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Governor Recognizes the Work of Caroline County Department of Social Services in the 2013 State of the State Address

BALTIMORE, MD (January 31, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley  recognized the  difficult work of  Maryland’s Department of Human Resources and the  Caroline County Department of Social Services  in moving  Marylanders  from welfare to work.  During his 2013 State of the State address, the governor highlighted the transition of one Caroline County resident, Janice  Spanish and  her  work opportunities case manager, Melissa Jones-Harris, who facilitated Janice’s re-entry into the workforce.

“What we have experienced, together, over these last several years. … was a belief in the dignity of every individual. Our belief in our own responsibility to advance the common good. And our understanding and belief that we are all in this together, and that tomorrow can be better than today – if, with God’s grace, we choose to make it so. Progress is a choice,” said Governor O’Malley.

Like many Marylanders who come to Caroline County DSS seeking help, Janice was a victim of the recession. She began receiving Temporary Cash Assistance in 2008 and was having a difficult time finding and keeping a job.

In 2011 she became homeless. With nowhere to turn, she was assisted by the St. Martin’s House for Women, a three year transitional program. With the help of Ms. Jones-Harris, Janice secured a work experience placement at the Caroline Nursing home. The nursing home saw the potential that this young mother possessed and offered to put her in their Geriatric Nurse Assistant (GNA) program. Janice completed that program and the nursing home hired her last February. She continues working there today.

Janice’s story is but one example of how Caroline County DSS and DHR’s other local departments of social services are   helping people find work and become self-sufficient. Using new data analysis tools, DHR is scrutinizing its caseloads to identify opportunities for moving more people from welfare into jobs that they can maintain. The Work Opportunities Program serves 300 clients in Caroline County each year.

Last year, DHR placed more than 12,000 individuals who were receiving welfare into jobs – a 16% increase. Even better, 35% of them took jobs that pay more than $10 per hour. Both are records for the State of Maryland.

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 Caroline County DSS is a field office of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) is the state’s primary social service provider serving over one million people annually. DHR, through its 24 local departments of social services, aggressively pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 24 counties.

Filed in: Caroline County, Economic Assistance

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