The 14th annual Community Partner Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at the Our Health Eagles Board Room. The Community Partner Awards are the Winchester Social Services Advisory Board’s yearly recognition of individuals, groups and organizations that partner with the Winchester Department of Social Services (WDSS) in an effort to improve the quality of life for local residents.
Nominations are accepted each year from WDSS staff members or a member of the Winchester Social Services Advisory Board. The Board considers the following criteria when making its selection:
- The nominee partnered with the Winchester Department of Social Services in the last 12 months.
- The degree to which the nominee’s services/actions have made a lasting or meaningful contribution or impact.
- The length and degree of the nominee’s service and collaboration.
- The extent to which the nominee’s service or action might be considered above and beyond the call of duty.
- The extent to which the nominee’s action would be recognized and valued by their peers and community leaders.
This year, two nominees were recognized for their contributions and one organization was awarded the 2019 Community Partner Award.
Winchester Police Department Members of the Northwest Regional Drug Taskforce
Recognition accepted by Chief John Piper, Detective Medina, Sgt. Bielecki and Detective Upham
The Winchester Police Department Members of the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force have collaborated with Winchester Social Services Child Protective Services responders to help quickly assess child maltreatment allegations and concerns regarding parental or caregiver substance use. They have provided consistent and fluid communication in helping Child Protective Service responders make determinations surrounding child safety when drug use is alleged. The Drug Task Force has often responded to the home to assist CPS workers within minutes of being contacted. They have also provided drug classification and identification trainings to help staff better assess safety concerns surrounding substance abuse. They have gone above in beyond their job duties to assist CPS, often staying late into the evening to help when safety concerns have been identified. They also follow up with families in the community to see if there is any further support that can be offered.
Selma Medical Associates
Recognition accepted by Dr. Paige Patterson and Teresa Reed
Teresa Reed with Selma Medical Associates contacted Winchester Department of Social Services to sponsor a family for Christmas. Staff provided a few ideas of donation possibilities which included diapers, bottles, clothing, etc. but what Selma donated went above any beyond expectations. Team members from Selma Medical Associates arrived prior to Christmas, with a pick-up truck fully packed to the brim with new clothes, toys for the children and boxes and boxes of diapers and wipes. They provided a hand knitted giraffe stuffed animal that an employee had taken the time to specially make for the infant in the home. They also provided the family with money and gifts cards so that they could purchase and have Christmas dinner together. Although there was no expectation from WDSS as to what would be provided by the Selma Medical Associates, they exceeded what was imagined. Their donation ensured that this family had a bright and beautiful holiday.
Community Partner Award Recipient
John Mann/Wesley Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church
Award accepted by Reverend Barbara Cousar and two church members
John Mann/Wesley Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church gave 50 children who were WDSS clients a spectacular Christmas. They asked for the children’s wish list and made their wishes come true by providing the gifts and more. Most of the families are not able to provide their children the kind of Christmas they want, but because of John Mann/Wesley Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church, the children were able to have a memorable Christmas filled with wonderful gifts.