SMITHFIELD – The Johnston County Department of Social Services recently welcomed a new director with nearly 30 years of experience in the social work field. Christine M. Dowdell brings a wealth of expertise in child welfare and a proven track record of leadership as she takes on the role as Johnston County DSS Director.
Mrs. Dowdell’s extensive career includes serving as the former director of Forsyth County Social Services in Winston Salem and a stint as the director of social services in Chowan County. She began her journey of compassionate care for those in need in New York, where she worked in preventive services and with the homeless population. Her dedication to the field led her to North Carolina, where she embarked on a career in child welfare as a Child Protective Services and Adoptions Social Worker.
A proud alumna of Kean University in New Jersey, Mrs. Dowdell earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and furthered her education by obtaining a master’s degree in clinical social work from Fordham University. Mrs Dowdell’s experience includes roles as an outpatient therapist, licensed social worker, child welfare supervisor in Mecklenburg County, and as a social work program consultant/trainer with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
With a strong commitment to education, Mrs. Dowdell excelled in her role as a college lecturer, teaching child psychology, social work, and counseling courses at Bennett College, Wingate University, and Johnson C. Smith College. She also helped establish Forsyth County’s first Quality Assurance Aging Conference, which showcased her abilities to innovate and collaborate with her team.
“I am honored that the DSS Board has selected me as the next Director of the Johnston County Department of Social Services. I am very committed to helping others improve their lives, strengthening families, as well as ensuring the safety among our children and adult populations. I look forward to working with staff, community partners, the DSS Board, County administration, and our County Commissioners, ” said Mrs. Dowdell.