NCDHHS Celebrates National Child Welfare Workforce Development Month September 24, 2021 Throughout September, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is celebrating Child Welfare Workforce Development Month. The Division of Social Services hosted a special appreciation event Sept. 15 to say “thank you” to child welfare workers for all they do for children and families across the state. Keynote speaker NC Senator Sydney Batch, Esq., MSW, spoke on the value of child welfare workers, who offer hope to families during some of their darkest moments. She shared her vision of a child welfare system where every person involved – including social workers, law enforcement officers, and members of the court – takes a family-centered approach to their role serving children and families. Joining Senator Batch were leaders from across North Carolina who shared their perspectives on the importance of child welfare workers and the difficult jobs they do. Speakers included: Susan Osborne, NCDHHS Assistant Secretary for County Operations LaShonda Stanley-Pickett, NCDSS Workforce Development Coordinator Susan Thigpen, Director, Duplin County Department of Social Services Keli Isgett, LCSW, Social Worker, Buncome County Health and Human Services Gina Brown, Parent Advocate, Child Welfare Family Advisory Council (CWFAC) Lyrica Evans, Youth Advocate, Strong Able Youth Speaking Out (SaySO) The child welfare workforce in North Carolina is a force for good, and their work improving families’ safety, permanence and wellbeing is invaluable to the communities they serve. NCDHHS is taking Child Welfare Workforce Development Month as an opportunity to focus on how to better support and recognize the state’s child welfare workforce. The Department encourages staff, partners and stakeholders to join in celebrating child welfare workers for their ongoing dedication to creating better outcomes for North Carolina children and families. For more information on Child Welfare Workforce Development Month 2021 and appreciation activities held nationally throughout September, visit the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute website at ncwwi.org/workforce-development-month.