Strategic Plan

The five-year goals for the Dane County Department of Human Services form the foundation for the Department to improve outcomes to those it serves and strengthen the core competencies of the organization. The Department’s goals focus on four areas: improving the lives of the individuals it serves; improving the performance of its systems and its ability to publicly report on that performance; improving its financial health; and improving its organizational effectiveness and infrastructure.

3. Improve outcomes for people of color and other cultures.

Work Plan – Administration

Initiative Area
Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative
Current Status
This Department and other departments around the county work independently as to assuring racial equity objectives are achieved. The county has created a new Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI). The Department is represented on the planning committee. We are anticipating county-wide direction as to action steps.
Chosen Target
To be in full compliance with all OEI expectations of departments as to racial equity
Tactics to Close the Gap
  • Sponsor internal racial disparity training for Department managers.
  • Perform Department self-assessment as prescribed by OEI.
  • Commence follow up on assessment results.
  • Examine Department internal policies as to possible negative service impacts on persons of color.
Measures of Success
The Department is in compliance with all OEI expectations.
Lead Staff Responsible
Lynn Green and all Division Administrators – ongoing

Work Plan – Adult Community Services

Initiative Area
United Family Caregivers Grant
Current Status
  • The ADRC Dane County along with the ADRC of Milwaukee County agreed to partner with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on a research grant to provide support to African American caregivers of people with dementia. Other grant partners include the Wisconsin Alzheimer Institute, Alzheimer Association, Alzheimer and Dementia Alliance, and United Community Center.
  • The ADRC is in the process of hiring a Caregiver Coach to participate in this research study and do outreach to the African American population in Dane County.
Chosen Target
In the Caregiver Coach will enroll 10 families into the United Family Caregivers program and also do at least 10 outreach events specifically targeting African American caregivers.
Tactics to Close the Gap
  • Reach out to partners in the community to explain the program and benefits for caregivers of the program.
  • Advertise the United Family Caregivers program during ADRC outreach.
  • Reach out to local dementia organizations and memory clinics to let them know about the program and how to refer customers to the program.
Measures of Success
  • The Caregiver Coach will receive referrals from the ADRC staff and other community partners.
  • The Caregiver Coach will enroll 10 caregivers into the United Family Caregivers Program.
Lead Staff Responsible
TBD Caregiver Coach; Jennifer Fischer, ADRC Manager –
Initiative Area
I/DD managers and intake staff will improve their ability to communicate the process for enrolling Spanish speaking participants in adult waiver services.
Current Status
I/DD adult staff rely on bilingual children’s case managers or ADRC staff to communicate high school transition information to between 3-5 families per year. No sharable, Spanish language, written materials exist.
Chosen Target
Have written, Spanish language, transition materials to share with young adults, their families, support teams, ADRC staff and high school transition teachers.
Tactics to Close the Gap
  • Obtain translator to develop Spanish language transition materials.
  • Print materials for dissemination during high school transition process.
Measures of Success
All students, families and interested parties will have Spanish language transition materials available upon request.
Lead Staff Responsible
Monica Bear –

Work Plan – Children, Youth and Family

Initiative Area
Provide effective services to children, youth, and families of color and/or other cultures.
Current Status
  • Youth of color are disproportionately formally treated in the juvenile justice system. CYF has created a Court Diversion Unit (CDU) to address this issue.
  • Children/youth/families of color are disproportionately represented in alternate care.
  • Children of color in out-of-home-care (OHC) placements have longer lengths of stay than other children.
  • Staff diversity reflects that of the community but not that of consumers.
  • Staff with non-English language capacities do not always meet needs.
Chosen Target
  • Youth of color will be treated on informal / deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) basis whenever appropriate. Problematic treatment of these youth in the formal system will decrease as a result.
  • Decreased disproportionality of children of color in alternate care.
  • Decreased discrepancies as to length of time in care of children of color.
  • Staff of increased diversity.
  • Staff with increased language capacities.
Tactics to Close the Gap
  • Require culturally competent services from providers.
  • Continue support for CDU.
  • Implement new Brighter Future Initiative (BFI) activities (increased mentoring services, TimeBank services, Peer Courts expansion, Race Circles expansions, more).
  • Study causes of increased lengths of stay in out-of-home care for children of color. develop strategies to address causes.
  • Continue active recruitment of minority alternate care providers.
  • Sponsor/support appropriate training programs for foster parents; require participation.
  • Increase staff diversity and language capacities by means of special / other recruitment tactics.
  • Sponsor/support culture competency training for staff; require participation.
Measures of Success
  • Culturally-competent services are contractually-required of all providers.
  • CDU staff will serve increased numbers of youth of color via DPAs vs. by formal court action in .
  • New BFI services are fully functional in .
  • The Relative Rate Index (RRI; a disproportionality index) for children/youth of color in placement decreases.
  • Discrepancies as to length of time in care of children in color will decrease.
  • The number of youth of color placed in corrections will not exceed a baseline of 30.0 (5-yr., - average).
  • Staff will increase in diversity by at least one staff person in .
  • Staff with language capacities will increase by at least one in .
  • Foster homes of color/culture will increase by at least one in .
Lead Staff Responsible
Division Administrator Bob Lee; all managers –
Initiative Area
Maintain/ expand Community Court initiative for young adults.
Current Status
The county has created a Community Court to serve as an alternative to formal prosecution of adults ages 17-25 who may be charged with certain law offenses. Prosecution of low-level law offenses results in disproportionate numbers of young persons of color in the formal court system. These young persons experience adverse effects as a result of this involvement. The prosecutions tax the justice system and cause significant community expenses as well. South Madison has been selected as the first Community Court area.
Chosen Target
  • A functional and effective Community Court in .
  • Expanded pool of participants.
  • Expanded service areas.
  • Improved staff resources.
Tactics to Close the Gap
  • Expand services from Phase I offenders/ respondents (no adult convictions or pending charges) to include Phase II offenders/ respondents (previous convictions and pending charges).
  • Expand service to Fitchburg and Town of Madison residents.
  • Add Social Worker (0.5 FTE) and DA (0.25 FTE) staff to program.
  • Continue to identify and develop resources for consumers.
Measures of Success
  • Consumer base is expanded; new average caseload is 30-36.
  • New communities are added.
  • Staff are added (this is grant-dependent).
  • 75% of participants successfully complete terms of agreements and avoid formal prosecution.
  • 75% of peacemakers are maintained.
Lead Staff Responsible
Community Programs Manager Ron Chance; other managers –

Work Plan – Economic Assistance and Work Services

Initiative Area
Implement an approach to provide Cultural Sensitivity Training to ESS staff.
Current Status
We are proud of the diversity of our staff and always strive to provide the best customer service, but we need to continue building on best approaches to the delivery of service to an increasingly diverse population.
Chosen Target
ESS staff are more mindful of cultural differences that inadvertently effect how our services are perceived by customers.
Tactics to Close the Gap
  • Provide awareness training to ESS staff.
  • Take part in State-provided training, or solicit and identify our own vendor to provide cultural sensitivity training.
  • Continue to evaluate our recruitment strategies to improve our ability to attract new staff from diverse backgrounds.
Measures of Success
All staff receive the training by the .
Lead Staff Responsible
Margaret Romens –