Athens County Children Services has announced that Deputy Director of Programs Sheila Shafer will retire at the end of this month after 31 years of dedicated service at the agency.

Shafer started her career with ACCS in 1988 as an intake caseworker, then went on to serve as a sexual abuse intake caseworker, prevention specialist, family services supervisor, then program supervisor, and finally was promoted to Deputy Director of Programs in 2007, where she has served the past 12 years. During that time, Shafer was instrumental in the formation of the Athens County Child Advocacy Center and served as a founding board member for the agency.

Shafer is credited with extensive program development and implementation at the agency. “Athens County has a reputation throughout Ohio as a model for best practices in program delivery, and Sheila’s leadership and commitment to our profession will have an enduring impact on the children and families of Athens County” said Cathy Hill, executive director Athens County Children Services.

From serving on various nonprofit boards to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, public service has been a constant throughout Shafer’s career. “Those that know Sheila personally know that her commitment to community service extends beyond her professional contributions,” Hill added, noting that Shafer has already committed to volunteering for the agency’s levy campaign this fall.

While Shafer is reluctant to accept any accolades for her service, she does acknowledge the countless families she has worked with and the many caseworkers she has mentored along the way.

“I am grateful to have spent 31 years with this agency and am proud to have played a role in improving the lives of children and families in Athens County,” Shafer said. “It has been an honor to serve as deputy director and help our professional casework staff develop. I am confident that I am leaving behind a solid foundation of dedicated professionals that are prepared the meet the challenges our children and families face now and in the future.”

The agency plans to celebrate Shafer’s career and retirement at a reception on Aug. 30 at the Ohio University Inn & Conference Center.

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