AHS Field Services
The Field Services Division was created in 2004 as a result of the AHS Reorganization to maximize the effectiveness of the human services system in each district of the state. The Division's scope covers the entire Agency of Human Services, including services provided by community partner organizations. Seven Field Directors cover the 12 AHS districts of the state. We work to unify human services and to build a system focused on excellent customer service, the holistic needs of individuals and families, strength-based relationships, and improving results for Vermonters.
Service Coordination: Service Coordinators is available in all 12 AHS districts to assist individuals or families with complex needs.
- "Working with my service coordinator, we were able to bring together a service team for a very complex case that had many agencies involved and were at cross-purposes. The service coordinator is not only knowledgeable of resources and system, she is very skilled at helping to clarify issues, one at a time, in a non-threatening and respectful manner. Due to clear communication and patient problem-solving, we left on a very positive note with a clear plan for the family that all members of the team could subscribe to."
Direct Service Dollars: Direct service dollars are designed to assist individuals and families in need when those needs fall into gaps within the current system and cannot be met with any other categorical resources.
- A Field Director had a call from a customer supported by AHS in the last year, "just to tell me and the Disability Program Navigator that he has secured a job on a local farm, has a place to live that he is ecstatic about, and is making $10/hour. This is after almost a year of living in very temporary housing, - in part funded by AHS, and receiving considerable support from our system of care. It was great to hear him doing so well and moving toward self-sufficiency..."
District Teams: The Field Director convenes and participates in a variety of community meetings involving district service delivery. Local State and private partners are engaged in this process which supports the Field Director in implementing the agenda of the Agency of Human Services to ”improve the outcomes for all Vermonters”.
Four Key Practices: Field Services is playing a lead role to ensure a focused effort defining common vision, values and vocabulary for all AHS staff, which embeds the following into our AHS organizational culture: customer service, holistic service, strengths-based relationships and a results focus.
Field Service Involvement:
The work of the Field Director varies from district to district depending on community and state priorities. Areas of involvement may include:
- Children’s Integrated Services: Field Directors and community partners work within districts to promote health, prevention and early intervention services to pregnant and post-partum women, infants and children birth to age 6, their families, and child development providers. Outcomes address increased child safety, family stability and optimal healthy development.
- Children’s Local Interagency Teams/Integrated Family Services: Field Directors are a part of the team in each district that seeks to bring together all services for children and families in an integrated and consistent continuum with the premise that giving families early support, education and interventions will produce better outcomes for all.
- Adult Local Interagency Teams/Re-Entry: Integrated Case Management for adults with complex situations as well as those involved with Re-entry from DOC onto the community, is in place on a statewide and community level, in both correctional facilities and the field. We hope to impact recidivism by focusing on planning for basic needs and supporting strategies to sustain success. One example is the work being done in conjunction with DCF-Economic Services, Corrections, and Vocational Rehabilitation to implement the Offender Benefits Enrollment Initiative on a statewide basis. This process allows benefits enrollment for offenders leaving facilities to be activated immediately upon release.
- Substance Abuse Services: Field Directors are involved in various capacities with substance abuse services in their respective districts. The Hub and Spoke model, providing medication assisted therapy for opiate addicts, is one such service. Substance abuse issues affect all segments of our population, including children and families, youth in transition and elders. Field Directors work to support access to treatment and to develop community resources that can help sustain recovery efforts.
- Housing: The needs of individuals and families for affordable, temporary and emergency housing are significant. In 2012, over 50% of Field Services direct service dollar allocations went to support the immediate housing needs of families to prevent displacement, re-incarceration, child custody and a negative impact on the overall health and well-being of families. Direct service dollars prevented many families from becoming homeless and requiring more intense and costly intervention from AHS. Additionally, Field Services is working with community partners to implement the Vermont Rental Subsidy Program and Community Housing Grants in each district. These efforts will assist individuals and families in obtaining safe and affordable permanent housing.
- Blueprint for Health: Field Directors are members of district, interdisciplinary teams designed to provide support to those served by participating primary care practices. The goals of the Blueprint include improving the health of the overall population, and improving control over health care costs by developing an integrated system that promotes health maintenance, prevention, and care coordination and management.
- Emergency Management: The creation of an effective, timely and coordinated response for Vermonters in times of disaster is critical. The Agency of Human Services is responsible for State Support Function #6, to coordinate assistance in support of State and local efforts to meet the mass food, water and care needs of victims of either local or statewide disasters. Field Directors can take the lead on this coordination and work in concert with other state and local disaster response resources to ensure that basic needs are being addressed.
- Creative WorkForce Solutions(CWS): In order to help all members of our community gain access to the skills and supports they need to access employment, the Creative Work Force Solutions team coordinates job developers from area agencies to share opportunities for employment across a number of different population and program areas. The Field Director is part of the team that advises CWS as they build relationships with local employers.
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