June 9, 2020
Department of Housing and Human Services Director Frank Alexander takes on new role with Casey Family Programs
Frank Alexander will help build a nationwide partnership system to ensure child- and family- well-being by advancing population-based, primary prevention strategies.
(Boulder County, Colo. -- June 9, 2020) -- Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS) Director Frank Alexander will conclude his 22-year career with the county in July to join Casey Family Programs as Managing Director of Judicial and National Engagements within Systems Improvement.
Alexander will be leading an effort to develop a 21st Century Child Well-Being system across the U.S. that develops innovative partnerships to dramatically reduce child maltreatment through proactive prevention-based outreach and supports. He has been serving in an advisory role for Casey Family Programs alongside his work in Boulder County, which for several years has had the lowest out-of-home child placement rate in the state while ensuring child safety and family stability.
Under Director Alexander’s leadership, BCDHHS was the first government agency in the country to merge separate housing and human services departments into an integrated services delivery framework. Over a decade later, the merger serves as a nationally recognized model for delivering integrated services and multi-generational supports that empower people and strengthen families and address the root causes of crisis and instability.
Frank Alexander will leave enormous shoes to fill. In his two decades with Boulder County, Frank's strategic and visionary leadership has transformed how we deliver services to families and individuals in need, taking a client-based and data-driven approach that maximizes positive outcomes for those most vulnerable in our community. He will be sorely missed!
-Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones
Director Alexander has overseen BCDHHS for the last 12 years, through the 2008 Financial Crisis, the 2010 Fourmile Fire, the 2013 Flood, and subsequent recovery, and most recently as BCDHHS responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boulder County has benefited greatly from Frank's 22 years of experience, expertise, and true passion for helping kids and families thrive in our community. While it is hard to lose someone in our organization as outstanding as Frank, we know he will excel in continuing to steer public policy in the direction of providing the greatest possible stability to families and individuals in need. We wish him all the best in his new role with Casey Family Programs.
-Deb Gardner, Chair, Boulder County Board of County Commissioners
Under Director Alexander’s leadership over the past 12 years, BCDHHS has evolved into a 500-person integrated services delivery organization that is focused on supporting whole families and individuals by proactively and simultaneously serving multiple generations with the full range of services and supports they need.
In addition to the legacy work around support for children and families in our community, Frank also has developed an outstanding team around him. While Frank himself will be missed, the staff in the department are well positioned to continue to provide an outstanding level of service, which is especially important during the current economic downturn. I am proud of Frank and proud of the entire Housing and Human Services Team for their commitment and dedication to public service.
-Jana Petersen, Boulder County Administrator
Over an average 12 months during typical times, BCDHHS serves more than 90,000 distinct clients with a wide range of wrap-around services, including food, housing, health coverage, child care, safety, education and skill building, parenting supports, services for older adults, and much more. Over the past decade:
- The uninsured rate for health coverage in Boulder County has fallen from 12 percent to under 4 percent through a focused outreach and enrollment effort to significantly increase access to Medicaid and Affordable Care Act health coverage;
- SNAP (food assistance) enrollment in the county has increased by 40 percent;
through preventive and supportive partnerships with families, the number of out-of-home child placements in Boulder County has safely remained steady and low despite a marked increase in referrals;
- 376 new affordable homes have been added, nearly 500 more are in the works, and Boulder County has helped lead the creation and implementation of a plan to triple the region’s stock of affordable homes;
- The county’s Child Support Services program has generated dramatic increases in support payments through collaboration with non-custodial parents; and
- BCDHHS has made significant progress in aligning and integrating multiple systems and data sources to ensure that the assistance each community member receives is informed by a well-rounded view of their needs.
Frank Alexander, who also serves as Executive Director of the Boulder County Housing Authority, has played a pivotal leadership role in the creation and guidance of the Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership, which established a goal of tripling the region’s supply of affordable homes by 2035, and quickly received the support of nine jurisdictions across Boulder County. The Partnership is also leading an initiative known as “Home Together” during COVID-19, which seeks to help connect families and individuals who are feeling isolated due to social distancing during the pandemic.
Simply put, Frank is the best. He grew through his long tenure with Boulder County to become a national leader in the area of housing and human services. But best of all, he and his staff have helped improve the lives of the people they serve each and every day, even in the midst of the pandemic and the Great Recession.
- Matt Jones, Vice-Chair, Boulder County Board of County Commissioners
Director Alexander has also been a leader in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, spearheading efforts to provide additional emergency supports for individuals and families, including resources for accessing emergency rental assistance, food and financial assistance, health care and mental health care supports, help with housing, safety supports, child care assistance, legal services, and more.
Since March 2020, BCDHHS has:
- Received and responded to over 32,000 text messages, 2,700 voicemails and over 1,500 emails;
- Seen a sustained tripling in applications for supports and services;
- Launched a Housing Helpline, a centralized bilingual community resources page for COVID-19, and a targeted support campaign for expecting parents and new parents with children under the age of one;
- Leveraged community partnerships, internal resources, and voucher programs to provide emergency rental assistance and additional affordable housing resources to prevent housing dislocation during the pandemic.
Director Alexander also serves on a variety of cross-sector community and state boards and is the co-chair of the 21st Century Child Welfare System Steering Committee with Dr. David Sanders of Casey Family Programs. He is past chair of the Locals Executive Council of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a member of the APHSA Executive Governing Board, and is past president of the Colorado Human Services Directors Association. Alexander has also led a focus on helping boost access to services throughout the community via a network of strong non-profit and governmental partners.
An important piece of Frank’s legacy is the strong partnerships that HHS built with community partners like Sister Carmen Community Center, Emergency Family Assistance Association, and OUR Center. His vision of a coordinated approach to providing services resulted in the formation of the Boulder County Family Resource Network, a collaboration of community-based agencies, school districts, HHS, Public Health, and others. We’ve been very fortunate to have Frank’s dedication and passion for improving the lives of all families in our community and I know he is going to carry that forward in his work with Casey Family Programs.
-Suzanne Crawford, CEO, Sister Carmen (Lafayette)
As a result of the efforts to integrate services, Boulder County Housing and Human Services has received more than 60 awards, including Mr. Alexander’s recognition with the Excellence for Children award from Casey Family Programs in 2012, Community of Hope award from Casey in 2014, and the 2019 APHSA Outstanding Local Member award.
We have long admired Frank’s leadership, vision and dedication to helping improve the lives of children and families in Colorado and across the nation. He has been an important partner with Casey Family Programs in our work to build Communities of Hope for many years and he will bring deep and practical experience and perspective in what it takes to transform our nation’s efforts to support long-lasting improvements to the safety and success of children, families and the communities where they live.
-David Sanders, Exec VP, Systems Improvement, Casey Family Programs
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced everything that I believe in and that we at Boulder County Housing and Human Services stand for: the inescapable need for strong community partnerships; integrated systems of care across public health, housing, and human services; broad and accessible affordable housing; strong social determinants of health focus; primary prevention in every area of life; early childhood supports; social and economic justice; and the necessity of strong, thriving families and communities. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted and underlined the critical importance of evolving policy and practice collectively and equitably in order to transform our communities across the country for the better, for the well-being of every family, child, youth, and adult. I look forward to continuing this work beside our community, in a new role.”
Boulder County will launch a nationwide search for the BCDHHS Director position in the months ahead.