What Are Human Services, and How Do State Governments Structure Them?

The human services sector is critical to helping individuals, families, and communities thrive and to optimizing health, well-being, and equity. Human services can include, for example, cash and in-kind benefits; aging and senior services; child, family, and community services; disability and independent living services; and workforce development and financial well-being services. How states structure their human services systems can have important implications for the flow of funding, pace of innovation, and satisfaction of customers. This report describes the human services landscape within state governments and uses case studies to show the range of approaches state governments take in structuring their human services systems. It also explores some implications of these structures for alignment and coordination within human services and with the health care sector.

Record Type: 
Publication Date: 
January, 2023
January 2023
Partner Resources
  • Employment
  • Education and Training
  • Family Strengthening
  • Asset Building
    • Financial Literacy and Education
  • Supportive Services
    • Child Care
    • Health/Behavioral Health Referrals and Supports
    • Housing Assistance
  • Special Populations
  • TANF Program Administration