A Guilford County department and a large county division have begun working closely together to improve the lives of the county residents who are helped by those two services.

The Guilford County Family Justice Center and the Division of Social Services are now communicating better with one another and coordinating efforts more in order to provide more effective service and reduce duplication.

The two have begun collaborating on investigations in the effort that’s also meant to reduce staff turnover and burnout by redistributing some duties that can also involve intake support.

Since the start of 2022, there have been more than 20 multidisciplinary meetings and 240 cases of collaboration between the two.

Based on comments provided to the Guilford County commissioners recently, the plan seems to be working well.

Pam Bright, a DSS FJC Team Supervisor, in a written statement to the board, said, “The collaboration with our partners improves response times, the timeliness of vital information getting shared, and helps to ensure the safety of [the] community and our workers.”

Guilford County Family Justice Center Navigator Ashlyn Nelson stated, “Having a DSS investigator available to talk with families when they come to the Family Justice Center in High Point for help is a game-changer,” adding that the partners had been joining together to “streamline processes.”

She also stated, “The social workers are kind, patient, and so collaborative.  We can connect survivors to DSS immediately, taking the stress off the survivor and creating positive interaction in a supportive environment.”

Sonya Desai, a Family Justice Center manager in the county’s Greensboro office, said that the coordinated effort has helped the center deal with complex cases and has led to innovative solutions.

“This is how it should work!” she wrote. “Our community is safer because of this new collaboration with DSS. We are thankful!”