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Success story highlights Social Worker Appreciation Month

March 1, 2019

Media Advisory

Contact: Gene Kennedy, Senior Public Information Specialist, DPSS
Phone: (951) 203-0343

Success story highlights Social Worker Appreciation Month
A former drug addict who received help now pays it forward through DPSS program

(Riverside, CA) In the summer of 2000, Riverside resident JoDean Waggoner was addicted to methamphetamine. A reality that prompted Child Protective Services (CPS) to take custody of her daughter. With the help of a Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) social worker, seven months later, Waggoner freed herself from drug abuse and was capable of parenting her daughter again.

“She (social worker) came to me when I needed her the most,” Waggoner said during a recent video interview. “If it wasn’t for CPS coming into my life, either me or my daughter, or both of us would have been dead somewhere.”

Today, Waggoner is an employee in the DPSS Parent-Partner program. She’s using her experience to help other parents facing similar struggles. Her success story would have never been possible without the help of social workers. You can watch her story here.

March is Social Worker Appreciation Month. There are 971 social workers in Riverside County, including 745 in the Department of Public Social Services who serve both children and adults. Nationwide, there are 642,000 social workers. Social workers empower people with the tools they need to put their lives on a positive track.

Elsewhere in Riverside County, social workers serve in public health, behavioral health, community clinics and medical services within the Riverside University Health System, as well as Office on Aging, and the Public Defender’s office. Each of these individuals plays an important role in the development of healthy, safe and thriving communities.