Union County DCBS employee named Champion for Children by Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky

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A 19-year veteran of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) social services agency has been honored for her work by Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK).

Susan Clements, of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) Union County office, was recognized by the child advocacy organization as a Champion for Children last month during the 21st annual Kids Are Worth It! Conference.

Clements was named the recipient of the annual April Vandeventer Award given to the outstanding DCBS worker by PCAK, the state’s premier statewide child abuse and neglect prevention organization.

Kevin Payton, President of the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Board of Directors, Susan Clements and Dr. Jaime Pittenger, Vice-Present of the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Board of Directors, pose at the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Kids Are Worth It! Conference.(Photo from CHFS)

Clements is a social service clinician in the DCBS Union County office, which is based in DCBS’ 17-county Two Rivers Service Region.

Clements was nominated for the award by Lark Buckman of We Educate to End Child Abuse and Neglect (UCWEECAN), the local child abuse prevention voice of Union County.

Clements said it is an honor to be selected for the award.

“To be recognized for doing my job is a privilege and I thank Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky for this award, as well as Mr. Buckman who took the time to do the nomination,” Clements said. “As a DCBS worker, I believe in connection and communication with our families. And we are working every day to make then stronger.”

Clements’ nomination was glowing in her work in protecting children, balancing their needs for safety while in the home, and promoting adoption efforts when it is deemed necessary for the best interests of the child.

The Union County DCBS office has been hard-hit by staff turnover, Buckman’s nomination noted, but Clements remains the face of the agency and serves as a beacon of community partnership.

DCBS Commissioner Adria Johnson congratulated Clements at her recognition ceremony and said she earned the honor.

“Susan deserves to be recognized for building trust with the families she serves and for creating enduring relationships that serve to make families stronger to deal with the barriers that affect them,” Johnson said. “She takes on so many challenging cases and makes them look easy. The department is lucky to have such a worker with her sense of commitment and value for quality service.”

Clements’ award was named for April Vandeventer of Lawrenceburg, a veteran DCBS manager who died in 2006 after battling cancer.

Jill Seyfred, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, said Clements’ dedication is a great example of the local leadership PCAK appreciates.

“When we think of people who protect our children, Susan embodies all that is good,” she said. “For more than 19 years, she has served as a role model and “chief motivator” to all those with whom she comes in contact.”

Clements’ achievements were recognized on Sept. 18 in Louisville where more than 600 child advocates attended at the PCAK annual event.

Learn more about DCBS’ child protection efforts at chfs.ky.gov. Learn more about PCAK at www.pcaky.org.

From Cabinet for Health and Family Services

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