The Maricopa County Human Services Department is committed to providing essential services to its citizens while promoting transparency in government. To achieve this, the Maricopa County Human Services Department adopted a fresh approach toward its annual report creation, collaboration, and dissemination. The Human Services Communication team collaborated with the Department’s leadership to revamp the report's design, presenting the year's crucial programmatic and fiscal highlights in a modern, easy-to-grasp format that emphasizes the community's diversity. The annual report showcases inspiring success stories of clients and authentic images of clients, promoting transparency. You can find the complete annual report on www.Maricopa.gov/HSD > Director’s Office > Annual Report.
The Maricopa County Human Services Department's annual report is a crucial tool in promoting transparency, educating the public, and showcasing the tremendous work of the County’s dedicated staff to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable residents of Maricopa County.
Need Addressed by the Program
Maricopa County received $871,239,088 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and CARES Act funding. More than 45% of these funds, or approximately $392,000,000 is being administered by the Maricopa County Human Services Department for projects that help the most vulnerable Maricopa County residents recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects include:
- Food Bank & Nutrition Assistance
- Housing Investments
- Rent & Mortgage Assistance
- Shelter and Wraparound Services for Homeless
- Workforce Support Services
To ensure that the massive scope of these historic recovery spending efforts is captured and presented for an accurate historical record of the County’s continuous effort to promote transparency, the Human Services Department’s Communications team developed a fresh approach toward its annual report creation, collaboration, and dissemination. The Human Services Communication team collaborated with the Department’s leadership to revamp the report's design, presenting the year's crucial programmatic and fiscal highlights in a modern, easy-to-grasp format that emphasizes the support provided to people while promoting transparency in government spending.
The Maricopa County Human Services Department’s annual report highlights the department's achievements in the fiscal year and educates the public about the county's efforts to improve the well-being of its residents. The report provides a clear annual overview of the department's accomplishments in an effort to increase awareness of county services and elevate the public's understanding of county government.
With the influx of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and CARES Act, Maricopa County received $871,239,088 to aid in the recovery of the most vulnerable residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 45% of these funds, approximately $392,000,000, were being administered by the Maricopa County Human Services Department to support projects that address food insecurity, housing instability, workforce support, and other critical areas.
The county's Human Services Department recognized the historic significance of this funding and aimed to capture its massive scope and present it clearly and concisely that accurately documented the county's efforts toward promoting transparency in government spending. To achieve this, the Human Services Communication team took a fresh approach toward the creation, collaboration, and dissemination of the annual report.
Working closely with the department's leadership, the Communication team embarked on a revamp of the report's design, incorporating a modern, easy-to-understand format that highlighted the department's key achievements while showcasing the diversity of the community it served and stories of success of people who were served by that funding.
The timeframe to capture the results of this funding was approximately 90 days. The Graphic Designer created a wireframe design of the design which enabled the Communications Manager to work up a template for the information that would come from each of the Divisions within the Department. This ensured consistency and equity in the amount of space and content allocated to each Division.
The team ensured that the report accurately captured the support provided to the most vulnerable residents, with particular emphasis on the outcomes for people. This was especially important to the Communications team because they wanted to ensure that emerging from the numbers was a picture of how every dollar allocated to programs and services benefited a person in the local community. To that end, the report included inspiring client success stories and authentic images that showcased the department's dedication to supporting those in need.
The annual report served as a critical tool for the Human Services Department, providing an overview of the department's accomplishments in the fiscal year, increasing awareness of county services, and elevating the public's understanding of county government. The report was designed to be accessible and easy to read, with clear headings, concise language, and relevant graphics that illustrated the department's progress toward its goals.
The report's transparency was a key factor in its development, as the Human Services Communication team recognized the importance of a publicly accessible accounting of how federal funds are being allocated. To ensure that the public had easy access to the full-length report, the Human Services Department posted it online at www.Maricopa.gov/HSD under Annual Report in the “Director’s Office” menu option. This move further promoted transparency in the department's spending and allowed the public to review the report at their convenience.
Since this is the first year of these historic investments, this redesigned Annual Report and Annual Report web page for the Maricopa County Human Services Department will serve as the prototype for years of future reporting as this funding moves through the process to go from ideas to allocations to programs, housing and assets that will help the community.
The fresh approach toward the annual report's creation, collaboration, and dissemination was a significant undertaking. It served as a testament to the County’s commitment to transparency and its dedication to providing the most vulnerable residents with critical support during a challenging time.
The report highlighted the Human Services Department's role in leading the county's efforts to support those in need, and it served as an inspiration to other government agencies and organizations to follow suit. The report's comprehensive approach to documenting the department's progress toward its goals set a standard for future annual reports and demonstrated the department's commitment to promoting transparency and accountability.
Responding to Economic Downturn
The Maricopa County Human Services Department recognizes the impact of the economic downturn on the community it serves. As such, the department designed its programs and services to adapt to the county’s new economic reality. In the fiscal year, the department implemented several cost-saving measures that allowed the agency to continue to provide essential services despite budget constraints.
The department implemented online application processes to process a massive volume of client applications for aid programs. This had the effect of digitizing its records management system and allowing for a more streamlined application decision process. The department also chose to collaborate with other agencies and organizations to leverage resources and reduce costs – rather than establish new programs in-house. The department formed partnerships with non-profit organizations to share resources and expertise, maximizing the impact of their services.
These and other important aspects of fiscal responsibility are reflected in the Maricopa County Human Services Department annual report through the “Partnerships” section and the “HSD Dynamics” reflection. These aspects of the annual report recognize the importance of efficiently providing essential services during an economic downturn. By highlighting these cost-saving measures and collaborations with other agencies and organizations in the annual report, The Human Services communication team wanted to showcase how the department continues to provide high-quality services to its clients while being fiscally responsible.
Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a crucial aspect of county operations, and the Maricopa County Human Services Department's annual report highlights its efforts in this area. The department has taken significant steps to ensure that all residents, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status, have access to the services they need to reach their full potential. This includes developing targeted outreach strategies to underserved communities, increasing language access for non-English speakers, and partnering with community organizations to address the root causes of social and economic inequality.
The department's DEI efforts extend beyond program delivery and into its internal operations as well. The department has implemented diversity and cultural competency training for staff and integrated these values into its Mission, Vision, and Values. This information has a prominent place at the beginning of the annual report to set the tone for this approach throughout the report. Careful consideration was given to the inclusion of every image in the annual report to reflect whenever possible authentic images of the clients served (with their permission) to highlight the people served by the Human Services Department.
The annual report also discusses how the department is addressing existing racial and socioeconomic disparities within the county. For example, the department has implemented a variety of initiatives to reduce poverty and homelessness and increase access to early education and workforce training opportunities for underserved communities. These initiatives are designed to ensure that all residents have access to the resources and services they need to thrive, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Overall, the Maricopa County Human Services Department's DEI efforts demonstrate a strong commitment to equity and inclusion, both within its operations and in its service delivery to the community. By highlighting successes in this area through the annual report, the Human Services Communication team has thoughtfully worked to elevate awareness of the importance of DEI in county government and ultimately improve outcomes for all residents.
The development of the Maricopa County Human Services Department's annual report was achieved without incurring any additional hard costs, beyond the utilization of pre-existing labor and software resources. The project was spearheaded by a highly skilled team of a Communications Manager and a Graphics Designer, who collaborated seamlessly to bring the report to life. Moreover, the project drew upon the expertise of an entire team of subject matter experts within the Human Services Department, who provided invaluable input for the report's content. Together, this dynamic team of professionals delivered an outstanding annual report that exemplifies excellence in communication, design, and collaboration.
Results/Success of the Program
The Maricopa County Human Services Department received $871,239,088 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and CARES Act to support vulnerable residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The department's Communication team revamped the annual report to capture the first year’s activity of the historical significance of this funding and present it clearly and concisely to promote transparency in government spending. The report featured inspiring client success stories and authentic images, showcasing the department's dedication to supporting those in need.
The report has and continues to serve as a critical tool for the Human Services Department, providing an overview of the department's accomplishments in the fiscal year, increasing awareness of county services, and elevating the public's understanding of county government. The report was designed to be accessible and easy to read, with clear headings, concise language, and relevant graphics that illustrated the department's progress toward its goals. The report's transparency was a key factor in its development, as the Human Services Communication team recognized the importance of a publicly accessible accounting of how federal funds are being allocated.
The Human Services Department’s annual report has been provided digitally to every Human Services Department employee (391 people) and has been featured in the Maricopa County e-newsletter that is delivered to more than 35,000 subscribers. The annual report is also available on the County’s public website for the public to view at their convenience.
While the annual report has been lauded for its approach towards creation, collaboration, and dissemination – there is also significant value that the report will contribute in future years as the County consults this document for its historical value by preserving the most significant undertakings during this time period.
The report set a standard for future annual reports and demonstrated the department's commitment to promoting transparency and accountability.
The Maricopa County Human Services Department Fiscal Year highlights annual report provides a clear and comprehensive overview of the department's activities, goals, and achievements, promoting transparency in county government and raising awareness of county services among the public. The report not only describes the program's objectives, time frame, clientele, and costs but also highlights how the program responds to economic downturns and advances diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities in the county.
The report provides specific examples of the program's success, such as increasing the number of families receiving housing assistance, providing job training and placement services, and expanding mental health services to underserved populations. The report also includes outcome measures that demonstrate the program's impact on residents, such as the number of families lifted out of poverty and the percentage of residents who reported improved access to healthcare services.
The report provides select views of the Maricopa County Human Services Department’s annual report designed with care to enrich the public's understanding of county government and elevate awareness of county services. By promoting transparency in government and providing a clear annual overview of its accomplishments, the annual report provides a comprehensive overview of the department's initiatives, including program descriptions, key accomplishments, and outcomes. This report serves as a valuable resource for citizens, policymakers, and stakeholders alike, highlighting the impact of the department's work and its contributions to the community.
The Maricopa County Human Services Department Fiscal Year highlights annual report is an outstanding example of how a government agency can effectively communicate with its constituents and promote transparency and accountability.