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DSS to Launch New Hotline Next week
Next Monday, Nov. 13, the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) will launch a new phone line for residents to report child abuse. Residents can call the Child Protective Services HELP line at 980-31-HELPS (43577) to report allegations of child abuse, neglect or human trafficking. The hotline will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes holidays.
The current DSS CARE line, 704-336-2273, will remain active only for reports to Adult Protective Services. For general inquiries about Child Protective Services, existing cases, social workers and community resources, residents should call the new Youth and Family Services (YFS) Information Assistance Line at 980-314-7700. Foster parents can also call this number to contact the YFS nurse.
The State of North Carolina requires the County to have a dedicated hotline for such reporting. This new hotline provides a more efficient reporting process by increasing the County’s capacity to accept and streamline the flow of calls. YFS handles an average of over 38,000 calls per year.
For more information, contact YFS Division Director Charles Bradley at 980-314-6470 or Charles.Bradley@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Veterans Community Action Center Wrap Up
As we prepare to acknowledge Veterans Day on Nov. 11, I want to provide an update on the results of the three-day Veterans Community Action Center.
County staff in the Veterans Services Division of Community Support Services worked the event that attracted about 850 military veterans and family members on Aug. 16 – 18, 2017. Of that number 274 are existing clients that had been assisted in the Mecklenburg County office at some time over the last several years.
In addition to developing and filing claims, the CSS Veterans Services Division helped host the event at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church as a partner, along with the Winston-Salem Regional Office (WSRO) of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other community partners.
The CSS veteran services specialists conducted interviews with attendees and provided guidance and assistance on filing new claims. Event numbers include:
Some of the services provided by the WSRO staff and the County veteran services staff included assistance in filing for VA benefit claims, adding dependents to awards, providing status updates on pending claims and appeals and answering general questions. WSRO completed several on-the-spot rating decisions and award adjustments for claims requiring expedited action. As a result, approximately $220,582 in retroactive benefits have been paid out so far.
The partnership of many organizations is key in providing the veteran experience and support promised.
Additionally, the cooperation between Veterans Healthcare Administration and Charlotte Vet Center served to support many homeless veterans and those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma with claims, housing and medical/counseling services at the same time.
For more information, contact CSS Director Stacy Lowry at 980-314-8903 or Stacy.Lowry@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov or CSS Veterans Services Division Director Janene McGee at 980-314-1901 or Janene.McGee@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. ConnectHome Nation Digital Inclusion Meeting Set for Thursday
Commissioners are invited to join the ConnectHome Nation - Charlotte Alliance for a kickoff action meeting regarding digital inclusion this Thursday, Nov. 9, 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Charlotte Housing Authority, 400 East Blvd. Parking will be available onsite.
During the meeting, participants will discuss strategies for closing the digital divide in HUD-supported housing. It is our collective goal to ensure that everyone has access to low-cost internet, affordable technology, and digital and media literacy skills to take part in society.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here: http://evite.me/1wpcmKNsfh.The County is member of the Charlotte Digital Inclusion Alliance and will support this program.
For more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Christine Edwards at 704-975-5042 or Christine.Edwards@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.