Human Services

Welcome to the County of Bucks Division of Human Services. Our vision is to support communities in which all individuals and families can thrive. Our mission is to support and strengthen individual and family wellness through community connections, collaboration, integration, innovation, and responsible stewardship of resources.

The Division of Human Services oversees the following County administered programs:

Area Agency on Aging

Behavioral Health / Developmental Programs

Children & Youth

Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc.

Role and Responsibilities

The Human Services Division works collaboratively with public and private agencies to identify barriers and gaps in services, coordinate programming for efficient and effective service delivery, and also advocates with legislators and government offices for adequate funding to meet the needs of County residents.

The Human Services Department is staffed with a Director, Finance and Administration Manager, Information Technology Manager, two Co-Responders embedded in the Bensalem Police Department, a Resource Navigator stationed in the Bucks Human Services Connect Hub, and a Human Services Development Fund Coordinator.  The Department administers the Human Services Development Fund portion of the annual Human Services Block Grant allocation. 

Newsletters

Check out our recent Newsletters to find out more about what is happening in the Human Services Division!

New Initiatives 

Co-Responder Program

walter rachel 12.3.2020

In December of 2020, Bucks County launched the Co-Responder Program as a pilot in its largest municipality, Bensalem Township.  Bucks County leadership and the Bensalem Township Police Department successfully launched this initiative and were thrilled to welcome Rachel Agosto and Walter Bynum as our first co-responder team. This pilot is fully funded through current MH Base dollars and consists of a two-person mobile social worker team embedded in the Bensalem Township Police Department.  The team partners with law enforcement and serves as a liaison in addressing the social service needs of individuals contacting 911 Emergency Services to affect the following outcomes: decrease the time law enforcement spends in response to a situation involving social service needs; provide a more effective emergency response through the addition of clinical-informed support and an enhanced community resource knowledge base; ensure those who outreach for an emergency response receive timely and streamlined connection to resources to address their social service needs; and divert individuals with primary social service needs from further penetration into the criminal justice system. 

During the start time that the Co-Responder Program has been in place, we have already experienced positive outcomes; there has been immediate response to crisis situations as well as a reduction of repetitive calls from persons with issues better addressed by our County Human Services Division. Also, individuals with substance use issues have been connected with treatment rather than incarcerated, seniors have been linked with needed community resources, and individuals in mental distress have been supported to avoid acting on their suicidal thoughts.   In addition to real-time response, the Co-Responder team follows individuals for up to sixty days to ensure connections have been made to address social service needs.   The current Program has also partnered with a forensic research consultant to analyze collected data and it is proposed that this evaluation component be extended to the expansion municipalities.   

Bucks Human Services Connect - The Hub

The Bucks County Human Services Division has launched The Hub – Bucks Human Services Connect!  The vision of the Hub is for Bucks County residents, their families, and those who support them to be aware of and have access to human services resources in person and virtually through a person-centered, supportive, integrated experience. There has been a work group underway for the last several months dedicated to this initiative and we were thrilled to see The Hub open for business as of Tuesday, February 16th, 2021!  Already the Hub has received hundreds of calls, e-mails, and walk-ins in just the three months since the grand opening.

hub ribbon cutting 2.16.21-3

The Hub is on the first floor of the Administration Building in Doylestown and is accessible for in-person and virtual supports for individuals in need Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. As you know, there is a vast array of human services resources available in Bucks County, but navigating the system can be overwhelming, time consuming, and quite daunting – often at a time when it is the hardest for an individual in need to make such an effort. There is no wrong door at the Hub and staff will always try to exercise a warm hand-off as they transition a client from the Hub to the appropriate connection to services. There is no issue too big or too small for the Hub staff and the hope is that Bucks County residents will seek the assistance they need to get help to become more secure and to lead healthier lives. The Hub’s Resource Navigator and support staff will offer a helping hand and guidance to those seeking help.

 Also, please click on the link below to view the recently released public service announcement of this new service:

Bucks Human Services Connect - The Hub PSA


Community Spotlight

Bucks County is fortunate to work with a strong network of partners and provider agencies.  We will feature some of our partners throughout the year who ensure we fulfill our mission of strengthening and supporting individual and family wellness.

United Way and Bucks County Opportunity Council

In the spotlight this quarter are Fresh Connect and the HELP Center brought to life by a partnership between the United Way of Bucks County and the Bucks County Opportunity Council.  These two programs directly address some of the the most basic needs of our community.  

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Fresh Connect

Fresh Connect is a free mobile farmers market that makes three stops in Bucks County each week. It provides fruits, vegetables, and sometimes other essentials to friends and neighbors who need help accessing fresh produce.

The program is a collaboration between United Way of Bucks County, Bucks County Opportunity Council, St. Mary Medical Center, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, and Philabundance.

Since COVID-19, Fresh Connect has provided critical contact-free food distribution, serving between 200 – 300% more households than in previous years.

Fresh Connect Hours of Operation:

Tuesdays in Warminster: 11 AM – 1 PM

Thursdays in Ottsville: 10 AM – 12 PM

Fridays in Bristol: 11 AM – 1 PM

Fresh Connect is currently a drive-through operation. Guests need to be sure that their trunks are completely clear and free of materials so that volunteers can place the food in easily.

Pre-registration is required, and volunteers are welcome. To register or to volunteer at a Fresh Connect site, visit www.bcoc.org/fresh-connect

Funding for Fresh Connect is provided by United Way of Bucks County. Donations to Bucks Knocks Out Hunger (www.uwbucks.org/bkohunger) help fund Fresh Connect year-round.

HELP Center

HELP Center is a coordinated Healthy Eating and Living Partnership. It is a collaboration between United Way of Bucks County, Bucks County Opportunity Council, and St Mary Medical Center with support from Penn Community Bank.

The 8,000 square foot site opened in spring 2020 and partners moved quickly to respond to needs in the community from food to paper goods to PPE – to virtually any essential item you can name.

Bucks County Opportunity Council, the county’s lead food agency, uses the HELP Center as central distribution for dry goods. Food is distributed to and through food pantries county-wide. BCOC leverages the space for greater buying power, lowering food costs, which in turn makes more food available.  

United Way of Bucks County serves community partners – Member Agencies, schools, food pantries and more – by providing bulk distribution of essential goods, as well as Bucks County households in need of assistance.

Households facing challenging life circumstances can also “shop” for the items they need, free of charge, when referred and accompanied by a community partner. United Way of Bucks County Member Agencies are invited to refer shoppers to the HELP Center.


Human Services Recognizes......

Community Action Month, May 2021

In May,  Bucks County recognized Community Action Agency Month!  Thank you to Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) for being a valued and critical partner within Human Services.  BCOC was recognized at our May 19th Commissioners Meeting for their work.

BCOC Logo

 

Emergency Hotlines

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • National de Prevencion del Suicidio:  1-888-628-9454
  • Bucks County Housing Link:  1-800-810-4434 (For individuals who are homeless or experiencing a housing-related crisis.)
  • Childline (report child abuse):  1-800-932-0313
  • Children & Youth After Hours Emergency:  1-888-245-7210; press 1 for Operations, 2 for Supervisor
  • Elder Abuse Hotline (Area Agency on Aging):  1-800-243-3767
  • National Domestic Abuse Hotline:  1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • PA Drug and Alcohol Helpline:  1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Lenape Valley Crisis Warm Line: 215-896-9717
  • Veteran’s Crisis Line:  1-800-273-8255 press 1

Contact us.  We are here to help.

Please reach out if you are in need of help. Our staff is available to offer a helping hand and guidance to those seeking assistance and to connect individuals and families to resources and services so that all Bucks County residents can lead healthier and more secure lives. Call 215-348-6201 or visit the Bucks Human Services Connect, "The Hub."