By Lori Walston
Staff from 77 county departments of social services gathered Oct. 23-25 in Hickory for the 91st Social Services Institute. This year’s Institute was themed “Extreme Makeover,” in reference to significant changes to the service delivery model at the local level.
DHHS employees from across the department participated in the Institute, providing updates and training on programs ranging from child welfare, economic services and adult services to mental health, NC FAST and the state’s Work Support Strategies Initiative.
Secretary Aldona Wos spoke to participants at the Best Practice Awards luncheon, where several counties were saluted for outstanding work over the past year. More than 300 county staff were honored for service anniversaries exceeding 20 years, while 200 employees were recognized for their retirements over the past year.
The Institute, sponsored by the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services (NCACDSS), the North Carolina Association of County Boards of Social Services and the North Carolina Social Services Association, provides professionals involved in the human/social services field a time to come together for educational, networking and professional development opportunities.