NC counties struggle to find qualified DSS workers

Editor’s note: This article is part 2 of the three-part investigative series Dodging Standards from Carolina Public Press, which examines North Carolina local social services agencies hiring workers who don’t meet minimum standards, systemic challenges in hiring for these positions, how other states avoid these concerns and what North Carolina could do differently. This project was made possible in part through financial backing from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Adonica Hampton has done the math.

“We are an easy interstate drive to six counties,” said Hampton, Granville County’s Department of Social Services director.

Durham is just 29 miles from the Granville County Department of Social Services office in Oxford. Raleigh is 51 miles. Wake Forest, 27 miles. Burlington, 64 miles.

That proximity to bigger cities can account for some of her office’s struggle to retain qualified workers throughout her office. Of her 100-person office, 43% have been there fewer than three years.

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