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Diversity and cultural competence

Vision statement regarding diversity

Diversity encompasses a broad range of human differences. It includes, but is not limited to, differences in ability and disability, age, educational level, ethnicity, gender, geographic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class and values.

The Department of Human Services, recognizing the diversity of its customers, is committed to providing effective services, programs and policies that are appropriate and accessible to diverse communities.

Recognizing the diversity of its employees, the Department of Human Services is committed to creating a work environment that is respectful of individual differences and seeks to promote understanding.

The Department of Human Services recognizes both the diversity and the commonality of the human condition. It has adopted a philosophy of embracing the opportunities and challenges diversity offers. In the spirit of this philosophy, it is incumbent upon all employees to honor these commitments.


Since 1991, the Department of Human Services has been engaged in activities designed to realize the department's vision for a culturally competent, diverse workforce providing culturally appropriate and accessible services. 

Historically and yet today, these activities take place across the department, in both Central Office and Direct Care and Treatment sites. They include activities designed to assure appropriate access to information and services for people whose first language is not English; that our policies on nondiscrimination in services and in employment are known and carried out; that the department's workforce is educated about the communities we serve and the issues they face; that our policies and programs of service are culturally attuned; that the department's workforce is knowledgeable about the diverse backgrounds of its own employees; and that we recruit for a diverse and rich pool of applicants for our job openings, and provide apprenticeship opportunities for highly qualified graduate and undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who seek a career in public service.

With the department's core values including a focus on people, a responsibility for the common good and mutual responsibility to one another, it is clear that the diversity and cultural competency initiative at DHS is essential to the success of the department in performing its work and in meeting its priorities for people. Only by having multiple perspectives can we craft a product that meets the needs of those we serve, as well as ensure access to quality services. And only by making the department a welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees can we assure that our workforce is reflective of the diverse populations to whom we are responsible.

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