We strengthen families and communities through a safety-net of services, collaborations, and hope.
To define and cultivate an organizational culture that is more compassionate and understanding toward each other and our clients.
Strategic Business Plan
Peggy Eagan, DirectorPeggy Eagan is the Director of the Mecklenburg County, NC Department of Social Services, an agency comprised of 1300 employees managing a budget of $188 million. The agency is responsible for the management of major services such as Child Welfare, Services for Adults, Medicaid, Food and Nutrition Services, and Work First. They are also responsible for other social service programs which are developed and managed locally.
She was previously the Executive Director of the Children and Family Service Center, a 100,000 square foot facility built to house 10 non-profits serving children and families in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. In this capacity, she managed the collaboration between the non-profits in the areas of space sharing, technology, shared back office services and programming.
Eagan has managed local and statewide non-profits and held several leadership roles in national initiatives. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Indiana University, was named Woman of the Year by the Indianapolis Star in 1996, was a registered lobbyist and has served on the Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse America as well as on many local boards.
Men Tchaas Ari, Deputy Director of Adult and Economic ServicesMen Tchaas Ari serves as the Deputy Director of the Adult and Economic Services at Mecklenburg County’s Department of Social Services. He is responsible for the oversight of all Adult and Public Assistance Programs including (Senior Care Assistance, Senior Citizen Nutrition Services, Medical Transportation Services, Food and Nutritional Services, Medicaid and Work First Family Assistance).
Prior to working at DSS, Ari was the Chief Program Officer at Crisis Assistance Ministry, where he was responsible for overseeing all client services. He previously began his career with Mecklenburg County DSS as a Bilingual Food Stamp Case manager and received several promotions during his eight-year tenure.
Ari is an alumnus of Morehouse College, a graduate and current board member of Leadership Charlotte, a founding member of the New Generation of African American Philanthropists of Charlotte, and a North Star Reading Tutor for CMS Schools.In his spare, time he loves to read, travel, and spend time with his two teenage children.
Dr. Jacqueline McKnight, Deputy Director of Child and Community ServicesDr. McKnight brings over 30 years of experience in overseeing administrative operations and developing programs that positively impact the lives of participants. Prior to accepting this role, Dr. McKnight served as the Executive Deputy Commissioner with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Dr. McKnight has provided oversight to over 4,000 staff members and a diverse network of contracted providers. She has also been responsible for the oversight, integration, and coordination of child welfare programs, both public and private, toward better outcomes for children and families. She has a wealth of experience including work focused on prevention, interagency collaborations, substance abuse and interpersonal violence among African American women.
Dr. McKnight achieved her Bachelors in Social Work from York College CUNY, her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work, and her Doctorate of Philosophy from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. She is the recipient of the Children FIRST Doctoral Fellowship, 2004 and 2005, and the NASW Top Leader Award in 2016.
Charles Bradley, Youth & Family Services Division DirectorCharles Bradley is the Youth and Family Services (YFS) Division Director responsible for leadership and oversight of over 400 staff who work collaboratively with key community stakeholders to strength families and communities to keep children safe. Bradley has been a YFS employee since March, 2004 and held the position of Sr. Social Services Manager prior to being named as the YFS Division Director. Prior to joining Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services Youth and Family Services Division, Bradley was employed at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families in the positions of Program Supervisor, Social Work Supervisor and Social Worker.
Bradley earned a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University (New York, NY) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Trinity College (Hartford, CT). He brings a wealth of knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm for the difficult and important work of YFS.
Darrell Cunningham, Community Outreach Division DirectorDarrell Cunningham currently serves as the Community Outreach Division Director. In this role, he and his staff seek to increase the community partnership and minimizing service gaps for clients by ensuring they receive holistic services. The divisional goal is for residents to receive prevention and intervention services that will immediately stabilize their personal and financial needs through a continuum of systematically coordinated services helping them transition from various levels of dependency to more independent status and improved well-being. Over the last 4 years Cunningham has worked to implement a learning culture across a quality improvement platform (consisting of training, data collection, internal sampling, structured monitoring tool and case staffing) within their local intervention service delivery model. He received his Masters in Public Policy in Administration from Northwestern University.
Michael Taylor, BS, BA, MS, MA, Services For Adults Division DirectorMichael Taylor serves as the Services for Adults Division Director. He is responsible for providing executive leadership and decision-making; strategic and administrative direction and oversight; human resources and fiscal management; and high-level operational management to the three service areas comprising the Services For Adults Division: Adult Social Work Services (ASWS), Senior Citizen Nutrition Program (SCNP), and Mecklenburg Transportation System (MTS).
Taylor has served in various department leadership roles since joining DSS in 1989. Such roles include Social Worker in Child and Adult Services, Social Work Supervisor in Adult Services, and Senior Manager in Economic Services. He holds a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from UNC Charlotte and a Master's Degree in English from UNC Charlotte.