Posted: Monday, January 28th 2013 at 8:28pm
Habersham County DFCS Board elects new officers
By Rob Moore Editor
Holly McShane, center, was elected chairperson of the Habersham County Division of Family and Children Services Board on Monday. Peggy Newton, left, was named vice chair. Board member Anne Marie Wingate will continue to serve following 16 months as chairperson. (Photo/Rob Moore)
CLARKESVILLE – The Habersham County Division of Family and Children Services Board has new leadership.
After the board initially deferred the officer election again due to board member Will Lockwood’s absence Monday, Vice Chair Holly McShane pointed out that a quorum of the board was present.
The last time officers were elected was September 2011, board minutes show.
McShane, a school counselor at Fairview Elementary who was nominated by board member Peggy Newton, was elected chairperson.
Newton, a retired school counselor, was elected vice chair.
McShane presided over the remainder of the meeting following her election, taking over from outgoing chairperson Anne Marie Wingate.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Wingate asked for an update on the meeting between DFCS and Habersham County School System officials.
McShane presented copies of a letter from Habersham County School Superintendent Matthew Cooper, saying, “This letter pretty much speaks for itself.”
The letter summarizes a Jan. 24 meeting between Cooper, school system social worker Michelle Blackburn, McShane, DFCS Director Renota Free, and DFCS Supervisor Shannon Williamson.
“During the meeting, the school system agreed to ensure that all school system counselors keep open lines of communication with DFCS case workers, including providing necessary information related to reports that are made,” Cooper’s letter states. “The school system made a commitment to make all reports in a timely manner.”
“DFCS made a commitment to make revisions to the intake form used by school counselors in making reports,” the letter states. “DFCS made a commitment to improve lines of communication between case workers and school counselors, specifically with regard to safety plans, supportive services, and changes in placement. DFCS also agreed to better educate school system social workers and counselors on the screening process that is in place.”
“The school system is hopeful that significant improvements in communication will result from the meeting that was held,” Cooper’s letter states.
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