By Tia Lynn Ivey
Morgan County’s very own Pamela Benford recently won the Georgia State Social Worker of the Year award, a statewide honor no other social worker from Morgan County has ever received.
“It’s a wonderful achievement,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman. “We are so proud of her and all she does for the children of Morgan County.
Pamela Benford became a social worker in Morgan County back in 1993. According her state bio, “she received her Bachelor’s of Arts from Mercer University, Macon and her Master’s in Social Work and Specialist from the University of Georgia. As a native of Madison, she is involved in many local organizations. She has been a member of the School Social Workers Association of Georgia, Inc. since 1993 and served on the Executive Board since 1997. She is a member of the Georgia Family Connection Partnership & Morgan County Family Connection Board; Region V & Morgan County Department of Family and Children Services & Morgan County 4-H Advisory Boards. She has been on the planning committee for Teen Maze for the four years that it has existed.”
Benford was thrilled to be recognized in her field by the State of Georgia.
“It was an honor to be nominated to represent my School Social Workers Association of Georgia (SSWAG) District and then to be selected as the state winner,” said Benford. “It feels wonderful to be recognized by my peers.”
Benford credits her family-instilled values as the driving force behind her career as a social worker.
“I was raised by parents and a church family that emphasized the importance of education and helping people,” explained Benford. “While interning with a juvenile probation office, I was introduced to the school social worker who brought both of those values together.”
Benford hopes her role helps mold the children of Morgan County into well-rounded, well-adjusted adults. “An education is not just book learning, it encompasses the whole child including their social and mental well-being. I am here to help families and children realize their dreams and our dreams for them. I am here to assist students and families that need a little or a lot of extra support to ensure the child is able to attend school and be ready and open to receive what is being offered to them each day,” said Benford.
The Morgan County Charter School system is proud to have Benford as part of the team.
“We are very proud of Ms. Benford and the work she does to support our students. Her work provides the opportunity for many students to be successful in an academic setting. Ms. Benford is very passionate about supporting young people with social challenges,” said Superintendent James Woodard.
“Pam Benford works behind the scenes to improve the quality of life for our “at risk” students. She represents our school system, as well as Morgan County, on many local, regional, and state agencies and Boards. We are so proud of her!” said Burbach.
Benford plans to continue being a positive force in the lives of Morgan County students and their families.