DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

FUNCTIONS

Created in 1975 as the Department of Human Resources, the Department of Human Services received its present name in July 2017 (Chapter 205, Acts of 2017).

The Department of Human Services 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.


[photo, 311 West Saratoga St., Baltimore, Maryland] Children in particular are the concern of the Department's 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 (known as SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and Medical Assistance (Medicaid) (Code Human Services Article, secs. 2-101 through 6-708).

Department of Human Services, 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 Services 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 and the Two-Generation Family Economic Security Commission. The Secretary also serves on the Interagency Committee on Aging Services; the Behavioral Health Advisory Council; the State Child Fatality Review Team; the Maryland Cybersecurity Coordinating Council; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Governor's Family Violence Council; the Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee; the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs; the Interagency Council on Homelessness; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; the Juvenile Justice Reform Council; the Governor's Commission to Study Mental and Behavioral Health in Maryland; the Council on Open Data; the Maryland Opportunity Zone Leadership Task Force; the Council for the Procurement of Health, Educational and Social Services; the School Safety Subcabinet Advisory Board; the Maryland Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Policy and Funding Committee; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee on Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs; the Interagency Committee on Specialized Transportation; the Task Force to Study Transportation Access; the Maryland Veterans Trust; the State Board of Victim Services; and the Governor's Workforce Development Board.

Reporting to the Secretary are six offices: Budget and Finance; Communications; Employment and Program Equity; Government Affairs; Inspector General; and Technology for Human Services. Also within the Office of Secretary are the Maryland Total Human-Services Information Network, the Foster Parent Ombudsman and the Foster Care Youth Ombudsman.

Appointed by the Secretary of Human Services 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, the Two-Generation Family Economic Security Commission, and the Maryland Commission for Women.

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.

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 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 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 Services 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 Services Information System (DHSIS); and the Maryland Children's Electronic Social Services Information Exchange (MD Chessie), an automated child welfare information system maintained by the Office of Technology for Human Services.

TECHNICAL SERVICES
Technical Services oversees Security Services.

MARYLAND TOTAL HUMAN-SERVICES INFORMATION NETWORK (MD THINK)
The Maryland Total Human-Services Information Network (MD THINK) originally organized under the Office of Secretary as the Office of Modernization in July 2015. The Office reformed under its present name in 2017.

MD THINK is a cloud-based data repository that uses a scalable, pay-as-you-go, cloud-based platform. It is designed to break down data barriers between State agencies and provide integrated access to programs administered by the Department of Human Services and several agencies, including the Maryland Department of Health, the Department of Juvenile Services, and the Maryland Department of Labor.

With federal funding in 2017, Phase one of MD THINK will streamline service delivery for the most vulnerable Marylanders, including children in foster care, disconnected youth, and families in need. For the first time, caseworkers will be provided tablet devices, enabling them to provide services in the field as opposed to having to return to a central location to input data, saving time and resources.


OPERATIONS

The Deputy Secretary for Operations oversees three offices: Legal Services; Licensing and Monitoring; and Procurement.

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 Services. In 2008, the Office transferred to the Office of 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 the Department of Juvenile Services. Approximately 100 licensed programs for foster care treatment also are overseen by the Office.


PROGRAMS

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

Major programs of the Department of Human Services are administered by 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, was placed under Programs.

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


CHILD SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION

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

Formerly, enforcement of court-ordered child support 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 Services Article, sec. 2-301). Formerly under Operations, the Administration transferred to Programs in 2003. In July 2017, the Administration was renamed the Child Support Administration under the Department of Human Services (Chapter 205, Acts of 2017).

The Child Support Administration runs the statewide child support program and, in doing so, provides services to both the noncustodial and custodial parents. 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.

Appointed by the Secretary of Human Services, the Executive Director heads the Administration.

The Administration works through two agencies: Operations; and Programs. It also is assisted by Program Development.

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

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.

PROGRAMS

Within the Child Support Administration, Programs organized in 2000. Previously, it was responsible for Customer Service; Intergovernmental Services; Maryland Paternity Acknowledgement Program; Special Projects and Training; and the State Disbursement Unit.

Since February 2018, Programs oversees child support offices for five local jurisdictions: Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore County, and Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Programs also directs Special Projects, Grants Implementation/Monitoring, and Baltimore City Programs.

SPECIAL PROJECTS, GRANTS IMPLEMENTATION/MONITORING, & BALTIMORE CITY PROGRAMS
Maryland Fatherhood Initiatives have been part of Special Projects since February 2018.

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.


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).

While administered by the local departments of social services, 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, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and the Temporary Cash Assistance Program. The Administration also coordinates programs for public assistance to adults, emergency assistance, and burial assistance.

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

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 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 Maryland Department of Health, the Administration also certifies eligible low-income families for Maryland's Children Health Insurance Program, the Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid), and the Maryland Pharmacy Assistance Program.

For local departments of social services, the Family Investment Administration sets policy to be followed in determining eligibility for financial assistance, the Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid), 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 Services (Code Human Services Article, sec. 5-203).

The Administration oversees five offices: Administration, Cash Programs, Operations, Programs, and Workforce Development.

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION
For the Family Investment Administration, the Office of Administration oversaw four units: Contracts, Medical Assistance Operations, Office Automation, and Procurement and Budget. It was renamed the Bureau of Administration in 2015, and reverted to its former name in January 2019.

As of January 2020, the Office is responsible for budget and fiscal services, contracts administration, contracts and special projects, and support services.

OFFICE OF CASH PROGRAMS
In January 2020, the Office of Cash Programs formed.

OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
The Office 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. In January 2019, it moved to the Office of Operations as the Office of Workforce Development.

To ensure compliance with State and federal regulations for programs of the Family Investment Administration, local departments of social services are monitored by the Office of Workforce Development. The Office also serves as a liaison between the local departments and State agencies. Overseen by the Office 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 Office 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 (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamps 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 Office to determine compliance of the Administration and local offices with federal and State work regulations governing welfare reform.

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 four bureaus: Audit Compliance and Reporting; Program Evaluation; Quality Control; and Systems Modernization and Information Analysis.

BUREAU OF QUALITY CONTROL
Formerly the Bureau of Quality Control, the Bureau was renamed the Bureau of Quality Assurance in June 2011. It assumed its present name later.

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 MODERNIZATION & INFORMATION ANALYSIS
Formerly under the Office of Programs, the Bureau of Systems Development and Management transferred to the Office of Operations. In January 2019, that bureau merged with the Bureau of Information Analysis to form the Bureau of Systems Modernization and Information Analysis.

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 under the Income Maintenance Administration in 1992. The Office reorganized as the Office of Policy Administration in 1993, and was made part of the Family Investment Administration in 1996. Its structure altered when it was reformed as the Office of Policy, Research, and Systems in 1998. Under its present name, it reorganized in July 2004.

Under the Office of Programs are the Bureau of Special Grants and six offices: Home Energy Programs; the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees; Long-Term Care; Medical Assistance; Policy; and Training.


SOCIAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

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


[photo, Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, Westgate Building, 80 West St., Annapolis, Maryland] 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.


Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, Westgate Building, 80 West St., Annapolis, Maryland, May 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


While administered by the local departments of social services, 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 in 1980 to the Income Maintenance Administration (now Family Investment Administration) (Chapter 26, Acts of 1980).


[photo, W. Paul Martin District Court/Multi-Service Center, 201 Baptist St., Salisbury, Maryland] 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.

Wicomico County Department of Social Services, W. Paul Martin District Court/Multi-Service Center, 201 Baptist St., Salisbury, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Grantsville Outreach Center (Garrett County Dept. of Social Services & Health Dept.), Grantsville, Maryland] 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).

Grantsville Outreach Center (Garrett County Dept. of Social Services & Health Dept.), Grantsville, Maryland, October 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


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

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

OPERATIONS

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

DATA, RESEARCH, & EVALUATION
Data, 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. In July 2018, it adopted its present name.

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 & OUTCOMES IMPROVEMENT

Programs and Outcomes Improvement originally started as Programs, and adopted its present name in March 2017.

This division is responsible for the Office of Adult Services; Child Protective Services and Family Preservation; Placement and Permanency; and Systems Improvement. It is assisted by the Maryland Commission on Caregiving, the Advisory Council for Alternative Response, and the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

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.

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES & FAMILY PRESERVATION

As Child Welfare Organizational Development and Training, Child Protective Services and Family Preservation started, and adopted its present name in March 2017.

Child Protective Services and Family Preservation sets standards and policy for local departments of social services in their services to children and families that work to ensure children are safe and families have necessary supports to remain together. Within local offices of social services, child protective services receive reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Any health practitioner, educator, human service worker, or police officer is required by law to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to the local department of social services or the appropriate law enforcement agency. When a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is received by the local department, the report first is assessed to determine whether it will be assigned to the Investigative Response pathway or an Alternative Response for lower risk cases.

ALTERNATIVE RESPONSE PROGRAM
In July 2012, the Department began developing the Alternative Response Program which by July 2014, was fully 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 (Code Family Law Article, sec. 5-706).

INTERSTATE COMPACT ON THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN
In July 1975, Maryland jointed the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (Chapter 266, Acts of 1975; Code Family Law Article, secs. 5-601 through 5-611). Formerly overseen by Child Welfare Practice and Policy, responsibilities were reassigned in March 2011 to Resource Development, Placement, and Support Services, which became Placement Services and Interagency Initiatives in October 2014. These responsibilities in December 2015 were reassigned to Foster Care Policy and Practice, which reformed as Systems Improvement in March 2017.

The Compact sets statutory guidelines for placing children out of their state of residence for purposes of adoption, foster care, or treatment in a licensed residential center. Not only does the Compact ensure that children are placed in safe environments, but it also clarifies legal and financial responsibility for such children.

PLACEMENT & PERMANENCY
Under the Social Services Administration, Placement and Permanency formed as Permanency Services, and adopted its present name in 2016.

SYSTEMS IMPROVEMENT
Systems Improvement 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 was renamed Foster Care Policy and Practice, and in March 2017, it became Systems Improvement.

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 Services 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 four offices: Administrative Operations; Constituent Services, Human Resource Development and Training, and Strategy and Performance.

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. In January 2019, the Office moved under Strategy and Administration.

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, records management, risk management, and support operations.

RECORDS MANAGEMENT
Since October 1, 2017, the Department of Human Services has had a program for the continual, economical and efficient management of its records. The Department's Records Officer develops and oversees the program, and serves as liaison to the Records Management Division of the Department of General Services, and to the State Archives (Chapter 539, Acts of 2017; Code State Government Article, secs. 10-608 through 10-611).

OFFICE OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING

The Office of Human Resource Development and Training formed as the Office of Personnel in 1970 and adopted its present name in 1996. In July 2015, it moved under the Chief of Staff, and in December 2015 under the Office of Planning and Performance. In January 2016, the Office moved to Strategy and Administration.

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