About Us

The California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) oversees twelve departments and three offices that provide a range of health care services, social services, mental health services, alcohol and drug services, income assistance, and public health services to Californians from all walks of life. More than 33,000 people work for departments in CHHS at state headquarters in Sacramento, regional offices throughout the state, state institutions and residential facilities serving the mentally ill and people with developmental disabilities.

I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND + STATUTORY AUTHORITY

In 1961, Government Code section 12800 established the Human Relations Agency, which became the Health and Welfare Agency in 1972.  Assembly Bill 2352 (Woods, Chapter 817, Statutes of 1998) changed the name of the Health and Welfare Agency to the Health and Human Services Agency.  The Secretary of CHHS participates on a number of committees and advisory boards as specified in the hyperlink above.

II. MISSION STATEMENT

“All Californians, especially those most at risk or in need, have the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life as measured by the sound physical, mental and financial health of children, adolescents and adults; strong and well-functioning families; safe and sustainable communities; and dignity for all.”

III. ORGANIZATION of the OFFICE

The California Health and Human Services Agency is comprised of six distinct offices all of which collectively make up the Office of the Secretary:

1. Office of Legislative Affairs

The office provides coordination, oversight, and management of proposed legislation and ensures the Administration’s legislative policy priorities are developed and implemented.  The office provides policy guidance, instruction, and direction to CHHS departments, and coordinates with the Governor’s Office on legislative positions.

2. Office of External Affairs

The office manages the ongoing public information and public affairs functions and provides guidance and direction to public information officers in CHHS departments.  In addition, the office serves as the official Agency spokesperson to respond to media inquiries, and coordinates with the Governor’s Office communication staff on significant and sensitive media issues. 

3. Office of the Agency General Counsel

The Agency General Counsel provides legal counsel to the Office of the Secretary, Agency Secretary, and senior Agency staff.  The Agency General Counsel also works closely with the Governor’s Office of Legal Affairs and coordinates the workload of the department Chief Counsels.

4. Office of Program and Fiscal Affairs

The office is responsible for formulating, analyzing, revising, and evaluating the program and fiscal impacts of major health and human services policies of the Administration.  This includes assessment of all policy, legislative, fiscal, and other issues that have implications, not only among CHHS departments, but beyond CHHS to other state agencies within the Executive Branch.

5. Administration Unit

The CHHS Office of the Secretary serves a critical coordination role on all assignments and projects as directed by the Governor’s Office and control agencies.  This unit handles all personnel, HR, training, and internal budget issues.

6. Chief Agency Information Officer

In September 2004, the CHHS appointed an Agency Chief Information Officer (AIO) to meet the requirements as set forth by mandates and policies issued by the State Chief Information Officer.  The AIO ensures that the appropriate level of department guidance, governance and oversight of all CHHS information technology assets and projects continue. 

Mission Statement

“All Californians, especially those most at risk or in need, have the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life as measured by the sound physical, mental and financial health of children, adolescents and adults; strong and well-functioning families; safe and sustainable communities; and dignity for all.”

CHHS Department Org Chart

Boards and Commissions:

The Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency sits on a number of committees and advisory boards, and is directed by Executive Order to establish a number of advisory bodies:

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