Leadership from Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Community Through Services) – a public-private partnership initiated by the Monmouth County commissioners in 2018 – has announced its next phase to better serve, communicate with and respond to residents.
The new phase builds upon Monmouth ACTS’ success in connecting residents to human services in Monmouth County, according to a press release from the county.
With a focus on resident voice, the new iteration establishes guiding values that will inform all phases of service planning, implementation and evaluation. It will include consistent resident and community voice in every step of the process; focus on family supports and prevention; assisting communities through organized systems of service; building resilient communities using trauma-informed practices; and building systems and responses which promote racial and ethnic equity, according to the press release.
“During strategic planning meetings for Monmouth ACTS, it became apparent we needed to shift our focus to learning about the distinct needs of each community in Monmouth County and how best to provide information that would benefit that community,” said Monmouth County Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley.
“We are bringing the mission of Monmouth ACTS and everything we do closer to residents to better serve them,” she said.
The revamped Monmouth ACTS reflects a restructured Department of Human Services under Director and Deputy County Administrator Geoff Perselay, according to the press release.
Nicole Cyr, previous Monmouth ACTS Advisory Council Coordinator, and Desiree Whyte, previous Director of the Monmouth County Division of Behavioral Health, are now serving as Assistant Director of Planning and Assistant Director of Operations, respectively. They will both take a larger role in leading and guiding Monmouth ACTS.
The new phase includes Place-Based Activities, initiatives that bring supports and services to residents in the local community where they live, increasing access and promoting resident wellness and engagement, according to the press release.
It also introduces the Community Engagement Network, a strategic grassroots approach that will facilitate outreach and engagement through a network of community and faith-based organizations.
The Monmouth ACTS Financial Recovery Initiative, originally launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, will evolve into an online resource directory for all human service needs through the Monmouth ResourceNet.
Finally, Monmouth ACTS will launch a county-wide “warm” phone line where residents can speak to a human services team member who can assess their needs and direct them to the best resources, according to the press release.
“With this new phase of Monmouth ACTS, we are putting residents at the center of the planning process for Monmouth ACTS. Everything we do is informed by residents and their needs,” said Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone.
The new phase of Monmouth ACTS builds upon the initiative’s previous work, including launching the Financial Recovery Initiative at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to efficiently communicate financial programs and services to residents facing financial strain, providing Ready-Go bags to vulnerable populations ahead of winter storms, bringing together services organizations and Monmouth County youth to host a virtual town hall on racial justice and more, according to the press release.
“As we have always said, there is no wrong door from which to access services in Monmouth County,” Kiley added. “This new iteration of Monmouth ACTS builds upon and reinforces our commitment to streamlining the process of learning about and connecting with vital supports.”
For more information, visit www.monmouthACTS.org