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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C.–The Department of Social Services in Davidson County is requesting $20 million in funds in order to keep up with its growing case load.

DSS Director Dale Moorefield said that the number of cases in foster care, adoption and adult services have increased over the past few years and put a strain on the department.

Moorefield said the part of the $20,397,588 budget will be used to fund two new social worker positions, along with the other programs and services DSS offers.

One of the social worker positions would work in adult care services, and the other would work with foster care and adoption cases.

Moorefield said while some of the budget needs will come from state funding, they are relying on the county to supplement about half of the funds. He says the funds are needed to give clients the one-on-one attention needed during visits and check ups.

About 70 percent of all DSS cases come from households with substance abuse and may be the cause of the increase in caseloads, Moorefield said.

“This is about face to face contact. Face to face visits in the field with people in their homes, where they live. There is no technology that takes the place of a human being,” Moorefield said.

“At this point we feel we need to have two positions, and this isn’t just about young kids and foster care and adoptions. This is also in our adult service world.”

Moorefield will present the budget draft with the help of County Manager Robert Hyatt to the County Commissioners for review on May 4th.