Executive - Press Release

Posted on: January 3, 2018

County proud to partner with state to connect residents to services through local libraries

Social workers to offer application and referral to wide range of social services at three county libraries each week beginning January 9

New Castle, DE – New Castle County is proud to support a new state initiative that offers application and referral assistance for a variety of social service and benefit programs through office hours in individual library branches. Launched this month by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and the Delaware Division of Libraries, the initiative partners with libraries to place social workers from the DHSS Community Partner Support Unit in libraries across the state for three hours each week. During these times, members of the public are provided face-to-face assistance in completing the state benefits application and applying for food and nutrition assistance, as well as referrals to employment and training resources and to other agencies to answer their questions. The service is offered without appointment on a first come, first served basis.

“Libraries are more important than ever before, engaging the community in new ways and offering accessible, safe and welcoming places to gather and learn,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “And now, thanks to the leadership of our state government, libraries are also one-stop shops for our neighbors in need to get connected to services available to them. This is another way your governments are collaborating to provide you with high quality services.”

The three libraries in New Castle County participating in this initiative are as follows:

Tuesdays - 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Route 9 Library and Innovation Center

3022 New Castle Ave, New Castle

Wednesdays - 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Wilmington Public Library - Rodney Square

10 E. 10th Street, Wilmington

Fridays - 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
North Wilmington Public Library

3400 N Market Street, Wilmington

Get more information about library locations and hours of operation by visiting http://nccde.org/Libraries or call 302-657-8020.

Learn more about the program by reading the news release issued by the State of Delaware below.



For more information, contact Jill Fredel, DHSS Director of Communications, (302) 255-9047 (office)
or (302) 357-7498 (cell) or Doug Denison, Department of State, (302) 857-3038 (office)

Pilot Program Will Connect Library Patrons to State Services; Social Workers Now Available 3 Hours per Week at 7 Libraries Statewide

DOVER (Jan. 2, 2018) – Delaware state social workers have begun providing assistance at libraries in all three counties under a pilot program launched by the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and the Delaware Division of Libraries.

Two social workers from DHSS’ Division of Social Services’ Community Partner Support Unit are now available once per week for three hours at seven libraries across the state.

Social workers can guide patrons through the state’s online benefits application process, assist individuals in applying for food benefits, help applicants gather necessary documents, connect eligible families and individuals with employment and training resources, and connect with other DHSS agencies to answer questions as needed. This onsite assistance is in addition to the help available at the 15 State Service Centers located statewide.

Public libraries are an ideal setting for the delivery of social services. As centers for community engagement and access to technology, people in need of assistance in many cases are already library patrons.

“This partnership enables libraries to leverage DHSS expertise in assisting library patrons with meeting their needs,” said Deputy Secretary of State Dr. Courtney Stewart. “Our libraries have evolved into force-multipliers for community outreach, and adding social services to the compliment of resources available through our libraries is a perfect fit.”

“Every day, in all Delaware public libraries, people come through the doors seeking assistance on a variety of topics, including social services,” said State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. “This pilot project reflects the reality that critical needs have become more pronounced.”

“Connecting people to services as easily and efficiently as possible is what we aim to do every day, and this program is a great example of that,” said Ray Fitzgerald, director of DHSS’ Division of Social Services. “Library patrons will receive face-to-face contact with a social worker who can help them on the spot and, as needed, connect them to other beneficial services and programs. We hope this will ease the process for those seeking services while freeing library staff to concentrate on patrons’ other needs.”

Currently, more than 150 agencies and nonprofits are collaborating with Delaware libraries to provide services to patrons across the state.

“Through Delaware Partners, our goal is to extend the reach and effectiveness of partner capabilities and resources and foster collaboration,” said Dr. Norman, “We’re delighted to add the specialized expertise of DHSS social workers in our libraries.”

The schedule for social workers in Delaware libraries is as follows:

• North Wilmington Public Library, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fridays

• Wilmington Public Library - Rodney Square, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays

• Route 9 Library, New Castle, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays

• Dover Public Library, 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays

• Seaford Public Library, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays

• Selbyville Public Library, 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Thursdays

• Frankford Public Library, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays



Contact: Jason Miller, Director of Communications, 302-545-1462

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