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Baltimore County Wins “Bright Idea Award” from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

January 2016

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that the County has won the prestigious “Bright Idea Award” from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government through their 2015 Innovation in American Government Program. The award praises the County’s Social Services Eligibility Determination Improvement project.

This project overhauled the County’s social services application and eligibility process for critical programs like food stamps, temporary cash assistance, medical assistance and temporary disability assistance.

The new process, developed in-house by the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the Office of Information Technology (OIT), significantly improved the way requests are handled by shifting HHS case workers from handling individual caseloads to a more effective team-based caseload management system. The County now uses technology to replace a paper-based approval process, reducing backlogs and improving work quality, as well as providing for employee skill set development.

“I am very proud of our HHS and OIT Directors Branch and Stradling and their staffs for taking the initiative to use the latest technology to better meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable County residents,” said Kamenetz. “Now, our social services offices are much better equipped to meet the ever-increasing demand for assistance by providing superior customer service. This is the way government is supposed to work.”