Human Services Strategic Plan


Phase II:

Background Data and Research


Identification of Priorities



Executive Summary



Presented by the

Strategic Plan Advisory Committee

of the

Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on

Children and Families

July 2007






In the Fall of 2006, the Human Services Budget Advisory Committee of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families (CCF) completed Phase I of the Human Services Strategic Plan by releasing the Human Services Investments. This report was the culmination of research regarding the distribution of investments across all local human service agencies receiving any public monies (excluding the public schools and the University of Virginia).  CCF then launched Phase II of this process by asking that a second Advisory Committee be established to marry the data from the Human Services Investments with available data on local needs, such that local priorities could be identified.  Both the Human Services Investments report and the full text of the Phase II report are available at


Research and Prioritization Process


A Phase II Advisory Committee was convened in October 2006, with the goal of developing a comprehensive report evaluating both local needs and current investments in order to identify priority areas on which the localities could focus resources.


Phase II Advisory Committee

Joe Allen, PhD, Professor of Psychology                   

University of Virginia


Leslie Beauregard, Director                                      

Budget and Performance Management

City of Charlottesville


Jackie Bryant, Executive Director                              

Children, Youth, and Family Services


Buz Cox, Director                                                  

Charlottesville Department of Social Services


Gretchen Ellis, Director                                           

Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families


Jon Nafziger, Vice President for Community Initiatives     

United Way – Thomas Jefferson Area


Rydell Payne, Executive Director

Abundant Life Ministries


Maryfrances Porter, Coordinator of Research & Planning

Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families


Kathy Ralston, Director                                           

Albemarle County Department of Social Services


Steve Stern, PhD, Professor of Economics                

University of Virginia


Juandiego Wade, Planner                                         

Albemarle County Transportation


Gordon Walker, CEO                                            

Jefferson Area Board of Aging


Roxanne White/Bryan Elliott, Assistant County Executive

Albemarle County Executive’s Office


Human Service Areas

·         Early Childhood Development – This area includes services to children aged 0 to 6 such as prenatal care, young child health, child care and preschool.

·         Youth Development – This area includes services to children aged 7 to 18 such as job training, service learning, tutoring, and after school activities.

·         Housing Assistance – This area includes services to all residents such as assistance for the homeless, rental assistance/home ownership loans, and public housing.

·         Transportation Assistance – This area includes services to all residents such as general public transportation, and transportation for the elderly and handicapped.

·         Community Education and Recreation – This area includes services to residents such as parenting education, adult education, parks and recreation, and libraries.

·         Family and Community Safety – This area includes services to all residents such as victim services, youth detention and rehabilitation, and legal services.

·         Health Care – This area includes services to all residents such as public health services and Medicaid/ Medicare.

·         Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services – This area includes services to all residents such as treatment for seasonal depression or chronic and severe mental illnesses, services for mental disabilities, or substance abuse treatment.

·         Senior Services – This area includes services to those over the age of 64 such as home care, counseling, and community centers.

·         Financial Assistance Services – This area includes services to all residents such as emergency financial aide, food stamps, and refugee assistance.


Data Inclusion

·         Focus Areas for Children and Families in the Charlottesville/Albemarle Area, Update: August 2006 (Including data from all 67 references included in that document, including the 2003 CCF Community Needs Assessment and Stepping Stones, 2006)

·         Albemarle County Citizen Satisfaction Survey, 2006

·         City of Charlottesville Neighborhood Planning Needs Survey, 2006

·         Jefferson Area Disability Services Board, Needs Assessment, 2006

·         Jefferson Board of Aging Telephone Survey, 2007

·         Monticello Area Community Action Agency, 2007 Client Survey

·         Focus Groups 2006-2007

o        Twenty-two focus groups plus 3 community forums and several individual informational interviews were held between November, 2006 and March, 2007, to gather the input and opinions of individual residents and human service providing agencies.

o        The following questions were posed to focus groups/forums:

1.       What is not going well, not working, or not meeting your needs or the needs of people you know? What could be done differently in this area?

2.       What is going well or working well for you, or meeting the needs of the people you know?


Identification of Priority Areas

The Advisory Committee developed a systematic approach to use the data to inform the identification of priorities areas: (1) They began by looking for common themes in the public perspectives data. (2) Once common themes were identified, all the other background and investment data were reviewed for data relevant to those themes. (3) Then, all the background and investment data, including data from informational interviews and individuals’ statements, were reviewed once more to check for data, not previously identified, that spoke to a large need area not acknowledged in the public perspectives data. Informed by this data analysis, the Advisory Committee then came to consensus on three preliminary priority areas. These were presented to CCF for approval (note: although affordable housing and public transportation were identified as the clear priorities, as these issues are difficult to address at an agency level, three additional preliminary priority areas also were identified). (4) Economics and Psychology Research Teams conducted cost/benefit and best practices research on the three preliminary priority areas, which was used to inform the selection of two service-oriented priority areas.


Additionally, the Advisory Committee identified one service-oriented priority area needing additional community-level coordination before it could be effectively addressed, as well as two contextual priority areas (i.e., community-level issues that impact service provision across human service areas), which were presented to CCF for approval.


UVA Research Teams


Steven Stern, PhD                                                    Professor of Economics

Daniel Becker                                                          Graduate Student in Economics

Amelia McKeithen                                                   Undergraduate Student in Economics



N. Dickon Reppucci, PhD                                        Professor of Community and Clinical Psychology

Barbara Oudekerk                                                   Graduate Student in Community Psychology

Aliesje Chapman and Laura Elizares                           Undergraduate Students in Psychology



Next Steps


·         CCF will recommend all the approved priority areas to the Charlottesville City Council and Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in August 2007.

·         The identified service-oriented priority areas will be incorporated into the FY09 Agency Budget Review Team process by which local agencies request local funding support.

·         Informational papers will be presented to CCF and made publicly available, summarizing all priority issues.

·         CCF will establish an on-going Human Services Strategic Plan Steering Committee to inform the Strategic Planning work on the identified priorities over the several years (Phase III), as well as to advise and guide the updates of the Phase I and Phase II documents.

·         Informed by the Steering Committee, CCF will charge existing work groups and/or establish new work groups to develop strategic plans for ameliorating local needs in the service priority areas. These strategic plans will also address the contextual priority areas.



Priority Areas


The Advisory Committee acknowledges that the following are clear community priorities at this time; however, they are difficult for service providers to address directly, and are perhaps better addressed at a community/government-level:


ü      Expanding affordable housing options (both rental and owner occupied) in Charlottesville/Albemarle.


ü      Expanding public transportation to weekends and overnight, as well as to expanded destinations and/or eliminating the need for transportation to services (i.e., by providing transportation to and/or locating services within walking distance of beneficiaries).


The Advisory Committee also recommends that the following be adopted as service-oriented priorities. Local service providers should work together strategically to expand and/or create programming aimed at ameliorating these issues:


ü      Expanding programming and access to affordable, early care and education for children from birth through age 5, which meets an agreed upon minimum standard of quality.


ü      Expanding programming and access to affordable youth development services during out of school hours, including during the summer, and activities including mentoring.


Additionally, the Advisory Committee also recommends that the following be adopted as a planning priority. Local efforts should be focused on coordinating service providers and stakeholders such that the following issue can be strategically addressed in the future:


ü      Expanding affordable and accessible preventative and early intervention mental health services for adults, as well as psychotherapeutic and medication management services for adults struggling with moderate mental health issues.


The Advisory Committee lastly recommends that the following issues be adopted as contextual priorities.  These priorities, rather than addressing specific service needs, deal with the environment in which all services are delivered.  Local service providers should work together to address these issues within the context of their programming:


ü      Enhancing the ease with which clients are able to navigate the service array, such that service provision among service providers is best supported and coordinated with the goal of promoting clients’ movement to self-sufficiency.


ü      Enhancing the provision of culturally competent, accessible, and affordable services, including the use of adequate translation/interpretation services.


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