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Kent County DSS unveiled new child advocacy center

The Kent County Department of Social Services unveiled its new Child Advocacy Center during their fifth annual Community Excellence Awards.  The event recognized foster parents, youth, community partners, and staff for their many accomplishments throughout the past year.

The Child Advocacy Center provides a friendly location and specialized equipment for interviews between designated child welfare investigators and children who have been reported as having experienced maltreatment.  This state-of-the-art addition is a powerful tool to protect the children of our community. The Child Advocacy Center was funded by a $27,680 Southern Regional Children’s Advocacy Center grant awarded to the Kent County Department of Social Services.

Linda Webb, newly appointed Kent County Department of Social Services director, was formally introduced to community members.  Ms. Webb spoke highly of her short time as director and expressed pride in and gratitude for the support of the community.  “I look forward to building on the department’s relationships within the community, said Webb.

The awards presented are as follows:

Helen Nicholson was honored as Foster Parent of the Year for her leadership in Kent County’s foster homes, her work with the department, and her continued care for the children of Kent County.

Timothy Elgard received the award for Youth of the Year.  Timothy is not defined by his role with the department, but by the scale of his innumerable accomplishments throughout all facets of his life.

Karin Cowperthwait representing the Kent County Public Library was given the title of Community Partner of the Year.  Ms. Cowperthwait partnered with Job Club Coordinator Nancy Bennington to provide space, references, and technology to help the many who are looking for work.  Ms. Cowperthwait also adjusted her schedule on a day’s notice to accommodate a child with special needs involved in a work program for foster youth.

Paula Gish, LCSW-C was awarded Staff Member of the Year. Mrs. Gish led the agency during the department’s recent search for a new director. In addition, her leadership is evident through the excellent service outcomes demonstrated by her programs.  Mrs. Gish has served the citizens of Kent County for nearly thirty years.

Each award was coupled with an official citation provided by Maryland State Delegate Michael D. Smigiel, Jr.

Filed in: Kent County

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