NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — At Monday’s meeting, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to consolidate the county’s Public Health and Social Services departments into one human services agency.
Consolidation will become effective on July 1, providing service integration for the two agencies.
Under this new governance structure, the Board of Commissioners will appoint a 15-person Consolidated Human Services Board to set a unified vision for the agency.
“This is an important policy decision for our community, and I believe it will serve our citizens better with more efficiencies and an improved client experience,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “The programs our Public Health and Social Services departments offer will continue; what will change is the way they are administered. The goal is to make sure our clients and families have every opportunity available to them through the services of both agencies, and to make those service offerings as streamlined as possible.”
The county’s combined Public Health and Social Services facility is already underway, and is expected to be complete this fall. Social services operations will move into the building once it is complete, making way for a parking lot to be constructed where the current social services building is. By February of 2020, public health functions will move into the building – creating greater synergy for the consolidated agency at one location.
In 2012, the North Carolina General Assembly gave counties the ability to consolidate departments into one Human Services Agency to promote efficiency and effectiveness, and to appoint a Consolidated Human Services Board. Currently, 37 other counties in North Carolina have executed consolidation.