ANNOUNCEMENT: Meetings are being held virtually on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Meeting information can be found at the Fairfax County's Public Meetings Calendar.
Advisory Social Services Board Letter
County of Fairfax, Virginia
To protect and enrich the quality of life for the people, neighborhoods
and diverse communities of Fairfax County
Dear Chairman McKay and Members of the Board of Supervisors,
The Advisory Social Services Board (ASSB) presents this annual report on the services provided by the Department of Family Services (DFS) as a summary of the department’s accomplishments, as well as a record of the outcomes DFS has achieved. The ASSB is required under the Code of Virginia to issue an annual report on the department’s activities, and as this report shows, the need for DFS services remains high throughout Fairfax County. DFS estimates that one in every five households in the county has been helped in some way by its services—either through direct use of programs, calling emergency hotlines, attending community outreach events, or volunteering.
The ASSB’s work is guided by the idea that “We all do better when we ALL do better.” The success we see in Fairfax County is built upon a framework that provides all residents with the opportunity to live their best lives. The services offered by DFS through the divisions of Self-Sufficiency, Children Youth and Families, Adult and Aging, and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services continue to help people in crisis and prevent future crises from occurring. We must continue to provide equitable opportunities as far upstream as possible—not just at the very end.
Indeed, investing in our community and all its members through these prevention programs avoids the need for more serious and expensive actions and leads to a more just society. These programs help strengthen family relationships and financial security, easing the burden on those services that address urgent needs such as the safety of vulnerable populations, food security, access to health care, and self-sufficiency.
The Department of Family Services and the entire Health, Housing, and Human Services system positively impact all other government functions through these prevention efforts. We know with critical early intervention services, children are more likely to be successful in school and require fewer services; teens are more likely to be engaged in work or educational pursuits and less likely to be incarcerated; adults are more likely to own homes and businesses, and older adults are more likely to remain active and independent. This is the foundation of a strong and vibrant community.
We strongly believe that successful prevention programs in DFS and throughout the Health, Housing, and Human Services system must remain funded and be allowed to expand to meet the demand throughout Fairfax County. The county needs to invest in measuring outcomes and to continuously learn what impacts these services are having on our residents. Simply put, we need to know who is benefitting from our services and who is not. DFS and other departments must be diligent in collecting this kind of data and then using it constructively to make our system more accessible, equitable, and successful.
As we build upon these accomplishments, we look forward to working collaboratively with the county to implement its new strategic plan and the promise of equity made to the community through the One Fairfax policy. Sincerely,
Sarah Newman, Chair
Advisory Social Services Board
Advisory Social Services Board
The Advisory Social Services Board interests itself in all matters pertaining to the social welfare of the people served by the government; monitors the formulation and implementation of social welfare programs; meets with the Director of Social Services at least four times a year for the purpose of making recommendations on policy matters; makes an annual report to the governing body concerning the administration of the public welfare program; and submits to the governing body other reports the advisory body deems appropriate.
David T.S. Jonas, At-Large Chairman’s Office
Karen Darley, Braddock District
Stephanie Sedgwick, Dranesville District
Sarah Newman, Chair, Hunter Mill District
Larysa Kautz, Vice Chair, Lee District
Dr. Nancy Dalton Hall, Mason District
Storme Gray, Mt. Vernon District
Marcela Lievano Martinez, Providence District
Amrita Banerjee, Springfield District
Alice Foltz, Sully District
Michael Becketts, Director of Family Services