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DHHS, local social services department leaders gather to focus on communication and better customer service at Summit

 

Pat McCrory, Governor
Aldona Z. Wos, M.D., Secretary

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs
              919-855-4840

Raleigh, N.C. – The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services hosted a Work Support Strategies leadership summit for teams from local departments of social services April 22-23 in Raleigh. During the two-day summit, teams collaborated to produce action plans and updated business processes to support the rollout of North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology (NC FAST) across the state.

“We are working with local DSS officials and their staff to improve communication and enhance customer service as we implement NC FAST across the state,” said Dr. Aldona Wos, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Work Support Strategies grant supports the cultural business changes needed at both the state and local level to serve families as a whole.”

The Work Support Strategies: Streamlining Access, Strengthening Families initiative provides states, with the opportunity to design, test and implement more efficient and effective approaches to delivering key supports for low-income working families. North Carolina is one of six states to receive implementation grant funding through the Ford Foundation and its partners, the Urban Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“The Work Support Strategies leadership summit offered counties a great opportunity to come together and share ideas on how we can better serve our clients,” said David Atkinson, Carteret County DSS Director. “Having all 100 counties registered for this planning opportunity demonstrates the tremendous commitment shared by both DHHS and local DSS offices to change the way services are provided.”

NC FAST is an integrated case management tool designed to help county departments of social services to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time assisting families. As of March, all 100 counties were using the NC FAST tool for processing of food and nutrition services applications and recertifications. Four counties will begin to pilot the Medicaid phase of NC FAST in June, with all other counties to be phased in over the summer and actively using NC FAST for Medicaid, Work First, Special Assistance and Refugee Assistance by September.

For more information on the Work Support Strategies grant, visit www.ncwss.com. For more information about NC FAST go to www.ncdhhs.gov/ncfast.

Photo note: Dottie Rosenbaum, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities speaks with DHHS and local social services staff members about the Work Support Strategies Grant. Also pictured is Sherry Bradsher, DHHS Deputy Secretary for Human Services.

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