DSS search plods along, could be six months before director in place

Aug. 31, 2013 @ 06:49 PM

Vance County lost its leader in the Department of Social Services two months ago. It may be another six before a permanent replacement is on the job.

The DSS board of William Scarlett, Wayne Adcock, Fearldine Simmons, Terry Garrison and Archie Taylor met on Wednesday in a closed session. They remain tight-lipped on how many applications have been received and how many interviews will be conducted.

Linda Fry turned in her resignation at the beginning of June after just seven months on the job. Fry said she had met with the DSS board two weeks before she resigned, and was told that her management style did not meet the needs of the county’s department.

“The Social Services board is charged with hiring the director,” Jerry Ayscue, the county manager. “They are moving forward with that selection. They have an interim director and I think the agency is doing well with that process.”

Garrison said the board is looking for a candidate who is familiar with the rules, regulations and policies related to operating a county social services department.

“We are trying to find someone who brings a total package of knowledge and skills and values that we think are necessary to lead our Department of Social Services,” he said.

Knowledge and experience with N.C. Families Accessing Services through Technology, and similar web-based programs, is also important, he said.

N.C. FAST is a new online system aimed at assisting families who qualify for food and nutrition services. Vance County has 15,668 citizens provided with FNS, totaling $1,674,270 worth of benefits issued monthly.

“We need to find an individual who is familiar with administrative functions, as far as staffing and budging are concerned, as well as being able to work with the board and general public,” Garrison said, adding that those qualities are not an exhaustive list.

Garrison said the board hopes to have the position filled within the next six months.

“We are aware of the seriousness to name a new director of social services,” he said.


Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.