Howard County DSS Social Services Board

The Howard County Social Services Board is a voluntary board of dedicated community members who are personally interested in the welfare of the county's most vulnerable populations. The board supports the Howard County Department of Social Services in providing services to abused and neglected children, parents that find themselves facing overwhelming obstacles to success, vulnerable adults, and economically disadvantaged individuals and families.

The Howard County Social Services Board is one of 23 other boards across the State of Maryland that make up the Maryland Association of Social Services Boards or MASSB. This state wide entity supports the local departments through advocacy and fundraising through the MASSB Foundation.

Social Services Boards provides a wide ranging degree of responsibility and authority as stated in Maryland Human Services Section 3-503

Specifically boards are to advise the local director as to the local application of State policies or procedures; To be well informed on local Department activities; To review the periodic evaluation of the local department which has been prepared by the State Administration and to consult with the local director as to the proper implementation of these recommendations; To review the annual report of the local director as to the activities of the local department, together with any changes in policies or procedures recommended by the local board, and to transmit it to the Secretary of Human Services and to its local governing authority; To consult with the local director with respect to any new service that might be instituted to meet an unmet need in the county; and to present to the State Administration suggested new services that it approves.

A board cannot, and indeed should not, become routinely involved in day to day case decisions or operations. It is generally far more important that board members know things such as:

  • The local DSS strategic plan;

  • The customer base of the local DSS by type and category;

  • What policies are mandated for addressing the needs of these customers;

  • Whether mandated policies are, or are not, achieving their stated objectives;

  • What are existing or proposed local options, and the success or outcome of these options;

  • Trend lines, what is happening (base); what is projected; what will be the impact on the community, existing resources;

  • Funding sources and funding availability and flexibility;

  • DSS interfaces with schools, law enforcement, health agencies, child care providers, LMBs, community agencies, local government, State Legislators, etc.

Contact Us: Phone: 410-872-8260

Howard County DSS Email:

9780 Patuxent Woods Dr.

Columbia, MD 21046