LAURINBURG – Scotland County Department of Social Services recently took home two of five possible awards from the North Carolina Social Services Institute at its convention in Hickory.
On Oct 19, Scotland County won an awards for Advancement in Staff and Leadership and Cost Savings Measures and/or Improvements in Efficiency, according to DSS Director April Snead.
The first award, Advancement in Staff and Leadership, was given to the department instituting a for a six month LEAN project which affected training new staff in the Food and Nutrition, Medicaid, and Work First programs.
“We developed a new training model and reduced the time to train them, so they can start carrying caseloads sooner and ensure that people get their benefits,” Snead said.
Training has been reduced to a single method in which trainees are all are taught the same way and receive several forms of training as well as quality control checks once they begin work.
“The department has already seen the benefits to the new model,” Snead said. “Reducing the time frame for training new hires increases productivity in the Department and ensures the department can continue to determine eligibility within mandated time frames and continue to keep services open for existing cases.”
The second award, Cost Savings Measures and/or Improvements in Efficiency, was given in the social work/services area for children’s services. The department was recognized for its collaboration with Richmond County Social services on the LINKS program. LINKS teaches life skills, self-sufficiency, and makes resources available to teens in foster care.
“The collaboration has provided more services and opportunities to the youth and allowed the departments to combine funding sources, making for a more efficient use of resources,” Snead said. “This has proven successful for two years and is one of few cross-county collaborations in the state.”
The program teaches foster children skills that they might have learned in a more stable environment like: budgeting, how to purchase a car, how to shop for groceries, apply to college.
It also makes funds available to help teens who are aging out of the system set up a home and purchase a car.
Having access to both counties gives young adults access to programs in Richmond County that might not be available in Scotland and vice versa, according to Snead.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169