So­cial Ser­vices hon­ors lo­cal dads

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DENTON — Car­o­line County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices hon­ored Mid-Shore fa­thers dur­ing the depart­ment’s an­nual D.A.D.S. Ex­trav­a­ganza at the Denton Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany.

The cel­e­bra­tion was in as­so­ci­a­tion with the depart­ment’s Mid-Shore RISE pro­gram, which helps par­ents gain work train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence in the five-county Mid-Shore re­gion.

DENTON — Car­o­line County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices hon­ored Mid-Shore fa­thers dur­ing the depart­ment’s an­nual D.A.D.S. Ex­trav­a­ganza in June at the Denton Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany.

The cel­e­bra­tion was in as­so­ci­a­tion with the depart­ment’s Mid-Shore RISE pro­gram, which helps par­ents gain work train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence in the five-county Mid-Shore re­gion.

The RISE pro­gram (Reen­gag­ing In­di­vid­u­als Through Suc­cess­ful Em­ploy­ment) is de­signed to help non-cus­to­dial par­ents who are un­em­ployed and not pay­ing child sup­port.

About 200 par­ents are cur­rently ac­tive in the pro­gram. In the last two years, more than 110 peo­ple have gained full em­ploy­ment as fork­lift op­er­a­tors or con­struc­tion road crew flag­gers with duel cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in Mary­land and Delaware, ac­cord­ing to Melissa JonesHar­ris, child sup­port lead su­per­vi­sor for Car­o­line DSS.

“The pro­gram gives in­di­vid­u­als a skill-set to ob­tain a job that pays a liv­ing wage that will sup­port both their chil­dren and them­selves,” Jones-Har­ris said. “Since in­cep­tion, we have col­lected more than $370,000 from RISE par­tic­i­pants who were not pay­ing child sup­port.”

Car­o­line DSS con­tracted with Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege to pro­vide cus­tom­ized oc­cu­pa­tional train­ing classes for RISE par­tic­i­pants. As a re­sult, col­lege ed­u­ca­tors have of­fered fork­lift and high­way flag­ger train­ing at sites both in the com­mu­nity and at the Car­o­line County De­ten­tion Cen­ter. They work with DSS and the ju­di­cial sys­tem to de­velop a course sched­ule that pre­pares and trains in­di­vid­u­als who have child sup­port or­ders.

Over the next few months, new of­fer­ings will in­clude CNC ma­chine train­ing (Com­puter Nu­mer­i­cal Con­trol) and a three-day cus­tom­ized con­struc­tion class that will in­clude four Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion (OSHA) cer­tifi­cates.

In ad­di­tion, Jones-Har­ris said Car­o­line County DSS also pro­vides job readi­ness cur­ricu­lum to help stu­dents with in­ter­per­sonal skills, re­sume writ­ing and learn­ing to be punc­tual.

The pro­gram is made pos­si­ble through a grant pro­vided by the Mary­land Depart­ment of Hu­man Re­sources Child Sup­port En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion. RISE was drafted as a re­gional pro­gram that would serve the Mid-Shore and was mir­rored af­ter an al­ready suc­cess­ful pro­gram im­ple­mented in Car­o­line County.

Ter­rell Wisher, right, re­ceives a fa­ther of the year award from Isa­iah Greene of Car­o­line County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices.

An­to­nio Den­nis, cen­ter, re­ceives a fa­ther of the year award from Vic­to­ria Tay­lor of Car­o­line County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices.

Chil­dren dance to­gether dur­ing the an­nual D.A.D.S. Ex­trav­a­ganza in June at the Denton Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany.

Bran­don Cald­well, left, re­ceives a fa­ther of the year award from Vic­to­ria Tay­lor of Car­o­line County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices.

Car­o­line County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices em­ploy­ees Vic­to­ria Tay­lor, Loge Knight and Isa­iah Greene re­ceive an award for co­or­di­nat­ing the Mid-Shore RISE pro­gram.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

De­won Sharp, right, re­ceives a fa­ther of the year award from Isa­iah Greene of Car­o­line County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices.

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