News Releases

Jackson Named State DSS Director of the Year

May 02, 2018

Cumberland County Department of Social Services Director Brenda Reid Jackson was named the 2018 DSS Director of the Year by the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services (NCACDSS). The announcement was made April 26 during the association’s conference in Blowing Rock, N.C.

Jackson, who has over 30 years of experience as a social services leader, was appointed Cumberland County DSS director in 2008. Under her direction, DSS developed and implemented strategic goals focused on forward thinking, innovation, automation and cutting-edge service delivery through collaborative work with customers, community partners and employees.

The association’s media release said, “Ms. Jackson’s dedication, accomplishments, competencies and pure passion for every aspect of the social services profession made her most deserving of this award. Jackson truly embodies the NCACDSS’ motto of being a future-oriented source of leadership. When it comes to protecting vulnerable children, the elderly and disabled, as well as ensuring families’ nutritional and medical needs are met, she is a leader of which the citizens of Cumberland County and North Carolina can be proud.”

Jackson served as the president of the NCACDSS in 2017 and is a member of the County’s Management Team as the General Manager for Human Services.

Since Jackson became director, Cumberland County DSS has won 11 NCACDSS Best Practice Awards for innovative programs such as the Links Graduation for youth in foster care, job applicant Interview Blitz, March to Work Job Fair, Senior Health Fair, Supervisors Leadership Academy and others. During her tenure, DSS attorneys have successfully argued five child welfare cases before the State Supreme Court, which have had an impact on juvenile laws in North Carolina.

The association praised Jackson’s efforts to seek an agency partnership in national initiatives related to permanency for foster children. These include the Casey Family Program, the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall, Southeastern Workforce Strategies, Duke Endowment, Human Trafficking Coalition, certification as a National ChildFirst Forensic Interview Training Center and participation in the Healthy Base Food and Nutrition Services pilot with Fort Bragg.


Jackson’s other honors include recognition as the “Outstanding” New Social Services Director by the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services in 2004.  She was also inducted into the East Carolina University School of Social Work’s Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award. During Hurricane Matthew, Jackson’s master plan for administering the disaster Food and Nutrition Services program was recognized by the USDA as a model for the nation. The Department also was a recipient of the Heart of Matthew Award for serving over 11,000 citizens with disaster food benefits and links to community resources during Hurricane Matthew.


Jackson has been active on the NCACDSS Executive Committee in various roles, including the co-chair of the Advocacy Committee and Children’s Services Committee. During her tenure as president, she led the Association through many challenges, especially those related to regionalization of the social services system under House Bill 630 and the evaluation of the Social Services system North Carolina.

The Department of Social Services is located at 1225 Ramsey St. The main phone number is 910-323-1540 and the agency can be visited online at