Human Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS) was created in 2010.  The Department includes all of the foster family and community based services of the Community Attention Programs and a variety of human services program and initiatives. The Director serves as a human services policy advisor to the City Manager and works to implement the social policy initiatives of the City Council.

Investments & Values

The DHS ensures the investments made by City Council in human service organizations meet their vision, values, and expected outcomes through the Vibrant Community Fund (VCF) process. DHS staff provide direct oversight and management of the Youth Council, Youth Opportunity Project initiative, Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and other similar community grants and initiatives. Additional work focuses on advancing the work of a variety of local and State human service planning organizations working in the following areas, including but not limited to: juvenile justice and detention, adult offender re-entry, public housing, human rights, homelessness, mental health, community health, workforce development, aging, and others as determined by the City Manager. 


To be one community filled with opportunity by serving as the community’s premier provider in meeting the therapeutic needs of youth and families, supporting the community’s efforts to improve equity, and address poverty and its impacts. 


We provide services and programs that improve and support the resilience, health and well-being of youth, families and community organizations.

Anti-Racist Organizational Mission and Action Plan

The Department of Human Services works collaboratively towards building just, equitable, antiracist communities.  We envision a world where society and its systems (e.g. education, criminal justice, and health care, housing, the economy, child welfare) are just, fair, and inclusive, enabling all people to participate and reach their full potential. We believe in the dignity, resilience, and humanity of all people. We strive for a healthy and prosperous society that promotes equitable access and opportunity. Systemic and institutional inequities, especially in matters of race, remain significant barriers for people and communities working to reach their full potential. We choose to challenge and dismantle systems that perpetuate inequities which includes addressing and redressing the historic and current work of the Department of Human Services. 

 We will do this by assessing our own performance, disaggregating the data we collect by race, increasing the number of people of color working and in management in the department, developing partnerships that focus on antiracism, examining and acknowledging the department’s historical and current impact on this community, and setting specific performance expectations for staff. 

Positive Youth Development Services Since 1971

Community Attention provides a range of services including foster care and community-based components.  We strive to provide strengths-based, cost effective, user friendly, and clinically sound services in the context of inter-agency collaboration and active family involvement and responsibility.  We attempt to individualize services for each client as needed, including making referrals to and coordinating with community services outside our agency.  Community Attention is a fee-based program with primary funding coming from the Virginia Juvenile Community Crime Control Act (VJCCCA) and the Comprehensive Services Act (CSA).   Referrals may begin with any service component and transition to alternative or supplementary services. 

Foster Care Services

  • Community Attention Foster Families (CAFF) is a foster care program for boys and girls age 0 to 21 in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and surrounding counties with the ability to accept emergency placements and provide long term foster care leading to permanency.

Community-Based Services

  • Community Based Services (CBS) provides trauma-informed, evidence-based services in the form of individualized support, advocacy, case management, community and resource building and support groups to youth and their families who live in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.