Social services boards appoint Anita Harris new director of Shenandoah Valley Social Services

aharrisThe boards of social services of Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro announced today the appointment of Anita Harris as director of Shenandoah Valley Social Services, effective Aug. 16. Harris will serve as interim director Aug. 1 through 15.

Harris has served previously as the assistant director for the last 12 years. She has been employed at SVSS for more than 25 years, garnering a broad range of experiences working in various capacities at the agency.

Her previous roles at SVSS include community resource coordinator; Medicaid benefits program specialist; and program manager for adult protective services, employment services, child care, and the Energy Assistance Program.

Harris is a lifelong resident of Augusta County and a graduate of Fort Defiance High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in human services counseling from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in education from James Madison University, with a concentration in adult education and human resource development.

In a joint statement, the social services boards said: “Mrs. Harris’ extensive knowledge in the social services field, and of Shenandoah Valley Social Services, in particular, were important and attractive qualities that helped us reach our decision. We are confident in her abilities to provide strong leadership, meet and take on the agency’s challenges and build on the strengths of the organization. We are pleased with her track record and look forward to her successful and continued tenure with Shenandoah Valley Social Services.”

Harris said she is honored to lead the agency.

“I’m proud to be a part of Shenandoah Valley Social Services, and eager to work with the social services boards, our management team and staff to enhance the efficiency and performance of the agency,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to being creative and innovative as we cultivate a constructive and professional environment and advance the quality of our programs and customer service.”

She also shared her commitment to fully engage with the Virginia Department of Social Services in its Quality Management Review (QMR), a review of SVSS’ practices and processes, over the next several weeks.

The QMR has begun and is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 21.


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