Department of Family Services Strategic Plan
January 1, 2010 – June 30, 2013
Promote the well-being of our diverse community by protecting and improving the lives of children, adults and families through advocacy, education and effective supportive services.
We envision a caring community where all are safe and have dignity, well-being and hope.
Our primary external customers are individuals and organizations who currently receive services and those who are in need of services. Our staff is our primary internal customer.
The department plays several roles in the furtherance of our vision and mission:
The Department of Family Services is an organization where our diversity is a strength. Diversity is all the ways in which individuals are unique, different and similar. We support a community that embraces all.
Fairfax County Core Purpose
To protect and enrich the quality of life for the people, neighborhoods and diverse communities of Fairfax County.
The Strategic Action Plan of the Department of Family Services supports the county’s core purpose.
The Department of Family Services
The Department of Family Services published its first three-year strategic plan in 2003. In 2006, DFS adopted a Balanced Scorecard approach for its next strategic plan (2007-2010). The county executive later mandated that all county agencies use this approach for strategic planning.
The balanced scorecard views the department’s strategic work in four perspectives: learning and growth (staff), process (how we do our work); financial (how we fund it) and customer (who we serve).
In May 2009, DFS launched a department-wide process improvement review of its key “lines of service,” to identify opportunities to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The Lines of Service process has three stages upon which the 2010-2013 strategic plan is based:
Our Lines of Service
Provide Excellent Family Services: This is the overall objective of the Department of Family Services, in accordance with the department’s mission to promote the well-being of our diverse community by protecting and improving the lives of children, adults and families through advocacy, education and effective supportive services.
Nurture Community Partnerships: Increase and enhance collaboration with businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, citizen advisory boards/councils, volunteers and other partners to improve services to county residents.
Anticipate and Respond to Changing Community Needs: Utilize demographic data and service trend information to understand and address the evolving needs of our customers.
Increase Community Awareness: Promote and publicize department services using effective community messages to increase awareness of and access to the department’s services.
Exercise Fiscal Stewardship: Manage county resources and assets effectively to improve accountability and control costs without compromising services.
Maximize Resources: Increase the department’s resources through grant development, revenue maximization activities, management of donations, and strategic use of volunteers.
Streamline Internal Processes: Review current procedures and eliminate inefficient business practices.
Refine emergency planning. Clarify the department’s role in responding to emergencies and develop processes and protocols for emergency management.
Integrate Service Delivery: Enhance the ability to share appropriate information, including data systems, among divisions, agencies, partners and stakeholders to eliminate duplication, improve the referral process and coordinate and expedite the provision of services to better serve customers.
Leverage Technology: Ensure that the department has access to adequate technological resources and that employees are trained and able to use these resources. Use technology to improve data collection and analysis for informed decision making and to provide effi cient and effective service delivery.
Learning and Growth
Cultivate a High Performing and Diverse Workforce: Enhance a culture of leadership that promotes innovation, improves accountability, promotes diversity and enhances staff knowledge, skills and abilities.
Improve Internal Communication: Improve processes for sharing information among staff to improve service delivery.
Strategic Plan Strategy Map
This map shows how the department’s strategic objectives are linked and build upon each other to support the department’s overall objective – provide excellent customer service.
As the map demonstrates, the process starts with our staff. Cultivating and supporting our employees is the basis for all other strategic objectives.