Gov. John Carney recognized the role of Delaware’s social workers as he signed a proclamation March 1 marking Social Work Month.
Carney signed the proclamation during an event at the Wilmington Public Library, one of seven libraries statewide where since January social workers have been stationed once a week to answer questions and connect patrons to social services.
“Social workers are a vital source of support for many individuals, families and communities here in Wilmington and throughout our state,” said Carney. “The Social Worker at the Library program is just one way these compassionate, dedicated individuals help others cope and thrive in the face of life’s challenges, and help us build a stronger and healthier Delaware.”
At the libraries, social workers guide patrons through the state’s online benefits application process, steer them to resources that provide basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, health care, child care and education; connect them with services to treat addiction or address domestic violence; and help them get training and opportunities to find and keep jobs with decent wages. This on-site assistance is provided in addition to the help available at the 15 state service centers.
The social workers who staff the libraries come from the Department of Health and Social Services’ Community Partner Support Unit, operated within the Division of Social Services.
Libraries were identified as a natural fit for this outreach since many people who need assistance are already library patrons. Social workers have helped about 150 people since the program’s launch.
The schedule for the Social Worker at the Library program:
— 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fridays, North Wilmington Public Library, 3400 N. Market St.
— 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Wilmington Public Library, 10 E. 10th St., Rodney Square.
— 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Route 9 Library, 3022 New Castle Ave., New Castle.
— 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza.
— 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Seaford Public Library, 600 N. Market St. Extension.
— 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Thursdays, Selbyville Public Library.
— 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, Frankford Public Library.