The Agency of Human Services strives to improve the health and well-being of Vermonters today and tomorrow and to protect those among us who are unable to protect themselves.
The Agency of Human Services (AHS) was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1969 to serve as the umbrella organization for all human service activities within state government. The agency is currently led by Secretary Mike Smith, appointed by Governor Phil Scott in October 2019, and Deputy Secretary Martha Maksym. The Secretary’s Office (or Central Office) is responsible for strategically leading the agency and its departments in establishing and implementing agency-wide and government wide policies and practices.
The scope of AHS is profound. Through its six departments, twelve district offices, and a network of community partners and providers, it is responsible for the implementation and delivery of all human service programs within the state. Each department has a distinct area of focus and responsibility and contributes to the creation and sustenance of an entire system of human service supports.
As a single entity, the agency builds a continuum of care that protects and supports vulnerable Vermonters, develops and promotes whole population approaches to physical and behavioral health, and works to build safety and resilience at the individual, family, and community level.
AHS services are delivered throughout the state of Vermont by a dedicated cadre of state staff and through an extensive network of community partners and private, non-profit agencies. Among this network are the designated and specialized service agencies dedicated to providing mental health and disability services to both children and adults, specialized substance use treatment facilities, parent and child centers, community action agencies, area agencies on aging, schools, and private residential facilities. Additionally, private providers, doctors, specialists and therapists offer fee-for-service supports to Vermonters across the state.