These awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
The Community Liaison position was developed from the collaborative efforts of the Warren County Youth Advisory Board. The purpose of the Community Liaison position is to assist Warren County residents with locating resources to help address issues they may be facing when they may be uncertain or unaware of where to turn for help or direction. The Community Liaison assists individuals and families regardless of age or income. The Community Liaison has helped link residents with resources to address housing and homelessness, mental health needs, social services benefits, and many other day-to-day problems. The Community Liaison position is housed within Warren County Department of Social Services but is able to meet clients anywhere and outside of normal business hours.
Michelle Smeltzer, Community Liaison, most recently assisted an 85 year old Warren County resident who had been without running water for five months. This project was able to be completed by Mrs. Smeltzer linking community resources together to help replace the well pump.
Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley said, “I am extremely proud of DeAnna, her predecessor Beth Reavis, and the Youth Advisory Board for their leadership in establishing the Community Liaison position. The award recognizes the unique approach we have taken to address this identified need in the community. Michelle is making a difference every day in the Front Royal-Warren County community.”
DeAnna Cheatham, Director of the Warren County Department of Social Services, said, “The Community Liaison position is successful because of the willingness of individuals and groups to pool their resources in order to meet the needs in the community. This position is unique in that it is able to address individual needs and collaborate with community partners, including the faith-based community, to assist the family or individual. Michelle’s passion for assisting clients is remarkable. Her ability to network and link groups together for the good of the client is making a positive difference in the community.”
NACo President Roy Charles Brooks said, “Counties seize opportunities to deliver services more efficiently and build stronger communities every day. Achievement Award-winning programs are examples for counties that are determined to enhance services for our residents.”
Started in 1970, NACo’s Annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include Children and Youth, Criminal Justice, Human Services, County Administration, Information Technology, Health, Civic Engagement, and many more.
The National Association of Counties will recognize the award-winning counties at its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee from July 13th – 16th.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. Learn more at www.naco.org