Catawba County News

Social Services Employees Complete Training Program

Social Services Employees Complete Training Program

Published: June 17, 2024

Twelve employees of Catawba County Social Services recently completed a 9-month training program aimed at strengthening their personal and professional leadership skills. The participants were honored with a luncheon and short ceremony June 14 at the Social Services offices in Hickory.

The following Social Services team members completed the program: Sydney Mitchell, Income Management Caseworker II, Food and Nutrition Services; Jose “Brian” Marroquin, Child Protective Services Social Worker; Jelen Sandoval, Child Support Agent; Hannah Hansley, Income Management Caseworker I, Daycare; Jessica Goddu, Social Worker III, Family Builders; Yelitza Warnke, Income Management Caseworker III, Adult Medicaid; Justin Mayberry, Social Worker III, Teen Up; Paula Fleenor, Child Protective Services Social Worker; Stephanie Randall, Adult Protective Services Social Worker; Lauren Schiefer, Social Worker III, Foster Care; Tina Wardlaw, Social Worker III, Foster Care; Brittany Rhyne, Business Manager II; and Stacie Smith, Records Custodian.

“The Department of Social Services is a central player in the health and well-being of our community, and it takes teams of great people to do what is sometimes thankless and seemingly impossible work,” said Harrington. “Each of these participants has demonstrated they have the heart and the skills to serve out community well, and this program was a powerful way to recognize them as strong team members and to prepare them to perhaps play even more significant roles down the road.”

The program was conducted by StrongLead, an executive coaching and leadership development firm located in Hickory. StrongLead Executive Partner Chad Hall conducted the training, which focused on topics such as prioritizing time, communication styles, dealing well with conflict, and mastering the essentials of management.

“This was a diverse group representing nearly every aspect of Social Services, from the folks who are out front helping support families and care for children to the back-office professionals responsible for finance and administration,” Hall said. “Social Services does great work in and for our community, and it was an honor to facilitate this program with them.”

Catawba County Social Services manages the delivery of health- and human-related services for area residents, especially those most vulnerable: children, elderly, disabled, and low-income families. For more information, visit