The Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC) enables representatives of local government, volunteer agencies, providers, consumers, consumer advocates, and municipalities to coordinate efforts to improve the quality of human services in Somerset County.
The Human Services Advisory Council serves the community in the following ways:
- Monitors the coordination of comprehensive social services in the county.
- Assists the county in identifying, collecting, and analyzing data on the human services delivery system in Somerset County.
- Makes recommendations to the Board of Chosen Freeholders and State Department of Human Services about the allocation of funds for new services.
- Identifies human services needs and advocates for resolution.
- Conducts county-wide needs assessments and updates planning documents.
- Holds an open forum to foster communication, education, and information sharing.
- Assists agencies in pursuing state and federal sources of funding.
- Monitors contracted programs to assure that target populations are being adequately served and that county plan priorities are being addressed.
Human Services Plan
Developing Comprehensive Human Services plans is one of the main purposes of the Human Services Advisory Council. Input for planning is solicited from local human services consumers and providers. The plan identifies:
- Community human service needs based on needs assessment.
- Service priorities for vulnerable target populations.
- Recommendations for improving service delivery and/or coordination of efforts.
- Recommendations for the allocation of resources.
The council continues to update the human services plans to keep abreast of changing service needs and priorities.
Following are designated standing committees to the Human Services Advisory Council:
- Executive/Advocacy/Legislative Committee
- By-Laws Committee
- Planning Committee
- Proposal Review Committee
- Program Monitoring Committee
- Nominating Committee
Ad-hoc committees are appointed when necessary to help implement the goals of the council.
The Somerset County Human Services Advisory Council meets at 1:30 p.m. on the 4th Wednesday of the month, except December and August, at the Somerset County Human Services Building, located at 27 Warren Street, Somerville. Meetings are open to the public.
Local Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA)
LACADA is a group of concerned citizens and professionals who provide input on policy and program needs. Members also identify priorities in Somerset County for the comprehensive treatment, education, and promotion of public awareness of alcohol and drug abuse.
- Provide input on development, funding, and provision of alcohol and drug abuse services.
- Serve as the coordinating body in the development of a plan embracing all areas of alcoholism and drug abuse service delivery for the County.
- Provide a forum to foster communication, education, and information concerning alcoholism and drug abuse.
- Identify needs in the alcoholism and drug abuse service delivery system utilizing recommendations of the providers advisory group, to insure that targeted populations receive quality services in the most cost effective manner.
- Assist in developing a comprehensive plan for alcoholism and drug abuse services for the county.
- Recommend alcoholism and drug abuse service priorities.
- Review, evaluate, and recommend proposals for the establishment of alcoholism and drug education, prevention, and treatment service programs.
- Recommend the amount of Federal and State Funds to be allocated for alcoholism and drug abuse services.
- Recommend policies and funding allocations for Municipal Alliance Committees to help prevent alcoholism and drug abuse.
The council is composed of 10 to 16 members, who are appointed by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and represent socioeconomic, racial. and ethnic groups. The council is comprised of individuals, including recovering persons, and a wide range of public and private organizations.
LACADA meets at 9:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Human Services Building in Somerville. Meetings are open to the public.
Subcommittees of LACADA
- County Alliance Steering Sub-Committee
- Planning Sub-Committee
- Proposal Review Sub-Committee
- Prevention Steering Sub-Committee
- Program Monitoring Sub-Committee
- Co-Occurring Disorders Sub-Committee
County Alliance Steering Subcommittee (CASS)
CASS is an advisory arm of the Local Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA). Members coordinate Somerset County’s efforts to combat alcoholism and drug abuse through prevention, intervention, and education.
- Develop a County Alliance Plan for the expenditure of funds derived from "Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction."
- Coordinate projects with municipalities to assure cost effectiveness and avoid fragmentation and duplication.
- Develop and recommend programs and fiscal guidelines for the awarding of funds to municipalities for drug and alcohol alliance activities.
Up to 12 members are appointed by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Membership includes private citizens and representatives of local agencies, organizations, schools, law enforcement, and government.
CASS meets at 9:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Somerset County Department of Human Services in Somerville. Meetings are open to the public.
Providers Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (PACADA)
PACADA is a sub-committee under the Local Advisory on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA). PACADA serves as a committee of volunteer substance use disorder service providers that advises and assists LACADA in the planning priorities for the organization and delivery of substance use services for Somerset County residents as it pertains to prevention, early intervention, access to treatment and recovery support services. As of January 2019, PACADA and PAC merged to fully integrate mental health and substance use.
Meg Isbitski, Assistant Mental Health Administrator
|Mail:||27 Warren Street, P.O. Box 3000, Somerville, NJ 08876|
The Somerset County Mental Health Board serves as an advisory board to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and monitors the provision of a continuum of mental health services on behalf of residents.
Twelve members are appointed for three-year terms. The Board meets a minimum of ten times a year, at 5 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month, at the Department of Human Services in Somerville. Regular meetings are open to the public.
The diversity of the county population and perspectives of families and consumers are represented. Mental Health Board membership is described in NJSA 30:9A.
Responsibilities of the Mental Health Board include:
- Develop Mental Health Plan
- Implement Mental Health Plan
- Recommend funding applications and affiliation agreements between state contracted agencies and community providers
- Monitor the provision of mental health services
- Community education
- Assist consumer advocacy and self-help groups
Somerset County Mental Health Plan
The Mental Health Plan establishes a comprehensive system of community health services for children and adults with mental illnesses and serious emotional disturbances. It identifies service needs and priorities, goals and objectives, and action plans to address service gaps and priorities.
The Mental Health Board monitors the provision of mental health services under contract with the state Division of Mental Health Services. It also acts as the first level of outside appeal for client grievances regarding contracted agencies.
The Board encourages, develops, and participates in mental health community education.
Committees of the Mental Health Board
- Planning Committee - Assures that the County Mental Health Plan and planning process fulfills the mission of the Mental Health Board.
- Board Operations Committee - Plans annual orientation, updates bylaws, assesses membership needs and function of the board, evaluates the role of administrator, and reviews Professional Advisory Committee activities.
- Contracts Review Committee - Monitors contracts over which the Mental Health Board has oversight, including remediation recommended by State reviews. Assures compliance of contracted services.
Professional Advisory Committee (PAC)
An advisory board of professionals that are appointed by the Mental Health Board Chairperson. The PAC provides technical assistance to the Mental Health Board, addresses issues, and conducts studies as requested. Task groups of the PAC address service needs and gaps in the county, including:
- Jail Mental Health Service Needs
- Mental Health Needs of the Elderly
- May is Mental Health Month
- Stigma, Community Education
- Needs of Dually Diagnosed (Co-Occurring Disorders Task Force)