Nonprofit organizations hold our admiration for their tireless commitment and innovative approaches to combating our most urgent social problems. They are continuously developing and implementing programs to improve the well-being of individuals and communities – often doing so against tremendous odds and with limited funding and resources.
Despite this, however, their success in addressing these social problems has generated an increased demand for their services. Federal, state, and local governments – including Fairfax County – continue to turn to nonprofits as service providers and partners to collectively attack the communities’ most pressing social issues. Nonprofits are obligated to ...view middle of the document...
This assessment provides a compilation of the trends and emerging needs affecting the delivery services within the human services system for the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (DNCS) in Fairfax County. The trends and emerging needs outlined in this assessment are categorized by six human services focus areas:
* Connected Individuals
* Economic Self-Sufficiency
* Healthy People
* Positive Living for Older Adults & Individuals with Disabilities
* Successful Children & Youth
* Sustainable Housing
Several recurring themes affecting service delivery across human services and navigating through the focus areas include:
* The increase of diverse populations where English is a second language could hinder the ability of residents to be economically stable and socially integrated into Fairfax County; the increase of English proficiency limitations in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS); and the increase in costs for mandated language interpretation and translation services (which are not budgeted for and delivered through contracts and specific agencies).
* The increase of reports for threats to one’s personal safety including domestic violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation for all age groups – all which negatively effects the stability and well-being of individuals and families.
* The evolving behavioral health issues faced by all ages.
* The lack of affordable and accessible housing for low-income individuals, families, individuals with disabilities and older adults.
* The increase in poverty among children based on increased representation in food assistance programs.
Economic Self-Sufficiency refers to the ability of individuals and families to maintain adequate income to support and meet their basic needs – including food, housing, utilities, health care, transportation, taxes, dependent care and clothing – with little to no assistance from private or public programs. The human services system within NCS strives to help clients achieve their optimal level of economic self-sufficiency, acknowledging that some individuals will always require assistance due to various physical, environmental, and behavioral factors. It also strives to promote economic self-sufficiency through various methods such as job training, education, English and financial literacy, substance abuse treatment, healthcare and childcare, parenting skills and strengthening relationships to encourage self-sufficiency.
Several highlights regarding challenges and trends for this focus area include:
* Poverty has dramatically increased in Fairfax County. The number of residents in poverty is approximately 65,000; while child poverty has increased significantly by 27% over the last five years.
* As poverty has increased, so has the number of residents applying for public assistance. Food assistance has increased severely through the enrollment of SNAP...