WAYNE COUNTY—The tireless workers of Children and Youth Services (CYS) were honored earlier this month for their dedication to Wayne County's families and children.

During Child Welfare Professionals Week (June 3-7), Wayne County CYS Staff received a proclamation and commendation from the Commissioners for all their efforts to manage child abuse and neglect in the county.

In 2019, county CYS has served an average of 392 children or 179 families per month, said executive director, Rozalyn Burke.

Comprised of 51 child welfare professionals including clerical staff, social service aides, paralegals and caseworkers, CYS staff perform intake assessments and investigations, provide on-going in-home services, placement, independent living and adoption assistance.

“I am humbled and honored to direct the caring and selfless individuals who have chosen child welfare as their profession in Wayne County,” said Burke. “I know I may be biased, but in my eyes, t hey have one of the hardest and most important jobs in our society, to protect and ensure the safety and well-being of children, who I believe are our greatest asset.”

Burke relayed that, on the job, “Often, my staff are unfortunately exposed to emotional trauma, dangerous environments, crisis situations and unwarranted criticism.”

Stating she “...could not be more proud of the work my staff accomplishes,” Burke noted “They work long hours, putting their own families and personal lives on the back burner to ensure that the children and families on their caseload have what they need to be successful.”

As time has gone on, Wayne County CYS has encountered an ever-increasing number of cases with an always increasing complexity, said Burke.

She noted this has increased the amount of time it takes to process each case.

With each case, “We want to do best by that child. We want to ensure their wellbeing is met,” said Burke, noting her employees, “... do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

Adding that the entire department at CYS is a quality team which works exceptionally well together, Human Resources Administrator Michelle Valinski stated, “This is a really hard job and every single day the staff at Children and Youth come back. It takes a very special person to do the job, and I look at them every single day and say thank you for coming back.”

Commending the staff, Commissioner Chairman Brian Smith stated of the greater community, “...they don't have much of an idea behind the scenes of what goes on, and how difficult it is...”

Smith added, “You have to be able to take care of these situations and go home to spend time with your own family....I've said many times, I don't know how you shut that off...

“It truly is a service. It truly is a sacrifice, and I hope that the people in our community understand the value of what you do.”

Commissioner Wendell Kay added, that, in the last 30 years of Wayne County CYS, there have only been three executive directors.

“That is an indication of not only stability, but real leadership from the top,” he said, complimenting Burke on filling those shoes well.

“We know things are changing not just in today's world but in your agency, and that you have been very responsive to that,” he added.

“Unfortunately the problems are more difficult than the ones that I used to wrestle with in court...Situations have become more serious, but I think our response is equal to the challenge.”

Wayne County Children and Youth Services operates out of the Park Street Complex (648 Park Street, Honesdale), Monday through Friday from 8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.

Those needing to file an abuse or neglect report or looking for more information can call the office at 570-253-5102.

After-hours abuse/neglect reports can be called in to ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.

More information about CYS is available under the Human Services tab on the county website: www.waynecountypa.gov.