Sonoma County is comprised of 26 distinct departments that provide a wide array of services to residents. From law enforcement to road maintenance to promoting economic development, the county works to improve the lives of residents within the county boundaries. As agents of the state, counties are also responsible for administering many of the State’s health, welfare and criminal justice programs.
Health and Human Services
The Department of Health Services provides treatment for individuals with alcohol, drug and tobacco addiction, mental health programs (which include 24-hour out-patient care and crisis services), as well as information and education to reduce illness and disease in the county. The department also oversees public health nursing, reproductive health clinics, and services to investigate, treat and control highly communicable diseases. Oversight of emergency medical services and payments to the County Medical Services Program for indigent health care are handled by Health Services. The department also offers public health nuisance abatement services, as well as hazardous materials and consumer protection programs.
The Human Services Department determines eligibility for various federal state and local aid programs. Programs include: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), MediCal, General Assistance and Food Stamps, employment services, case management of abused, abandoned or neglected children; foster care and emergency placement services. The Human Services department also coordinates services for adults and senior citizens including, Adult Protective Services, In-Home Supportive Services, hot meals programs, and services for veterans.
Department of Child Support Services
The Department of Child Support Services coordinates the county’s Child Support Enforcement Program, which is part of a nationwide effort to collect child support from parents and reduce public assistance costs. The Department of Child Support Services seeks and enforces court orders for both welfare and non-welfare cases.
Funding of Sonoma County public protection programs continues to be one of the highest priorities for the Board of Supervisors. The primary purpose of public protection agencies is to provide a secure environment for persons and property.
The District Attorney is an elected official responsible for prosecuting all public offenses in Sonoma County. The District Attorney initiates proceedings for the arrest of any person charged with a crime in Sonoma County and acts as an advisor to the county Grand Jury. In addition, the District Attorney oversees an Environmental Law and Consumer Fraud division, which handles civil and criminal enforcement in those matters.
The Probation Department is an arm of the Superior Court of California charged with community protection through monitoring and rehabilitating adult and juvenile offenders. Probation is responsible for investigation, supervision, control, and reform of people granted supervised probation. In addition to probation services, the department is responsible for operations at the three county juvenile detention facilities, which include Juvenile Hall, the Sierra Youth Center, and Probation Camp. Probation also oversees the Supervised Adult Crew Program, which operates out of the camp facility.
The Public Defender has a legal mandate to represent any person charged with a criminal or juvenile offense if they are not financially able to hire private counsel. The Public Defender also represents qualified individuals in probate and welfare cases.
The Sheriff-Coroner is an elected official responsible for law enforcement, crime prevention, and related emergency services to the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County, as well as the cities of Windsor and Sonoma. The Sheriff-Coroner is also responsible for the operation of the County’s two adult detention facilities, and for providing security to the courts.