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Miami-Dade County Department of Community Action and Human Services Earns National Achievement Awards

CAHSD Claims Award in Two Categories: Children and Youth and Human Services

MIAMI ( May 27, 2021 )

Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department is the recipient of two 2021 National Association of Counties (NAC0) awards for outstanding achievement in the Children and Youth, and Human Services categories. The Children and Youth award is for CAHSD’s partnership with The Children’s Trust Book Club and the Human Services Award recognizes the Remote Inmate Assessment project. “We are extremely proud of the work our Community Action department has done on these projects, these are well deserved awards," said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

In July 2020, the CAHSD Head Start program teamed up with the Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership and The Children’s Trust Book Club, developing a Parent Guide for every book targeted to children 0-3 years old. The Book Club was designed by The Trust in 2011 to provide Miami-Dade County children with developmentally-appropriate books, to build their home libraries.  “Our work to ensure that low-income families, from young to old, have access to educational opportunities is pivotal. As a grandmother and a social worker, I know first-hand the positive impact reading books can have on a child's development and creativity, and how it fosters a positive environment for everyone in the family. Books will always open our minds to knowledge and joy, no matter our age," said Mayor Levine Cava.

The parent guides focus on: language and literacy, social and emotional development, physical development and cognitive development. Each month the guide provides information on how to share the book, questions to engage readers, and activities that support at least two of the developmental domains. Over 188,000 books have been mailed to children since July. “We are honored to bring home these two awards in the Children and Youth and Human Services categories,” said CAHSD Interim Director Annika Holder.  “CAHSD employees are invested, innovative and impact-focused, and this recognition further underscores the department’s commitment to providing services beyond the four-walls of our physical assets,” Holder added. 

The Human Services Award is for the Remote Inmate Assessment project. The goal of the Remote Inmate Assessment project was to eliminate cost and risks associated with transporting inmates from the Pre-Trial Detention Center (PTDC) to the Central Intake Unit (CIU) of CAHSD’s Rehabilitative Services Division. RSD created a process to conduct remote intake and assessment interviews via video teleconferencing three years before Covid-19. This innovation proved its effectiveness during the pandemic while continuing to reduce liabilities associated with the transport of inmates from a strongly protected facility to a treatment facility. The RIA further guarded the health and well-being of County staff and inmates. At height of the pandemic, access to assessment services remained uninterrupted because the project’s protocols provided for contactless service delivery and electronic efficiencies. "I am also very proud to know that our Remote Inmate Assessment project put us ahead of the curve when the pandemic came, protecting our county staff and inmates during a critical time. Thrilled to see this life saving innovation recognized,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Since 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program has recognized county government innovations. There are 18 categories reflecting comprehensive services provided by counties; including children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, and civic engagement. NACo President Gary Moore said, “Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership. This year’s Achievement Award winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.” Founded in 1935, NACo advocates for approximately 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees to promote public service excellence and help people and places thrive across America,  

CAHSD is one of over 1000 community action agencies across the country working every day to positively transform the lives of low-income individuals from birth to the elderly; creating innovative opportunities to make families thrive and communities stronger.  To learn more about the Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department, call 786-469-4600 or visit: