the Office of Intercepts and Adjustments to become the Office of Collections Management. In 1999, it became the Office of Central Collections and Disbursement, and in 2000 returned to Office of Collection Management.

The Office develops child-support enforcement policy, legislation, and regulations; plans program initiatives; interprets policy and conducts training on new policy and procedures; and coordinates its work with the Deputy Secretary for Planning. The Office also intercepts State and federal tax returns, unemployment benefits, and lottery winnings in order to deduct child support. In addition, the Office monitors the collection by local agencies of child-support overpayments.

OFFICE OF SYSTEMS SUPPORT
Local agency compliance with federal and State mandates is monitored by the Office of Systems Support. The office helps local agencies correct problems and implement policies and procedures. It also oversees the Central Registry and the State Parent Locator Service. Cases received from other states are processed by the Office and referred to a local child-support enforcement agency and an intercept program.

Systems Support started as the Field Operations Office in 1981. This office monitored local child-support enforcement agencies. Renamed Office of Program Management, it assumed responsibility for local agency compliance reviews, technical assistance to local agencies, and special projects in 1990. The Office reorganized in 1991 as the Office of Program Development and Management to propose new programs and conduct staff training. Further change in 1992 created the Office of Service Delivery. In 1996, the Office of Service Delivery merged with the Office of Interstate Operations to form the Office of Local Services.

The Office of Interstate Operations began in 1981 as the Office of Central Operations. Reorganized in 1991 as the Office of Policy and Central Operations, in 1993 it became the Office of Interstate Operations. In 1996, it merged with the Office of Service Delivery to form the Office of Local Services which became the Office of Systems Support in 2000.

Under the Office of Systems Support are four units: Computer Information Services, Document Generation, Functional Analysis, and Interstate Services.

PROGRAMS

Within the Child-Support Enforcement Administration, Programs organized in 2000. It is responsible for: Customer Service; Intergovernmental Services; Maryland Paternity Acknowledgement Program; Special Projects and Training; and the State Disbursement Unit.


FAMILY INVESTMENT ADMINISTRATION

311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3521

Functions of the Family Investment Administration began with the Board of State Aid and Charities (Chapter 679, Acts of 1900), which became the State Department of Public Welfare in 1939 (Chapter 99, Acts of 1939). That department reformed as the Department of Social Services in 1968 (Chapter 702, Acts of 1968). Responsibilities for public assistance devolved to the Social Services Administration in 1970. By 1980, those duties were assigned to the Income Maintenance Administration first by Executive Order and then by law (Chapter 26, Acts of 1980). The Administration reformed as the Family Investment Administration in 1996 (Chapter 351, Acts of 1996).

All public assistance programs in the State are coordinated and supervised by the Family Investment Administration (Code Human Services Article, secs. 5-101 through 5-608). These programs include the Energy Assistance Program, the Family Investment Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps). The Administration also coordinates programs for public assistance to adults, emergency assistance, and burial assistance.

Through the Family Investment Program, eligible families may receive Temporary Cash Assistance or a one-time welfare avoidance grant.

In accord with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Administration directs the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps). Eligible households in this program access their food benefits electronically through a debit card known as an Independence Card. Monthly, their benefit amount is transferred to their card, which is used to purchase food, and plants and seeds for growing food. Nonfood items cannot be purchased with the card.

Under an agreement with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Administration certifies eligible low-income families for the Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid), Maryland's Children Health Insurance Program, and the Maryland Pharmacy Assistance Program.

The Administration sets policy for local departments of social services to follow in determining eligibility for financial assistance, Medical Assistance, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In Baltimore City and in each county, the local director of social services administers public assistance programs subject to the supervision, direction, and control of the Family Investment Administration.

With the Governor's approval, the Executive Director of Family Investment is appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources (Code Human Services Article, sec. 5-203).

Two offices are part of the Administration: Operations, and Programs.

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION
For the Family Investment Administration, the Office of Administration oversees four units: Contracts, Medical Assistance Operations, Office Automation, and Procurement and Budget.

OFFICE OF OPERATIONS

The Office of Operations started as the Office of Administrative Services. It was renamed the Office of Administratives Services and Quality Control in September 1998, and the Office of Administrative Services and Continuous Improvement in October 1998. In July 2004, it reorganized under its present name.

Under the Office are six bureaus: Disability Services; Information Analysis; Long-Term Care; Program Evaluation; Quality Assurance; and System Development and Management.

BUREAU OF DISABILITY SERVICES
Started in 1987 as Disability Management Operations, this agency later became the Bureau of Medical Assistance Operations. It assumed its present name in November 2009.

The Bureau helps disabled recipients apply for federal Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Applications are made through the Disability Entitlement Advocacy Program.

Disability Entitlement Advocacy Program. The Program assists with documentation and acts as advocate for persons with disabilities at entitlement and appeal hearings.

BUREAU OF LONG-TERM CARE

BUREAU OF QUALITY ASSURANCE
Formerly the Bureau of Quality Control, the Bureau of Quality Assurance assumed its present name in June 2011.

Quality assurance reviews are conducted by the Bureau. Mandated by State and federal law, reviewers monitor the Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Medical Assistance Program.

BUREAU OF SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT
Formerly under the Office of Programs, the Bureau of Systems Development and Management transferred to the Office of Operations.

The Bureau designs, tests, implements, maintains, and controls those components of the Client's Automated Resource and Eligibility System (CARES) used by the Family Investment Administration. Systems support is provided by the Bureau to all System users, including local departments of social services.

OFFICE OF PROGRAMS

The Office of Programs formed as the Office of Policy Development in 1992. It became the Office of Policy Administration in 1993 and the Office of Policy, Research, and Systems in 1998. It reorganized under its present name in July 2004.

Under the Office of Programs are the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees, and two bureaus: Policy, Research, and Training; and Workforce Development. The Office also oversees the Office of Community Services.

BUREAU OF POLICY, RESEARCH, & TRAINING
The Bureau of Policy, Research, and Training originated as the Bureau of Research and Legislation. It reformed as the Bureau of Research and Evaluation in July 2004, and reverted to its former name in November 2009. In March 2011, the Bureau of Policy and Training merged with the Bureau of Research and Legislation to form the Bureau of Policy, Research, and Training.

The Bureau reviews federal and State legislation to determine its effect on programs operated or supported by the Family Investment Administration. The Bureau assesses the impact of such legislation on the Administration's budget; develops the Department's position on legislation; and testifies before legislative and Congressional committees. Also, the Bureau drafts regulations necessary to implement legislation; writes policy manuals and instructional materials for local departments of social services; and trains case managers and supervisors to implement new policies.

The Bureau monitors federal and State legislation, and acts as liaison to the General Assembly and the Joint Committee on Welfare Reform. To evaluate and summarize welfare reform in Maryland, the Bureau collects data and issues monthly reports. In addition, the Bureau supervises research projects for the Family Investment Administration, both in-house and contractual. This includes managing contracts with State universities where studies on welfare reform affect initiatives in the field.

MARYLAND OFFICE FOR REFUGEES & ASYLEES
In 1980, the Department established the Maryland Office for New Americans as the Maryland Office of Refugee Affairs. In 1994, the Office reorganized as the Maryland Office for New Americans (Executive Order 01.01.1994.26). In April 2008, the Office transferred from the Community Services Administration to the Family Investment Administration. As the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees, the Office was restructured in December 2008 to administer federally-funded refugee programs. Formerly under the Office of Special Projects, it was transferred to the Office of Programs in July 2016.

The Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees helps refugees residing in Maryland to become economically and socially self-sufficient. It provides employment services, English language and vocational training, cultural orientation, and other services.

Citizenship Promotion Program. The Office also administers the Citizenship Promotion Program formed in 1995 (Chapter 163, Acts of 1995). The Program encourages and assists eligible Maryland residents to become naturalized citizens of the United States and participate in civic life (Code Human Services Article, secs. 6-702 through 6-708).

BUREAU OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The Bureau of Workforce Development originated from two agencies: the Bureau of Continuous Improvement, and the original Bureau of Work Programs. The Bureau of Continuous Improvement had started as the Office of Field Operations and reorganized as the Office of Quality Assurance in 1992, and the Bureau of Continuous Improvement in 1998. In October 2009, the Bureau of Continuous Improvement and the Bureau of Work Programs merged to form the Bureau of Local Operations. In June 2011, the Bureau became the Bureau of Employment Operations and Support, and in May 2012, the Bureau of Work Programs. In May 2014, the Bureau of Work Programs was reformed as the Bureau of Workforce Development and transferred to the office of the Executive Director, Family Investment Administration. The Bureau again moved to the Office of Special Projects in January 2015, and to the Office of Programs in June 2015.

Local departments of social services are monitored by the Bureau of Workforce Development to ensure compliance with State and federal regulations for programs of the Family Investment Administration. The Bureau also serves as a liaison between the local departments and State agencies. Overseen by the Bureau are the corrective actions for Family Investment programs.

Some adults receiving benefits through the Family Investment Administration must comply with work activity requirements. Through the Work Opportunities Management Information System (WOMIS), the Bureau analyzes the employment and work training functions of the Administration. This analysis meets federal reporting requirements for the State's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The System captures customer demographics and work history, as well as records activities within work programs, such as referrals, attendance, and outcomes. Reports and data generated by the System are used by the Bureau to determine compliance of the Administration and local offices with federal and State work regulations governing welfare reform.

OFFICE OF COMMUNITY SERVICES

The Office of Community Services began in July 2012 as the Office of Special Projects. Created by the Family Investment Administration to oversee the Bureau of Grants Management and the Bureau of Work Programs, in July 2016, the Office was restructured under its present name as a unit of the Office of Programs.

Beginning in June 2015, the Office of Special Projects had been responsible for the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees, and three bureaus: Healthcare Initiatives; Homeless Services; and Special Grants. Since its July 2016 restructuring, the Office of Community Services now oversees the Office of Home Energy Programs, and two bureaus: Homeless Services, and Special Grants.

OFFICE OF HOME ENERGY PROGRAMS
In July 2000, the Office of Home Energy Programs was created within the Community Services Administration. In April 2008, the Office transferred to the Family Investment Administration (Chapter 116, Acts of 2008). Formerly under the Office of Programs, Home Energy Programs moved to the Office of Community Services in July 2016.

The Office of Home Energy Programs oversees the Electric Universal Service Program and the Maryland Energy Assistance Program (Code Human Services Article, secs. 6-301 through 6-308). The Office also is charged with developing and implementing an emergency energy-crisis intervention program to prevent those with low incomes from experiencing danger to health or survival as a result of an energy emergency.

Electric Universal Service Program. This program began in July 2000. Low-income households are aided by the Program to pay current and overdue electric bills. To reduce future electric bills, the Program also helps with energy efficiency measures.

Maryland Energy Assistance Program. In 1977, the Program began as a pilot program. Reformed as the Energy Crisis Intervention Program in 1978, it adopted its present name in 1980. In July 2000, it was placed under the Office of Home Energy Programs.

The Maryland Energy Assistance Program provides fuel oil, electricity, gas (natural and propane), wood, and coal to eligible low-income people across the State (Code Human Services Article, secs. 6-301 through 6-308). Eligibility for assistance is based on household size, income, fuel type, and geographic location. Those with the greatest need receive the highest level of assistance. Benefits reflect a fixed portion of average fuel consumption based on fuel type. They range from 32 to 85 percent of average consumption. Heating assistance is offered to eligible tenants and homeowners. Maryland is the first state to offer this aid to shelters for battered spouses and the homeless. The Program subcontracts with twenty local agencies (departments of social services, governments, community action agencies) and 450 energy suppliers to provide this assistance.

Emergency Energy Assistance also is offered by the Program to householders certified eligible for regular energy assistance benefits. Provided on a one-time-only basis, this assistance is for fuel deliveries, utility cut-offs, emergency repairs, blankets, emergency space heaters, or emergency shelter. It may not exceed $180. Benefits provided are paid directly to energy vendors selected by the eligible household. Under contract with the State, vendors deliver fuel to a household until the family's benefit amount is exhausted.

BUREAU OF HOMELESS SERVICES

BUREAU OF SPECIAL GRANTS
In April 2008, the Office of Grants Management was established under the Deputy Secretary for Programs. From the Community Services Administration, it was assigned programs from the former Office of Community Initiatives, the Office of Transitional Services, and the Office of Victim Services. In July 2012, the Office was renamed the Bureau of Grants Management, and transferred to the Family Investment Administration. It became the Bureau of Special Grants in May 2014.

Displaced Homemakers Program. Started as a model project in 1976, this program became State funded in 1979 (Chapter 339, Acts of 1979). The Program helps homemakers who are displaced due to the death or disability of, or divorce, separation, or abandonment by a family member upon whom they depended for income. Community organizations help them become self-sufficient through counseling, training, and employment assistance (Code Family Law Article, secs. 4-601, 4-602).


SOCIAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, MD 21201 - 3521

In 1900, the Social Services Administration originated as the Board of State Aid and Charities (Chapter 679, Acts of 1900). In 1939, the Board was replaced by the State Department of Public Welfare (Chapter 99, Acts of 1939). The Department was renamed the State Department of Social Services in 1968 (Chapter 702, Acts of 1968). When the Department of Employment and Social Services organized in 1970, the Social Services Administration was made part of that agency (Chapter 96, Acts of 1970). And, when the Department evolved into the Department of Human Resources in 1975, the Social Services Administration continued as part of the Department (Chapter 382, Acts of 1975). Under the Secretary's direct supervision from June 2008 to 2015, the Social Services Administration moved under the Deputy Secretary for Programs in 2015.

All social services in the State are coordinated and directed by the Social Services Administration (Code Human Services Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-303). These include adoption, foster care, protective services to children and families, and services to families with children. The Administration also determines what factors contribute to social and family problems and recommends policy changes to address those problems. Moreover, the Administration supervises all public and private institutions that have the care, custody, or control of dependent, abandoned or neglected children, except those placed under supervision of another agency. It licenses agencies and institutions having the care and custody of minors. In addition, services to vulnerable adults and individuals with disabilities are the responsibility of the Administration. These services protect vulnerable adults, promote their self-sufficiency and prevent unnecessary institutional care.

Formerly, the Social Services Administration supervised all public assistance programs in Maryland. These responsibilities, however, transferred to the Income Maintenance Administration (now Family Investment Administration) in 1980 (Chapter 26, Acts of 1980).

Started in 2006 and maintained by the Department's Office of Technology for Human Services, the Children's Electronic Social Services Information Exchange (MD CHESSIE) is an automated child welfare information system, which serves as a case management tool statewide for child welfare, foster care, and adoption. The Exchange serves as the Administration's official record of the social services that it administers.

In Baltimore City and each county, the directors of local departments of social services administer programs subject to the supervision, direction, and control of the Social Services Administration.

Each county department of social services has a nine-member board of social services. Board members are appointed to three-year terms by the local governing authority. One member serves ex officio. In Baltimore City, the board is called the social services commission. The Mayor appoints its members to six-year terms, and two members serve ex officio (Code Human Services Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-602).

With the Governor's approval, the Executive Director of the Social Services Administration is appointed by the Secretary of Human Resources (Code Human Services Article, sec. 4-203).

The Social Services Administration is organized into two major components: Operations, and Programs.

OPERATIONS

For the Social Services Administration, Operations oversees Contracts and Monitoring; Data Integrity; Quality Assurance, Research, and Evaluation; and Systems Development.

QUALITY ASSURANCE, RESEARCH, & EVALUATION
Quality Assurance, Research, and Evaluation formed in 1993 as the Special Projects Division. It became the Office of Planning and Special Projects Management in 1994, and the Office of Planning and Projects Management in 1996. Later in 1996, it reorganized as the Office of Research, Special Projects, Planning, and Legislation. At that time, functions of the former Office of Program Review and Monitoring were assigned to it. In August 1997, the Office of Research, Special Projects, Planning, and Legislation was renamed the Office of Special Services. Then, in August 2007, the Office restructured as Research, Evaluation, and System Development, and further reformed as Quality Assurance, Research, and Evaluation in March 2011.

Interagency efforts to plan, fund, and implement new human service projects that address the needs of Department clients are coordinated by this office. Current projects focus on drug addiction; child-abuse treatment and prevention grants; the Family-to-Family Initiative; and Family Support Program grants.

PROGRAMS

Programs is responsible for the Office of Adult Services; the Alternative Response Program; and Foster Care Policy and Practice.

OFFICE OF ADULT SERVICES
Within the Social Services Administration, the Office of Adult Services began as the Office of Adult and Family Services. In 1987, it was renamed Office of Adult Services. It transferred to the Community Services Administration in 1990, was renamed Office of Adult and Family Services in 1996, and again became Office of Adult Services in January 1999. In April 2008, the Office transferred back to the Social Services Administration.

Vulnerable or elderly citizens are helped by the Office to strengthen family and community ties so that they may live in the community (Code Human Services Article, secs. 6-501 through 6-708).

Community-Based Services. Under the Office of Adult Services are community-based services, including Adult Protective Services; the Adult Public Guardianship Program; the Representative Payee Program; and Social Services to Adults.

Adult Protective Services. This program protects the health, safety, and welfare of endangered, vulnerable adults, aged 18 or over, who lack the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. The program works to prevent or remedy neglect, self-neglect, abuse, or exploitation of adults unable to protect their own interests or at risk of harming themselves or others.

Adult Public Guardianship Program. Through this program, local departments of social services are the guardians of last resort for vulnerable persons aged 18 to 65. For persons who have been certified medically incompetent, the guardian makes decisions about nonfinancial matters. For vulnerable persons aged 65 or older, the Office on Aging and area aging agencies serve as the guardians of last resort.

Representative Payee Program. This program helps vulnerable low-income individuals manage their monthly Social Security benefit when no family member or friend is available. For the individual, the representative payee ensures that financial obligations are met. By helping vulnerable adults maintain economic self-sufficiency and support, the Program reduces the number of adults placed in institutions, and prevents their financial exploitation.

Social Services to Adults. This is the Department's core program of social work services for adults aged 18 and older. The program helps adults to be self-supporting and self-sufficient and to avoid abuse, neglect, or exploitation. It helps those who need institutional care secure it and protects those who do not from unnecessary institutionalization. These services build, sustain, and augment family and community support.

Home-Based Services. The Office also oversees home-based services, including the Certified Adult Residential Environment Program; In-Home Aide Services; and the Respite Care Program.

Certified Adult Residential Environment Program. Within the Social Services Administration, the Program was established in 1986 (Chapter 626, Acts of 1986). It transferred to the Community Services Administration in 1990.

The Program arranges for private citizens to accept into their homes and care adults with disabilities who otherwise would reside in institutions. The Program develops such housing, licenses care givers, and places clients in homes. Its case managers meet with care providers and clients to monitor these adult foster-care arrangements. The Program serves persons with mental or physical disabilities, including persons with HIV/AIDS.

In-Home Aide Services. This program provides necessary assistance in the home for people whose cases are managed through local departments of social services. Eligibility for this assistance does not depend on income.

Respite Care Program. Started in 1984, the Program provides temporary short-term care for disabled or elderly persons to whom family members normally give care. Services may be scheduled or given as needed. They may be offered in the home or in day-care facilities, nursing-care facilities, the home of a certified caseworker, community-based respite-care homes, or other sites approved or requested by the family. By allowing the family much needed breaks from care giving, the Program reduces the likelihood of institutionalization, neglect, or abuse.

ALTERNATIVE RESPONSE PROGRAM
In July 2012, the Department began developing the Alternative Response Program which, as of July 1, 2013, may be implemented by local departments of social services (Chapter 397, Acts of 2012).

Alternative Response is a component of the Child Protective Services Program that provides for a comprehensive assessment of risk of harm to the child; risk of subsequent abuse or neglect; family strengths and needs; and the provision of or referral for necessary services. An alternative response to a report of suspected abuse or neglect does not trigger an investigation or identification of a perpetrator. In cases where the child is not in immediate danger, an assessment may be made, and the child and family quickly referred to needed supportive services.

FOSTER CARE POLICY & PRACTICE
Foster Care Policy and Practice began as the Office of Family and Child Development Services in 1980 and reformed as the Office of Children and Family Services in 1991. In August 2007, it reorganized as Child Welfare Practice and Policy. In December 2015, it assumed its present name.

This office sets policy and standards for Child Welfare Organizational Development and Training; In-Home Services; and Permanency Services. Foster Care Policy and Practice also is responsible for the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, and the Mutual-Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry.


STRATEGY & ADMINISTRATION

Headed by a Deputy Secretary, Strategy and Administration was created in January 2016. It supports the Secretary of Human Resources in policy matters and in implementing major new initiatives. Further, Strategy and Administration oversees collecting, analyzing, and reporting the Department's performance data. Also, the Office represents the Department in interdepartmental activities.

Strategy and Administration is responsible for three offices: Constituent Services; Human Resource Development and Training; and Strategy and Performance.

Maryland Constitutional Offices & Agencies
Maryland Departments
Maryland Independent Agencies
Maryland Executive Commissions, Committees, Task Forces, & Advisory Boards
Maryland Universities & Colleges
Maryland Counties
Maryland Municipalities
Maryland at a Glance


Maryland Manual On-Line

Search the Manual
e-mail: mdmanual@mdarchives.state.md.us


This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.


Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!


[ Archives' Home Page  ||  All About Maryland  ||  Maryland Manual On-Line  ||  Reference & Research
||  Search the Archives   ||  Education & Outreach  ||  Archives of Maryland Online ]

Governor     General Assembly    Judiciary     Maryland.Gov

Copyright November 29, 2016 Maryland State Archives