Health and Human Services programs receive national achievement awards
Published on May 14, 2019
Five Placer County programs have been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties this year. NACo recognizes programs that provide innovative government programs that improve services for local residents.
“We’re committed to providing cutting-edge services – in fact, this commitment underlies our department’s future direction,” said Health and Human Services Director Jeff Brown, whose department received the awards. “The 2019 NACo awards are yet another sign that our staff are delivering quality services day in, day out.”
The Human Services Division was recognized for its distinctive approach to generating nearly $650,000 in tax refunds for Placer residents. Human Services partnered with Sierra College in Rocklin to expand the bench of volunteers available to help low-income residents prepare their tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and allowed students who served as volunteers to earn course credits.
Adult System of Care and the Probation Department were recognized for a new, collaborative approach to promoting positive change in the lives of young adults involved in the justice system. The Assertive Community Treatment Team is a cross-department, cross-partner program that identifies the needs of justice-involved young people and puts them on the path of health and well-being. The returns are promising. A lower share of participants are committing new criminal offenses and many are getting new jobs and living in stable housing.
Meanwhile, the Public Health Division received an award for its fresh take on a workplace safety program – one designed to ensure it was prioritized, not ignored. In partnership with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the Office of Emergency Services and Risk Management, Public Health led a brief yet functional active shooter exercise with over 200 participants, which included emergency go-packs, facilitated discussion and a debrief.
Environmental Health received an award for revamping its disaster response program for a new age. With the ever-increasing danger of wildfires, Environmental Health is now able to deploy resources quickly to communities impacted by natural and manmade disasters. Placer’s program has proven so successful that California is using it to create mutual aid standards and a corresponding training program.
Animal Services staff were recognized for creating an emergency response program designed specifically for animal rescue, treatment and reunification. Animal Services activated the program to respond to the plight of thousands of animals displaced by the 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, California. For weeks on end, animal control officers, veterinarians and kennel attendants delivered medical care, recovered animals and provided emergency shelter.
For 49 years, NACo has presented Achievement Awards to innovative county-run programs. Nationally, awards are given in 18 categories. A full database of this year’s award recipients can be found here.