Joanne Fuller (M.S.W. '86) is leading one of the most important departments in Multnomah County as Director of the Department of County Human Services. With 650 people in her department, Joanne and her staff make a real impact on people's lives.
Programs within the DCHS include aging and disability services, developmental disability services, services to school-age youth, domestic violence, and mental health and addiction services. These departments form a critical piece of the safety net for people in our community.
Joanne has spent 19 years making a difference with her social work degree at Multnomah County. As the Director of the Department of Community Justice, Joanne led the redesign of the adult community corrections system through the implementation of outcome-based case management, championed juvenile detention reform with the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), and deepened the departments' commitment to evidence-based practices.
Joanne worked closely with substance abuse treatment providers, especially in the juvenile system, to develop a more coordinated continuum of treatment for juvenile offenders, including the development of a juvenile treatment court and a 16-bed juvenile secure residential alcohol and drug treatment unit. She was an integral partner with PSU-based Reclaiming Futures, a Robert Wood Johnson funded project to implement comprehensive system reform in juvenile alcohol and drug services.
Much of Joanne's career has focused on efforts to intervene with juveniles early through community-based programs to limit incarceration. "Early identification and problem solving with kids is the best way to ensure they don't get involved in criminal behavior, live safe and productive lives and fulfill their potential as individuals."
Joanne was instrumental in the development of the School Attendance Initiative. This initiative began in the fall of 1996 as a collaborative effort between the Department and its school partners, community-based service providers, and County-supported Family Service Centers on the issue of school attendance.