BALTIMORE (March 30, 2009) - Three southern Marylanders have been recognized for their professional efforts in connection with National Social Work Appreciation Month, celebrated every March. Bonnie Horton, Continuing Child Protective Services worker with the Calvert County Department of Social Services (DSS); Marion C. Schoen, a 14-year veteran of Charles County DSS; and Alice McCreight, Family Services caseworker with the St. Mary's County DSS, were all named Social Workers of the Year for their respective counties.
Social workers and caseworkers perform a wide range of essential tasks including determining the safety of children, identifying new foster parents, helping facilitate adoption services and ensuring the well being of elderly residents who live independently. They touch the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and adults in Maryland and across the country. Last year, over 600,000 Marylanders received one or more of the services provided by the Department of Human Resources and its 24 local Departments of Social Services across the state.
Ms. Horton has been a case worker with Calvert County Department of Social Services since 1999, serving in the capacity of Continuing Child Protective Service Case Worker. As a continuing CPS worker, Bonnie assists families with complex needs and significant risk factors. She approaches each family with the goal of ensuring that children in the home are protected as she simultaneously provides services and links to community resources that help the family to change in a positive manner.
Ms. Schoen has a passion for the older frail adults, say her superiors. She has worked in the Intake Unit and made home visits to assess Adult Services and senior care applications. As part of Charles County DSS's Foster Parents and Adult Foster Providers recruitment and retention drive, Schoen sits on the Foster Event Committee and sends out a quarterly newsletter. She also arranges and/or conducts quarterly trainings to keep her providers current with best practice information for the care and safety of their customers.
Ms. McCreight participates in the Quality Improvement Committee and has developed a tracking system for In Home Service Cases so the agency can track the quality of intervention provided and the reduction of risk to the families served. Alice represents the agency as a member of the St. Mary's County Self-Sufficiency Team and has built working relationships with community partners on behalf of the families served by the agency.
"Our social workers are dedicated professionals that strive daily to make a positive difference in the lives of others," said Department of Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald. "Now, more than ever, they are the vital link between Maryland's most vulnerable population and an array of support services that this population needs."
Each of the honorees was invited to attend an appreciation luncheon to be held today, March 30. Lt. Governor Anthony Brown was scheduled to bring remarks at the event.