Lynchburg is a vibrant independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It lies about 290km Southwest of Washington, D.C. Despite hosting less than 100,000 residents, it’s a central city with a strong sense of community and has numerous economic opportunities for all that care to conduct their businesses there. The city is also widely known as the “City of Seven Hills” or simply the “Hill City” since it’s situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills.
The Hill City is an active community that boasts of friendly residential neighborhoods and has a reputation for exceptional public education. The city has gained recognition for forming special partnerships in education programs in schools and both the government and business sectors. Most importantly, Lynchburg operates the best school systems in Virginia state. The Hill City prides itself with big tertiary institutions that employ social workers including five public and private institutions;
· Liberty University
· Virginia University of Lynchburg
· Randolph College
· Central Virginia Community College
· and Lynchburg College
Lynchburg is a multicultural city with exceptional educational, recreational and cultural opportunities. It has an Olympic-size pool, tennis courts, playgrounds, a city-managed stadium baseball diamonds, parks and community centers. Boating, swimming, skiing, and hiking are common in this community due to the available amenities such as the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Smith Mountain Lake, Wintergreen Resort and the Appalachian Trail.
The local government of Lynchburg is tenacious and results-oriented. Over the last century, Hill City’s form of government has been through a manager or council. There are seven leaders who make up the city council and all are elected into office to serve for four years, staggered terms. The council is headed by a city manager who is tasked with directing all government functions and operations. Through this city council, a vision to propel the community towards the next millennium has been created. The vision includes; having an integrated education community, strategic economic development, an unmatched community environment, great families that are productive. Innovative approaches and focused leadership that brings transformation is heavily encouraged by the council.
Lynchburg is an urban area that has been at the forefront of high-performance development for the last three decades. These efforts have led to regional visioning, innovative community partnerships, intensified technology utilization in service delivery, and customer service improvements. The city has a department of social services that sometimes forms mergers with other departments to enhance quality of services. There are many other (more than 100) locally-administered public social services that are mainly supervised by the state of Virginia. The Department of Social Services is by itself a city government agency that dispenses social work service programs as well as local, state and federal public assistance to the community of over 80,000 people. The social services in the department include among others the following;
· Juvenile services
· Child care services
· Family services
· Fraud program and
· Energy assistance programs
Social service agencies in the community are committed to serving, transforming, and empowering the community through providing opportunities and resources through a culturally responsive manner. They also seek to heighten the quality of life in the community by empowering, educating or protecting families and individuals. Vehicles for change, a social service agency serving the community works hand in hand with the Department of Social Service in Virginia to transform among others the Lynchburg community. The agency’s mission is to empower families that are challenged financially to garner economic independence through technical training and owning cars. The organization serves millions of people in Maryland and Virginia states.
Alliance Human Services, Inc. is another social service agency operating in Lynchburg, Virginia community. It’s a non-profit organization that is licensed to conduct a foster care program for the last 14 years. It also provides Medicaid Treatment Foster Care such as Targeted Case Management. The agency serves hundreds of thousands of children of all ages from 10 counties and five cities in Virginia but has mainly specialized in helping teenagers. Their goal is to help families, youth and children who require partnership with government agencies get better care.
Lynchburg also has organizations that are not social service agencies that still employ social workers. One of these organizations is a community counseling center called Anderson Counselling Services. The organization offers services to the 8 million people of all ages throughout Virginia. Their mission is to assist individuals, and families use their own strength to attain healthy relationships. Anderson counseling services offers a wide array of services including mentoring which tends to intrigue me. According to researchers, youth who utilize mentoring are more likely to get college enrollment and graduate. Besides, bonding is one of my interests as I find it fascinating. The mere thought of creating solutions and changing lives is fulfilling.
Another organization is Centra Health; a non-profit healthcare facility that focuses on community health throughout its 64 locations in Virginia. Centra offers a broad range of medical services and procedures and also has a foundation. The organization has operated for three decades and serves more than 380,000 people especially those that reside in central and south Virginia. The city also has other numerous facilities offering work for social workers.
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