Community Initiatives

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Community Initiatives provides school based social workers to provide remedial services to address crisis resolution and problem solving needed and to provide preventive services that address the development and strengthening of coping skills for students in Durham Public Schools. Community Initiatives also coordinates volunteer programs in partnership with The Volunteer Center of Durham.

Vacant,
Program Manager
Office: 919-560-8000
Fax: 919-560-8415
Email:

To learn more about services provided, eligibility, applications and referrals, click here:
School based social workers provide remedial services to address crisis resolution and problem solving needed and to provide preventive services that address the development and strengthening of coping skills.
  • Preventive services include immediate intervention to reduce stress for individuals and groups in the school, home and community; case work, group work or community intervention services, information and referral; consultation and collaboration. 
  • Preventive services include early identification of populations at risk; needs assessment; program development; implementation, and evaluation; in-service, parent and community education; collaboration with school and community resources, advocacy, and socio-educational services to various individuals and groups in school, home and community.
Teachers, counselors or principals refer students at the school during regular school hours. That person must complete a referral form. There is no application process, nothing additional is required and there is no time required to process the referral.

The DSS Volunteer Program is a partnership with The Volunteer Center of Durham.
The mission of the Department of Social Services (DSS) Volunteer Program is to improve the lives of DSS clients and enable them to become self-sufficient through the use of dedicated volunteers and provide economic or in-kind assistance to eligible clients throughout the year. Programs include:

The Big Sib Mentoring Program is designed for at-risk DSS clients between the ages of 6-16. Clients referred to Big Sib are matched with an adult volunteer in a one-to-one relationship for at least a year.

The Friendly Visitor program is designed for DSS clients who are either disabled or elderly in need of companionship or assistance with light tasks or duties. Clients referred to the program are matched with an adult volunteer in a one-to-one relationship for at least a year.

The Back to School Supply Drive helps children from families with low incomes have a successful start to a new school year. These children, identified by a social worker as in need of school supplies, benefit from donations or sponsorship by the local community.

Share Your Christmas matches individuals and groups with disadvantaged Durham citizens in need of Christmas gifts. This program is made possible by a partnership between the Volunteer Center of Durham, Durham County Department of Social Services, and the Herald Sun.

The Thanksgiving Dinners program offers an opportunity for community volunteers to provide a special Thanksgiving meal to Durham citizens who are disadvantaged, elderly, or disabled.

The Adolescent Parenting Program provides 1st time pregnant and parenting teens with support to prevent a second pregnancy, complete high school and prevent child abuse and neglect. The APP program is designed for first time pregnant or parenting adolescent mothers. Clients referred to this program are matched with an adult female volunteer through The Volunteer Center in a one-to-one relationship for at least a year.

Youth ages 14-17 deficient in basic literacy skills, who have dropped out, or are homeless or a runaway may be referred to the Youth Services social worker to coordinate supportive services.