New Hanover County, NC – The New Hanover County Consolidated Human Services Board will have its first meeting on Tuesday, July 16, at 10 a.m. in the New Hanover County Government Center’s Lucie Harrell Conference Room located at 230 Government Center Drive, Wilmington. The Consolidated Human Services Board serves as the policy and rule setting board for Public Health and Social Services, which consolidated under this new governance structure on July 1, 2019.
The Board of Commissioners voted to consolidate social services and public health at their March 18 meeting in order to make it easier for customers to access services.
“We’ve already made strides toward integrating business operations and administrative support services of the two departments,” said Kathy Stoute, assistant county manager and interim director of the Consolidated Human Services Agency. “We will continue to streamline as much as possible to make sure our customers and families have every opportunity available to them through the services of both departments.”
The Board of Commissioners has appointed a 15-person Consolidated Human Services Board, mostly made up of former Health Board and Department of Social Services Board members. This new board will set policy and rules for the consolidated agency, as well as represent community feedback to the agency.
New Hanover County is the 38th county in North Carolina to consolidate Public Health and Social Services following a 2012 decision of the North Carolina General Assembly giving counties the ability to consolidate departments to promote efficiency and effectiveness.
The county’s combined Health and Human 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.