Sampson County’s Sarah Bradshaw has been named the 2016 DSS Director of the Year, a prestigious honor she said reflects the commitment of a department’s worth of individuals who dedicate themselves day in and day out.
The award, bestowed by her peers, was presented last week at the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services’ (NCACDSS) annual meeting held in Charlotte.
To be eligible for the state honor, a DSS director must be in good standing with at least five years of service in that capacity. Bradshaw been a DSS director and active member of the association for 17 years, serving as president, co-chair of various committees, mentor to new directors and many other roles.
She has worked with county DSS for 26 years, serving in the capacity of income maintenance caseworker and supervisor, program integrity investigator and social work supervisor, “thereby giving her hands-on experience and knowledge of most programs administered at a local DSS agency,” the NCACDSS stated.
Bradshaw was quick to give credit to the many Department of Social Services employees who work hard each and every day to ensure services are extended to those who need them.
“After 26 years in this business, this recognition means the world to me. However, we are a team at DSS so I can’t address this without acknowledging our incredible staff,” a modest Bradshaw told The Independent. “While I am honored to be named the 2016 DSS Director of the Year, I consider it an ultimate honor to work with such hard-working, dedicated public service professionals every day.”
In announcing the honor, the NCACDSS noted that Bradshaw’s involvements go beyond DSS.
She is active within her community, including on the United Way Board of Directors, the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club, the local Emergency Food and Shelter Board, while also serving the Sampson County Substance Abuse Coalition, which she co-founded. Additionally, she is chairperson of the local Community Child Protection Team, the local Diaper Bank Board, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and serves as chairperson of local Emergency Mass Care and Unmet Needs Operations.
“Bradshaw truly embodies NCACDSS’ motto of being a future-oriented source of leadership,” the agency stated. “Within her agency, she strives to make enhancements to organizational operations as well as striving to ensure the professional growth and development of all staff. When it comes to protecting vulnerable children, the elderly and disabled as well as ensuring eligible families’ nutritional and medical needs are met, she is a leader of which the citizens of Sampson County and North Carolina can be proud.”
Bradshaw lives in Clinton with husband Jeff and son Eric, who is in his second year at East Carolina University. Her daughter Laura was married the weekend after Bradshaw received the award from her peers.
“We are indeed proud of our Sampson County Social Services director Sarah Bradshaw, not only for her achievement as the 2016 DSS Director of the Year, but also for her leadership which fosters great achievements by her entire department,” Sampson County manager Ed Causey stated. “Ms. Bradshaw is a passionate advocate for her clients and her employees, and we applaud her for her award and for her dedicated service to the citizens of Sampson County.”
Bradshaw said the recognition is one she is delighted to share with the entire department, who inspire her to do what she loves.
“To me, this award reflects the commitment of my wonderful DSS family,” she remarked. “I am inspired by them and our collective ability to serve the residents of Sampson County in such a meaningful manner.”
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