The Department of Human Resources was created in 1935 to administer to
the assistance programs that were part of the Social Security Act. These
programs were developed to help an American public that was suffering
through the financial hardships of the Great Depression. The agency's
original name was the Department of Public Welfare. In 1955, it was
renamed the Department of Pensions and Security. The current name was
adopted in 1986. Some programs have changed over the years to meet the
changing needs of Alabama. However, the agency's primary goal has always
been and always will be to help people in need.
The agency currently has about 4,000 State Merit System employees, most
of whom work in the agency's 67 county departments. Although the agency
employs a wide variety of professionals, social workers represent the
largest category of DHR employees.