The North Carolina Human Services Hub: A home for social services, public health, and consolidated human services resources

Following the passage of a 2012 law allowing North Carolina counties to combine social services, public health, and other human services functions into a single consolidated human services agency (CHSA), many social services and public health professionals in local government agencies across the state began operating within new organizational structures.

Likewise, after the same 2012 law allowed boards of county commissioners to assume the powers and duties of a county board of social services, county board of health, or consolidated human services board, county officials across North Carolina began to explore and adopt new governance structures for CHSAs. Navigating the array of laws and responsibilities related to local social services, public health, and CHSAs presents a challenge, as access to information about them rarely coexisted in one space; instead, it was stored across disparate platforms. 

To contend with this issue, School of Government faculty member Kristi Nickodem has facilitated the creation of a new website to consolidate these needed resources in one easily accessible platform.

The North Carolina Human Services Hub features resources for county social services agencies, local health departments, and CHSAs, along with their governing boards. Visitors to the website can find links to publications, presentations, FAQ collections, blog posts, and other materials created and compiled by the School, covering a wide array of legal topics related to local human services agencies and governing boards.

The Hub will feature information for counties interested in exploring different options for structuring and governing county social services and public health functions, as well as information for counties that are interested in creating a CHSA. Nickodem is optimistic the Hub will be a valuable tool for a wide array of local government professionals. 

“I hope this website will be a helpful source of information for the directors, staff, and governing boards of county departments of social services, local health departments, and consolidated human services agencies,” Nickodem said. “This will also be helpful for county commissioners, county managers, and county attorneys who want to learn more about the law related to these agencies and boards.”

Users of the website can explore interactive maps of North Carolina displaying information about each county’s agencies and governing boards for social services and public health. Among other features, the maps provide information about which counties have opted to create a CHSA, which have a public health or social services agency governed by the board of county commissioners, and whether each county’s social services and public health employees are subject to the State Human Resources Act. 

State and local government officials and employees, students, and others interested in the unique landscape of human services agency organization and governance across North Carolina can explore the North Carolina Human Services Hub here.