March 7, 2016

Dare County Social Services is topic of radio show

Dare's Division of Social Services, whose employees provide vital help and support to the county's adults, handicapped persons, children, and families was the topic of the Radio Hatteras Interview show, "To the Point," on Sunday, March 6.

On Hatteras, a small but dedicated group of division employees work out of the county's satellite office in Frisco.

The guest for the interview is one of these folks, Jonna O'Neal Midgette of Rodanthe, who is the island's adult services social worker. She is a native islander, a graduate of Cape Hatteras High School Class of '87 and of North Carolina Wesleyan College.  She's been working for Dare County Social Services for more than 16 years.  

In 2014, the Dare County Department of Social Services was combined with the Dare County Department of Health to form the county Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS).  Social services is now a division under the DHHS umbrella.

Midgette says that the Hatteras Island Division of Social Services includes three social workers -- one for adult service, one for children's services, and one for family service.  There is also a full-time income maintenance case worker, who takes applications for public assistance. And there are two in-home aides who work on Hatteras Island.

"We truly have a team made up of all the separate units, which are supervised from the main office in Manteo," Midgette said. "All of us are truly dedicated to serving the residents of Hatteras Island. In my experience, I’ve worked from both out of the main office and directly on the island. I feel we’ve been consistently available to  give island residents quality care and service from right here."

She also notes that all of the Hatteras team live on the island, which is an advantage during times of limited highway access.

"A big part of what we do as social services is to network and pull together resources to help people with current needs," said Midgette. "On the island, we work closely with Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, Hatteras Island Food Pantry, Hatteras Island Meals, Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, and many other charities and organizations that serve and reach out to our residents. "

Here are some numbers from Social Service's work on Hatteras Island during 2015:

  • There were 326 applications for public assistance programs, not including on-going cases and reviews.
  • Eight families engaged in family support services. Eight families participated in a work retention program.
  • There were 1,053 emergency intake direct contacts. And the division issued over 155 food pantry vouchers.
  • 41 reports of child abuse or neglect were responded to on Hatteras Island.
  • There were 7 total children in Foster Care. 5 were placed in court approved relatives’ homes. 2 were placed in foster homes.
  • There were 11 adult protective services cases.
  • There are currently 26 clients  receiving various adult services on Hatteras Island, 17 of whom are on the in-home aide program.

Midgette says Dare County is fortunate to have an in-home aide program, which was established almost 30 years ago, and is unique among the other counties in N.C.  In the whole county, there are 21 certified nursing assistants serving around 125 folks every week.

On Hatteras Island, we have two dedicated in-home aide positions. A plan of care is developed for each recipient of the program with scheduled time of service that is delivered each week for as long as is required. Typically, these are not short-term plans. Currently, there are 20 pending referrals specific to Hatteras Island waiting for available in-home aide time. There are more than 150 county-wide waiting for services.

More information is available on the Dare County website,  Click on "Departments."  The phone number of the Frisco office is 252-475-9320.

To listen to an audio of the interview with Jonna Midgette, scroll down to the "To the Point" logo and click on the arrow.

"To the Point" airs on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 , at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month.  It is repeated on the second and fourth Sunday. Those who don't live on Hatteras can listen to the show on Sundays through live streaming at


Radio Hatteras is our community, non-profit radio station and depends on grants, memberships, and underwriting.

It broadcasts around the clock with news -- including such things as surfing and fishing reports -- community announcements, music, and special programs. The station is also now streamed live. To listen, go to

Our community radio station also needs your support, and you can give that by purchasing a membership or by underwriting the station if you are a business or another community non-profit.

Radio Hatteras memberships are $50 for a family, $25 for an individual and $10 for a student. Mail memberships and other contributions to Radio Hatteras, P.O. Box 339, Frisco, NC 27936.

E-mail [email protected] or call (252) 995-6000 for information about underwriting opportunities.

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