Advisory Boards & Commissions

It is the vision of the Bergen County Department of Human Services that good government is responsive to the needs of our citizens. Community participation is vital to an open and responsive government. There is a tremendous commitment of volunteer talent, energy and time devoted to the Advisory Boards and Commissions. Public input enhances the department's ability to provide the highest quality of service to the citizens of Bergen County.

Please fill out this APPLICATION FORM if you are interested in applying for any one of these boards or commissions.

Commission on the Status of Women

Theresa Cannon, (201) 336-7425

The Bergen County Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) was founded in 1975 and serves as a bridge between government and community, studying the needs of women and promoting the expansion of women’s rights in areas such as domestic violence, child care, and elder care. To offer young women the opportunity to become involved with these and other issues, the Junior Commission was established in 2000.

Each year all schools (public, private, and parochial) are invited to nominate young women from their junior class for consideration for appointment. This opportunity to serve on the Junior Commission has become a competitive and sought after prospect for young women. Former Junior Commissioners have reported that this one-year of service has become an important part of their college application.

During their term of office - September to June - they are charged with a community service project or researching a topic relevant to their peers. The Junior Commissioners also have the opportunity to participate in COSW activities during their year in office.

 Application for the Junior Commission for the Status of Women (2024)

Women’s History Month Sticker Contest


Disability Services Advisory Board

Anika Davis (201) 336-6500

The Division of Disability Services Advisory Board has 25 members and six ex-officio members. The advisory board addresses the unmet needs in the community for persons with disabilities, specifically focusing attention on issues regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and interpretation.


Human Relations Commission

Theresa Cannon (201) 336-7425

The Human Relations Commission works to encourage, develop, promote, and strengthen respect for human rights and cultural diversity within Bergen County. The commission's goal is to promote tolerance and combat bigotry.



Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC)

Lee Brigham, (201) 336-7465

The Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC) is the principle planning body for the department. Established in accordance with the New Jersey Department of Human Services guidelines and the Administrative Code of the County of Bergen, the HSAC is comprised of professionals, consumers, and advocates with a goal to improve the quality of human services for residents of Bergen County. 

The HSAC’s primary functions are (1) Planning, (2) Advocacy, (3) Resource allocation, and (4) Program review.

Office for Children Advisory Board

Julie O'Brien, (201) 336-7176

The 25 member Advisory Board to the Office for Children was established in 1980 to assess the child care needs in the county, and develop a comprehensive plan to meet those needs.

Senior Services Advisory Council

Lorraine Joewono, (201) 336-7418

The 25 member Division of Senior Services Advisory Council acts on all matters relating to the development, administration, and execution of the area plan. 

Specifically, the council assists in: project assessment, funding and decisions, legislative issues, community education and public relations.

In addition, the Division on Senior Services works in partnership with the Hispanic Advisory Committee to address the needs of the Latino community.

Veterans Advisory Council

Shaun Hutchinson, (201) 336-6326

The Bergen County Veterans Advisory Council is comprised of not less than 12 nor more than 25 members who make recommendations on policies, procedures, and programs for Bergen County’s veteran population.

Youth Services Commission

Jamie Ziegelhofer, (201) 336-7457

The Bergen County Youth Services Commission advocates for the youth of Bergen County in areas of proposed laws, practices, policies, and regulations. 

Historical Overview 
In 1984, the Bergen County Youth Services Commission (BCYSC) was established by the County of Bergen to meet the mandate set forth in the 1980’s NJ Juvenile Justice Reforms. In 1995, when another series of reforms to the NJ Juvenile Justice System occurred, the BCYSC was once again reaffirmed by the Bergen County Executive, through a Freeholder Resolution, as the county’s Juvenile Justice Planning Group. The purpose of the BCYSC is to promote public safety, accountability and rehabilitation through the planning, implementation and administration of a comprehensive program of sanctions and services for juveniles adjudicated or charged as delinquent and delinquency prevention programs. 

The Bergen County Youth Services Commission membership consists of a maximum of 32 individuals who represent a variety of service delivery systems, governmental and non-profit agencies, and community-based organizations. 

Every three years the BCYSC completes a comprehensive county-wide plan of service. The plan contains recommendations to address service needs and gaps throughout a Continuum of Care, including Prevention, Diversion, Detention, Detention Alternatives, Disposition and Re-Entry. 

State and Federal funds are allocated through the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission to the County of Bergen to assist in the development of community-based delinquency prevention programs, sanctions and services for juveniles charged or adjudicated as delinquent. Funded programs are reviewed onsite each year by the BCYSC to determine contract compliance, as well as any new concerns presented by juveniles served by the particular program.

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Contact Us

Melissa H. DeBartolo, Esq.


 Bergen County Department of Human Services

One Bergen County Plaza  • 2nd Floor • Hackensack, NJ 07601-7076

Phone: 201-336-7474 • Fax: 201-336-7450

Hours: 8:30 am - 8:30 pm (varies by division)