ACS News, Media and Information Resources
ACS offers a variety of resources for the media and for its members. These include information on local media, recent press releases, copies of important studies, findings relating to the human services field and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Budget Trends Howard County Health and Human Services FY 2012 Update
Between FY 2008 and FY 2012 Howard County health and human
service agencies struggled to meet the challenges of the most serious national
recession since the Great Depression. Funding for most County health and human
service agencies was basically flat, while the number of citizens needing help
trends during this period included:
- The number of County residents
applying for services and benefits grew dramatically between FY 2008 and
FY 2011 Applications by households for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
(Food Stamps) numbered 2,646 in FY
2008; in FY 2011 they numbered 6,169, with the largest annual increase
(29.82%) occurring between FY 2010 and FY 2011.
- The County’s unemployment rate,
measured at 2.9% in July 2007, reached 5.7 in July 2009 but has declined
Frequently Asked Questions - PDF
is the Association of Community Services?
is the ACS Mission?
does ACS do?
kinds of programs does ACS provide?
Education and Training Programs
many members does ACS have?
much does membership cost?
is ACS organized?
What is the Association of
Community Services of Howard County (ACS)?
ACS is a dynamic membership organization created for those who address
peoples’ ability to live, eat, heal, be educated, find shelter and work in
Howard County. Members include non-profit,
for-profit, faith-based and government agencies as well as citizen advocates
who are involved in housing, health, employment, aging, immigration, disability
and transportation. Think of ACS as a
chamber of commerce for community services.
What is the ACS Mission?
Developing, supporting, and promoting the human services community with education and training, advocacy, and community connections
What does ACS do?
ACS offers organizations and individuals the information, support,
training, education and connections they need to operate successfully, provide
services efficiently, inform the community about their services and address
pressing human services issues.
What kinds of programs and services
does ACS provide?
ACS focuses its efforts in three main areas: education
and training, community connections, and advocacy.
Training - ACS provides affordable programs and training in areas ranging from
using today’s social media, to technology, to training first time managers,
marketing and fundraising, and helping organizations provide services to many
different cultures. The monthly public free program offers information on
important human services issues such as healthcare, self-sufficiency or Defense
Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC).
Last year, ACS offered 8 free public general meetings, and 16 members-only
programs. Three 3-session training series were offered for a fee to members and
Connections- ACS connects its members by providing opportunities for them to
meet other leaders in the human services field.
It also creates opportunities to talk with county and state
representatives. Members also have opportunities to discuss management,
financial, service and other operational issues with peers through special
ACS, through its members, identifies current issues facing human services, and
suggests advocacy positions that can solve them.
ACS is in a unique position of representing a majority of community-based
human services providers in the county and is the organization to which officials
turn when trying to advance human service issues. Annually, ACS produces
its Priority Issues which offers
background information on the human services community, trends, and
needs. This document is the foundation for advocacy on budgets,
legislation, and other community building work. ACS is well-known for its
efforts to convene members and community leaders to find solutions to tough
problems. Collaborations are also a critical component of ACS’
work. Just one example is the partnership created between the Horizon
Foundation and ACS to establish the Policy Analysis Center which produces
reports such as the annual Self Sufficiency Indicators.
How else does ACS implement public policy activities?
ACS conducts a variety of public policy activities including:
- Monitoring county and state legislative bills and activities;
- Researching and presenting testimony on bills, resolutions and budgets affecting human services in Howard County;
- Convening community organizations involved in a specific human service need to propose solutions;
candidates and elected officials regarding human service needs.
How many members does ACS have?
ACS currently has 112 member organizations and 12 individual members
who are referred to as community advocates.
What are the major benefits of
In addition to access to training and development, advocacy and
networking activities, ACS members have opportunities to promote their services
at meetings, online and at special events. Through public policy efforts, they
can also help shape human services policies and programs throughout the county.
Members can also access special employment insurance benefits.
How much does it cost to join?
Membership fees for FY12 (starting July 1, 2011) range from $100 to $900 depending on an organization’s
Howard County operating budget. Organizational memberships enable all of an organization’s
volunteers and staff to participate in ACS members-only activities, attend
workshops and training sessions at member prices, and receive the ACS
newsletter and events update. Individual (Community Advocate)
memberships are $75.00.
Are there other opportunities to
Supporters, who contribute at a higher level, help to provide programs
and activities for other non-profits on very tight budgets, and in doing so,
demonstrate their commitment to human services in Howard County. They also
receive additional opportunities to generate visibility for their organization.
How is ACS Organized?
ACS is staffed by a part-time Executive Director, and four part-time
staff members. ACS is governed by a
Board of Directors, with an Executive Committee of its officers holding
ultimate responsibility for the organization’s finances and operation. Founded in 1963, ACS is a 501c4. To help develop the programs, services and
advocacy priorities for the organization, ACS members are encouraged to
participate on committees, which focus on Communications, Education and
Training, Member Services/Financial Development, and Public Policy.
Is ACS connected to the Maryland
Association of Community Services?
ACS is not affiliated with
the Maryland Association of Community Services.
That organization is a private nonprofit organization focused solely on
supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families throughout
the state of Maryland. ACS’ membership does, however, include organizations
focused on people with developmental disabilities.
How do I find out more about
Visit www.acshoco.org or see ACS on Facebook
Address: 10480 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 920, Columbia, MD 21044
Contact: 410-715-9545 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I join ACS?
Fill out an online application on the ACS website www.acshoco.org and submit payment. Once you’ve joined, you can also sign up
members of your staff to be sent ACS resources, members-only programs and