Pitt County celebrates National Social Service Month

Many social workers across the country are joining together to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of many Social Services Departments
Pitt County celebrates National Social Service Month
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 7:04 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - There is much to be celebrated during Social Work Month in Pitt County according to the Director of Social Services, Sharon Rochelle.

“We are celebrating our social workers, it’s Social Worker Month and we just had a balloon release, signifying that it’s social worker day and recognizing everyone for their efforts.”

She says they have many accomplishments and hard work to recognize over the past year as 12 children were adopted, more than 200 adults received guardianship services, and more than 1,000 families received child protection interventions.

“It has a great impact because no one wants to go into a facility so we do what we can to ensure that they are able to stay in their home and get the proper treatment that they need and also ensure that they’re safe,” says Pitt County DSS Adult Service Supervisor, Latoya Heath.

Rochelle says it hasn’t always been easy. “When I started back at the beginning of October, we had a backlog of cases. We have been able to work through that backlog and we’re on par both in child protective services and adult protective services. We’re making huge gains. Our hiring process was kind of difficult. We took some of those roadblocks and really smoothed out that process so we were able to hire people, so our vacancy rate is slowly going down.”

Now with 325 total employees, 25 shy of the department’s goal of 350, they can focus on more ways to help the Pitt County community.

Rochelle says, “We’re looking at possibly doing a remote work plan and I want people out into the communities. I do not want them under the roof of a building. I want them out where our folks are living, to be part of the communities, and to be able to go in and do true prevention work.”

“Making a difference is great here at Pitt County DSS and serving those in our community has been great. I think you should put your best foot forward as a social worker. Remember for myself, what I hold onto, I’m not just a social worker at work but I’m a social worker in my heart,” Health told WITN.

In order to meet the goal of 350 social workers in Pitt County, the department encourages anyone who is interested in applying to visit the Pitt County website.

Pitt County DSS has workers in multiple organizations across the county like Pitt County Public Health, Pitt County Schools, Veterans Administration, ECU Health, as well as private agencies.