About Us

BASSC Statement of Purpose

As an agency-university-foundation partnership that promotes social service research, training, and policy development BASSC seeks to respond to the changes in public social services in the San Francisco Bay Area. It operates with a set of core purposes and programs.

Core Purposes :
  • Fostering of regional communications and understanding about the changing nature of social services in the public and non-profits sectors;
  • Serving as a catalyst for new ideas that have legislative, administrative, public education, and training implications; and
  • Providing a forum for innovative regional programs related to research, training, and policy development.
Core Programs :
  1. bi-monthly meetings designed to promote a Think Tank on public policy and program issues.
  2. a multi-county research program on topics selected annually by the BASSC members.
  3. a multi-county training program related to Executive Development for middle managers, a Senior Executive Development for deputy directors, and a Bay Area Academy serving the training needs of line and supervisory staff in child welfare and related fields.
  4. a multi-county policy development program that develops and publishes policy reports for opinion leaders and case studies on policy implementation for agency staff.
The Administrative Office of BASSC is located at the School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley. The BASSC training programs are located at University of California Extension, as well and the School of Social Work at San Francisco State University.
History and Vision

Celebrating 15 Years of Collaboration

BASSC ... 1987-2002

size:963.47 K
Our 15th Anniversary brochure is available in pdf format by clicking this button
The Bay Area Social Services Consortium (BASSC), founded in 1987, is an organization composed of the directors of 12 Bay Area county social service agencies, 5 university social work programs, and 2 foundations (Zellerbach Family Fund and the VanLobenSels/RembeRock Foundation. The Consortium grew out of a group of county social service directors in the San Francisco Bay Area who began collaborating in 1987 around the need for regional training programs (pre-service and in-service).
Beginning in 1992, the BASSC group became an Executive Think Tank with its first chairperson, Richard O'Neil of Santa Clara County and Michael J. Austin as BASSC Staff Director. BASSC grew over the next ten years to include 13 Bay Area counties, five university social work programs, and two foundations. Since 1994, BASSC has launched:
These programs and activities were guided by the following BASSC Chairpersons:
Ernie Horosi, San Mateo County (1987-1992)
Richard O'Neil, Santa Clara County (1992-1996)
Will Lightbourne, Santa Cruz County (1996-1998)
Maureen Borland, San Mateo County (1998-2000)
John Cullen, Contra Costa County (2000-2002)
As one of its first Think Tank activities, BASSC developed in 1994 a vision statement on the future of human services in 2000 and beyond. Then in 1999, following the implementation of welfare reform legislation, it developed its current Vision Statement entitled Supporting Low-Income Workers in the 21st Century: An Evolving BASSC Vision Statement. It is organized around the following principles:
  1. Social Development Approach: The social development approach focuses on enhancing the capacity of the needy to participate in the economy by targeting investments in specific communities and individuals.
  2. Building Community and Fostering a Civil Society: A civil society recognizes the importance of private, voluntary associations, as well as the ability of government to organize broad initiatives, mobilize resources, and build infrastructure. Social service agencies in a civil society therefore need to work as partners for change in multiple collaborations in order to create healthy families and communities.
  3. Developing a Career Resilient Workforce: Social service agencies have an important role to play supporting workers and employers in order to ensure that skill development keeps pace with the rapidly changing economy.
  4. Supporting the Family: Social service agencies must seek to help working families to move out of poverty through a family-centered investment policies that provide support for child care, transportation, housing, and health care.
  5. Family-Focused, Neighborhood-Based Human Service Systems: Human service systems should be based on values of social inclusiveness, community development, and social investment.
  6. Changing Professional Roles: In order to support workforce development and empower families, agency staff need to blend the current responsibilities of assessment, counseling, referral, advocacy, and program development with a new social activism based on an understanding of the work-related values and skills of entry-level employees.
  7. Social Service Agencies as Catalysts for Private Action: Social service agencies need to expand their roles as catalysts for change in order to ensure that communities do not abandon the most needy families.
  8. Promoting New Public Policy Directions: The unfinished business of welfare reform will require new, more targeted public policies to increase the income and assets of low income families. The policies need to address the inequities of the private market for those who are working to support their families (e.g. earned income tax credits, child or family allowances, asset development, and micro-investment programs).