In its assessment of human services in the county, the Fairfax County Goals Advisory Commission found that the county did not have a comprehensive human services plan to establish, review, and coordinate service needs, resource requirements, funding allocations, and priorities across all human service agencies. The Commission also found that the county did not have an organization to coordinate the plans, priorities, and efforts of all human service agencies. In response to these findings, the Board of Supervisors chartered the Human Services Council on June 6, 1988.
The Council is typically comprised of twenty citizens who are appointed by the Board of Supervisors, representing each of the magisterial districts in Fairfax County (two of the Council members are appointed at-large by the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors).
The Council's charge from the Board of Supervisors directed the Council to serve several distinct roles in the human services system:
- Analyzing needs and the effectiveness of the human services system;
- Advising the system on annual and strategic goals, objectives, and priorities, with consideration for the requirements of non-county funding sources;
- Enhancing the coordination of services among human service providers, both public and private, and overseeing key aspects of change in the system; and
- Serving as a liaison to governing and advisory boards of existing human services organizations, and to the community on human services issues