DSS workers recognized

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2004

JACKSON -Department of Social Services Director Dr. Al Wentzy presented a resolution to the Northampton County Board of Commissioners, last week, to commend employees from the Children & Family Services Unit for their successful operation.

The resolution, which was adopted by the board, recognizes the unit for its efforts to protect the welfare of children by investigating facts relating situations where they provide case management and foster care services as well as adoption assistance on behalf of the abused, neglected and abandoned children of Northampton County. It also acknowledges the unit’s effective cooperation with the judicial system, attorneys, mental health agencies, foster parents, Guardian Ad Litems, Sheriff’s Office, physicians, hospitals, children’s placement facilities, state government agencies, relatives, families and children.

&uot;We are very thankful for the services you provide to the citizens of this county,&uot; said Northampton County Chairwoman Virginia Spruill, commending the workers.

&uot;This unit is on duty 24-hours a day, seven days a week and is called on to perform Herculean efforts on behalf of our needy children and families.&uot;

According to Wentzy, the unit undergoes a comprehensive audit of programs by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services State Division of Children’s Services every two years and reveled for the very first time in known history, zero findings while garnering substantial accolades in the process of the evaluation.

&uot;Working in Children and Family Services is arguably the most stressful occupation in the county and clearly one of the most volatile and critically important,&uot; said Wentzy.

&uot;This positive report is a reflection of the pride I have always had in the performance and commitment of the supervisor and each and every one of the Children’s Services team. Knowing the volatility of the services provided in this unit, we rejoice in the moment, but remain on guard in the daily ‘business’ of protecting abused, neglected and abandoned children and strengthening families.&uot;

Wentzy extended his gratitude and appreciation to the NC Division of Social Services, Sheriff’s Office and the many other county departments, those within the judicial system, non-profit agencies, placement facilities, foster parents and volunteers for sharing in their vision and coming along side of them to improve the well being of families and children county wide as well as the DSS Board, Northampton County Manager and Board of Commissioners for their leadership and support.

&uot;DSS is guided and tasked by federal and state law as the responsible agency to provide these necessary services, but we acknowledge more importantly that we are a team committed to and focused on protecting the well-being of our children,&uot; added Wentzy, &uot;and we thank you.&uot;

Wentzy also encouraged the employees to use the audit findings as model for setting future goals of achievement and was noted in the report for his strong leadership of the agency.

&uot;Dr. Wentzy is a caring leader and has the best interest of the citizens of Northampton County at heart. He is very involved with all aspects of the child welfare program and will always advocate the need of program improvement. He is very service oriented and fully understands the dynamics of all Child Welfare programs. He has an open door policy is always available when guidance is needed,&uot; stated the report.

In additional to the aforementioned glowing remarks, the report indicated a six-point lead in Northampton County’s favor over state ratings for initiation within state guidelines.

The workers recognized before the board included DSS Children and Family Services Supervisor Alice P. Brunson, Carolyn Goode, Shelia S. Watson, Waltine E. Moore, Angela D. Ramsey and Keashia T. Squire.

Senior Social Worker Beverly J. Phillips and Latrina S. Burden were also recognized, but were unable to attend the meeting due to out of town assignments.