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:
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 administers the Human Services Development Fund portion of the annual Human Services Block Grant allocation, oversees the Co-Responder Program, and manages the Bucks Human Services Connect Hub.
The Human Services Department is staffed with the Director, the Finance and Administration Manager, the Community Engagement Officer, five Co-Responders embedded in Bucks County police departments, two Resource Navigators stationed in the Bucks Human Services Connect Hub, and a Human Services Development Fund Coordinator.
Check out our 2022 Newsletters to find out more about what is happening in the Human Services Division!
- Human Services 6th Edition, January 2022 Newsletter
- Human Services 7th Edition, April 2022 Newsletter
- Human Services 8th Edition, August 2022 Newsletter
- Human Services 9th Edition, October 2022 Newsletter
Congratulations to Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc. for hosting another successful National Medication Take Back event!
Division of Human Services Annual Report FY2021-22
The Division of Human Services accomplished amazing things last year and is excited to share its first annual report! Please read the report to find out about all of the incredibly important human services work implemented in Bucks County by our Area Agency on Aging, Behavioral Health/Developmental Programs Department, Children & Youth Department, Co-Responders, Hub Navigators, Managed Care Unit, Veterans Affairs, and the Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc. as well as community providers who provide vital services to county residents.
Co-Responder Program Receives Community Support Program 2022 Helping Hands Award!
The Community Support Program (CSP) is a coalition of individuals who receive mental health services, their family members, mental health providers, and interested community members along with the Bucks County Department of Mental Health/Developmental Programs and other county Behavioral Health Partners in an equal partnership to promote recovery and excellence in the delivery of community based mental health service. At monthly meetings, individuals come together to exchange information and formulate ideas about how all parts of the local community can coordinate assets to offer the most needed services and supports to people who experience mental health challenges and to identify opportunities where people in recovery can contribute to building a better community. On September 17, 2022, Bucks County’s Annual CSP Picnic was held to honor individuals/programs that were nominated by the CSP Community to highlight their hard work and dedication to CSP’s vision and principals, to foster new and existing membership, and celebrate recovery. This year, the Co-responder program was awarded the CSP Helping Hands Award for 2022 for their dedication and impact they are having in their communities.
Human Services Hub Navigators Setting Up Shop in Lower Bucks Offices
Also, please click on the link below to view a public service announcement of this service:
- 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."
SPOTLIGHT ON THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN
Mental Health and Community Programs
The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic showed us in real time that social service providers and nonprofits throughout Bucks County need a boost to keep up with the demand for their critical services.
Using funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the County of Bucks through its Division of Human Services has allocated millions to shore up key elements of the county’s mental health system and enhance community services and support.
The Human Services Division has so far awarded 21 projects grants totaling approximately $5,000,000.
To determine where to direct funding, Human Services department heads and senior county leadership assessed applications for funding submitted by community providers. The process focused on programs with the potential to do the most good for those members of our community who were hit hardest by lockdowns, economic downturn and other pandemic-related hardships.
Highlighted on the Spotlight on the American Rescue Plan are just a few of the exciting programs and projects that will be funded by ARPA grants from Bucks County.
Human Services News
HUMAN SERVICES WELCOMES A NEW TEAM MEMBER!
In July 2022, the Bucks Human Services Connect Hub gained a new team member, Shane Avender! In his new role as the second Resource Navigator in the Hub, Shane has hit the ground running. Shane joins the Human Services team after several years with Children & Youth. He also worked at Mathom House/Easton manor (juvenile sex offender rehabilitation) for about four years.
Shane says of the work he's doing now in the Hub, "I want to see us grow to the point where we are more accessible to all parts of the county. I would like us to keep adding/finding new resources that we can refer people to. The Hub is already a great tool for connecting the community to resources, but it can be even more as time goes on. We are beginning to make our presence known outside of the office and I believe that a community presence is important to spread the word".
Shane has lived in Bucks County his whole life and completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at East Stroudsburg University. He enjoys going on adventures with his wife, Steph, and his 1 ½ year old son, Stanley, and his free time is spent working out at the gym, reading, watching movies, and rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Best of luck in you new role, Shane!
Bucks Co-Responders Program Expands to Three More Police Departments
Two more social workers began working last month alongside police in Lower Bucks, growing the county’s efforts to divert people in need of social services away from the criminal justice system.
The appointments of Fetiye “Tia” Kazee and Keevon Johnson as co-responders brings the services of the Human Services Co-Responders program to Bristol Township, Bristol Borough and Tullytown Borough.
“We are so fortunate to partner with police leadership to bring our co-responder initiative to three more communities,” said Rachael Neff, director of the county’s Human Services Division. “Keevon and Tia are excellent additions to our ever-growing Human Services Co-Responder team.”
Co-responders work in collaboration with agencies in the county’s criminal justice system, like police and prosecutors, as well as social services agencies that assist with issues related to aging, substance abuse and mental health.
PHOTO: Fetiye "Tia" Kazee, second from left, and Keevon Johnson, second from right, were hired last month to work as Human Services Co-Responders alongside police in Bristol Township, Bristol Borough and Tullytown Borough. Kazee and Johnson are pictured here outside the Bristol Township Police Department flanked by Bristol Township Police Chief Robert Coulton, left, and Bristol Borough Police Chief Joe Moors, right.
As of late April, the program is now operating in six municipalities, with co-responders also working with police in Bensalem Township, Falls Township and Middletown Township.
Kazee and Johnson both start their new positions at a salary of $59,000. The county has agreed to fund each co-responder position for two years.
“We are looking forward to working with the co-responders here in Bristol Borough,” said borough police Chief Joe Moors. “The program will be an asset to our community.”
The county launched the co-responder program in December 2020 with its pilot initiative in Bensalem.
A review of the program’s first year showed a trending decline in the average amount of time Bensalem police spent responding to social services calls. Of the 18 cases involving co-responders where an arrest was possible, more than half saw people diverted from further contact with the criminal justice system.
In that year, the co-responders had assisted 212 people and made referrals to 77 agencies.
“Keevon and Tia are highly qualified for these positions, and we are thrilled to have them on the team,” said Bristol Township police Lt. Ralph Johnson. “There is maximum potential for success as we move forward with this addition to our policing toolbox.”
Media Contact: James O’Malley, 215-348-6414
Children & Youth Opens ‘Visit House’ in Lower Bucks
Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency today celebrated the opening of its first “visit house” in Middletown Township.
Located on Middletown Boulevard near the Oxford Valley Mall, the facility provides a long-needed space in Lower Bucks where children in foster care can visit with their parents, and where families the agency serves can meet with social workers in a convenient location.
“We always want to support and assist our families in their homes, but unfortunately that’s just not always possible,” said Bucks C&Y Director Marjorie McKeone. “Making the trip to our offices in Doylestown can be a stumbling block for our families in Lower Bucks, so we’ve talked about the idea of this ‘visit house’ for quite some time.”
“It took years of planning, but we’re thrilled to finally make this option available,” she said.
Though county commissioner and officials cut the ribbon on the $330,000 facility Thursday, the visit house has been in use for a few months, serving already as a space for meetings with families with a rotating cast of C&Y employees staffing the building during the week.