The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

June 27, 2014

New DSS director begins

Thursday, June 26, 2014 — A new director for the Department of Social Services began work Monday.

Tammy Schrenker, 47, has been named to replace Sharon Scott who retired Jan. 31. The DSS Board of Directors underwent an extensive search before selecting Schrenker for the post. Schrenker arrives at the Stanly County agency with a wealth of experience from Richmond County where she served as director of DSS since 2006. It was there Schrenker climbed through the ranks, which began in 1993 in children’s services.

Her vast experience and her director’s status proved to be the difference in her selection for Stanly County’s post.

“She comes with years of experience and a wealth of knowledge,” Tina Howell, chairwoman of the DSS board of directors, said.

“She can walk in the door and keep running.”  

Schrenker said the Stanly opportunity presented a new appeal.

“It’s a new challenge,” she said.

“I like the structure (DSS) here in Stanly County and the county seems financially secure.”

Schrenker added that she plans to course her administration without any preconceived ideas from her experience in Richmond. Instead, she’ll first learn the local culture while implementing fresh strategies.

“I want to first find strategies that allow us to best serve consumers,” Schrenker said.

One challenge that she’ll face that confronts every DSS agency across the state is the implementation of North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology, or the state’s revamped benefit eligibility program.

NC FAST is a program designed to improve the way the NC Department of Health and Human Services and county departments of social services do business. NC FAST introduces new technological tools and business processes that will enable workers to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time assisting families.

Her familiarity with NC FAST was another reason Howell said the board preferred Schrenker for the job.

“Just having that experience will allow her to move forward,” Howell said.

The board reviewed 20 applicants for the director’s position, interviewing seven before narrowing the search between two finalists, Howell said.

Schrenker is a graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

She is the current president of the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services.


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