Department History


  • What is now known as The Human Services Department originally began as the Community Services Department.
  • The Department originally had three operating divisions: Head Start, Manpower Employment Training Programs, and Aging Services.
  • Head Start began as a summer program, educating children ages 3 to 5. Manpower managed adult and summer youth programs as well as migrant farm worker programs.


  • The County created a community services commission designated as the Community Action Agency to serve all of Maricopa County, outside the City of Phoenix.
  • The Community Services Division, under the Community Services Department, administered the new Community Action Program (CAP) to 14 local communities.


  • The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) replaced the Manpower Division with Maricopa Employment and Training Administration (META).


  • The Department name was changed to Human Resources.
  • It was comprised of four Divisions: Head Start, Community Services, META, and Special Transportation Services. In a reorganization, the state assumed management over Aging Services.


  • The new Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) replaced META with the Employment and Training Division.


  • The Department name was changed to Social Services and still operated four divisions: Head Start, Community Services, Special Transportation Services, and Employment and Training.


  • The Department was renamed to the Human Services Department.
  • Restructuring left the department operating three divisions encompassing various programs: Education (Head Start); Community Services (CAP and Special Transportation Services); and Employment and Training (JTPA services.)


  • The City of Mesa was designated as its own Community Action Agency, separate from the Community Services Division.


  • The Early Head Start program was created to serve children from birth to age five and their families.
  • The Employment and Training Division received funding to implement the One-Stop Career Center system.


  • The Employment and Training Division was renamed to the Workforce Development Division.


  • The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) was replaced by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).
  • The Special Transportation Services Division became a partner with the One-Stop Centers and moved into the Workforce Development Division.


  • The Special Transportation Services program discontinued providing regional transportation services.
  • The Community Development Department was merged into the Human Services Department. This new Division administered programs that increase affordable housing and build stronger and more resilient communities.
  • The Department now consisted of four divisions: Education, Community Development, Community Services, and Workforce Development.


  • The Community Justice Support Services Division is created with the purpose of providing prevention and intervention services to youth and adults who are at-risk within the Criminal Justice system.
  • The Maricopa County Leadership Experience program is added to the Workforce Development Division. This summer program for youth is a no cost self-directed, self-paced program with activities, workshops, and volunteer opportunities within more than 16 County departments.


  • The Weatherization Program which provides homeowners with assistance in energy and efficiency and the Emergency Solutions Grant (homeless assistance) were moved under the Community Development Division.


  • The Senior and Adult Services Division was created.


  • Administration, Policy, and Planning Division was created, bringing a total of six Division to HSD.


  • The Community Development Division was renamed Housing and Community Development to reflect the Division's true scope of work.
  • The Early Education Division received a 5 year grant to continue operating in the East Valley while offering longer classroom days for children.
  • HSD embraced the 2-Generational Approach leading to several cross-divisional initiatives and partnerships.