03/11/05 — County social workers honored by schools

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County social workers honored by schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 11, 2005 1:50 PM

Social workers in Wayne County public schools were dubbed the "Magnificent 13" during its annual luncheon at Goldsboro Country Club on Thursday.

Patsy Faison, the principal at Tommy's Road Elementary School, coined the phrase during her remarks as guest speaker. She said the group has deal with tough situations on a daily basis. She said social workers' duties range from handling truancy problems, transportation, court situations, family counseling, and crisis intervention.

"I guess you've figured it out," she said. "Nobody else wants your job."

But, she cautioned, never underestimate the significance of making a difference in the life of a child.

"You're the three F's people," she said. "You are firm, friendly and fair."

The 13 social workers cover all 31 public elementary, middle, and high schools across the county, with some handling as many as half a dozen schools. The combination of increasing needs and limited funding make it even more challenging, said the school system's superintendent.

Superintendent Steve Taylor said the social workers are on the front line every day, not always getting the respect they deserve when they show up on a resident's front porch.

He said despite cutbacks to budgets, whenever a principal approaches him with a need and Taylor has to ask, "What are you willing to give up to get that?" he said, "I have never had one say they're willing to give up social workers."

Also during the program, the social workers group presented a $500 check to the American Red Cross for tsunami relief efforts.

The K-2 traveling troupe from Meadow Lane Elementary School was the afternoon's entertainment.