Revamped advisory council will address county’s human services efforts


The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has replaced the Monmouth County Human Services Council with the Monmouth ACTS Advisory Council (MAAC). The freeholders took the action during a meeting on Nov. 26.

In a resolution, the freeholders said that “in an effort to continue to improve and enhance the services provided to the community, (the county) commissioned a human services needs assessment to examine the needs of county residents, and the strengths, capabilities and interests of residents and community stakeholders.”

The assessment recommended several key areas which could be improved to better meet human service and behavioral health needs in Monmouth County, including helping county residents learn about services and how to access them through expansive community information sharing, education, dialogue and resource navigation; and mobilizing impactful use of the county’s resources through public-private partnerships for integrated human service planning, funding and delivery.

The assessment led to the creation of the Monmouth County Assisting Community Through
Services (ACTS) initiative in 2018. The initiative is a public-private partnership that brings together Monmouth County employees from the Department of Human Services and
community partners.

To avoid the duplication of services, county officials decided to rename and restructure the Monmouth County Human Services Advisory Council, to be replaced with the new MAAC.

MAAC’s primary function will be to help facilitate ACTS objectives for the improved health and welfare of the residents of Monmouth County.

According to the resolution, MAAC will oversee the following subcommittees designated as Hubs of Opportunity to focus on key issues in human service needs: Early Childhood Success; Positive Youth Development; Aging; Homelessness; Transportation; Financial Empowerment; Mental Health and Addictions; and Communications.

The Hubs of Opportunity will be comprised of county leaders and their private/nonprofit counterparts, and are formed to share information and develop an integrated approach to service planning, delivery, and quality assurance for a particular population or to meet a service need, according to the resolution.

The freeholders said MAAC will oversee the ACTS implementation process, develop innovative and coordinated processes and tools for the development of the Hubs of Opportunity, and identify potential sources for funding.