Fulfilling a Vision
Seven departments (Public Social Services, Child and Family Services, Child Support Services, Health Services, Probation, Mental Health, and Public Health) were spread over the region, inhibiting accessibility. Teams within the departments were working in silos, impeding interaction and communication among caseworkers. The vision—bringing staff members among agencies in closer proximity to each other—would foster the kind of knowledge sharing required to create a more holistic view of the County’s clients. Also vitally important was the need for a friendly, open, and welcoming place that was safe and secure for individuals and families who use County services, as well as for the service providers. Creating a more “human” space where both clients and staff felt valued was a priority to sustain the morale of both groups.
The County also required a flexible space to accommodate the varying needs of departments with different priorities and to support individuals’ need for a variety of ways to work. The new building had to be cost effective as a public service organization funded by taxpayer dollars—and include a plan that supported future growth and change.