McCarty dedicated to helping others

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, March 12, 2003

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Feature Writer
March is Social Workers Month and in keeping with that theme this week's profile is about one of the local social workers in Escambia County.
McCarty grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., Boston and Mobile, although she is a native Alabamian. She came to Brewton when she was in the ninth grade and finished school at T.R. Miller High School, graduating in 1974. After high school she attended Judson College in Marion, Ala. where she graduated in 1977.
It was while she was at Judson College that she realized that social work was in her future.
McCarty got a job as a food stamp certification worker in Perry County after graduation. She lived in Marion and worked in food stamps for the next three years. It was about that time that she married and over the next few years she had three children.
After the children came along, McCarty was a stay-at-home mom for a while. She wanted to be with them while they were young, but when the older children were in school, she decided to get back into the work force. Her son was a preschooler so she went to work in a church-based preschool, first as a teacher and then as the director where she worked for the next three years.
When her son was old enough to begin school, McCarty accepted a position in Hale County with the Department of Human Resources.
In 1995, McCarty moved back to Brewton and transferred from Hale County into the DHR here in Escambia County.
Soon after, she married David McCarty, who works at TrusJoist in Castleberry.
McCarty is very proud of her job at DHR. According to her, Alabama leads the nation in their child welfare policies and practice and other states are looking at our state for ways to improve their own practices.
She supervises five social workers and a case aide in on-going protective services and foster care. She provides guidance, support, and supervision to these workers. She recently received her master's in social work from the University of Alabama proving it is never too late to further your education.
Social work is becoming a family affair for so many. McCarty's daughter, Beth, is a senior at Troy State University majoring in social work. Margaret Wilson who works at DHR is the daughter of retired worker, Jeanette Wilson; Carolyn White, the director of DHR has a daughter, Paula, who has recently received her master's in social work and DHR worker, Irene Johnson's daughter, Onya, is also in social work.
Part of McCarty's work with families involves helping these families work through problems that may be causing their children to be in some form of danger. The dangers can be from physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect caused by family problems such as severe poverty, substance abuse, or domestic violence. They try to help these families through these problems so that they can safely take care of their children. If, for some reason, the children can no longer live with their parents, they look to family members to take care of the children. If there is no family member, then the children must enter the foster care system. Even if the children enter foster care, DHR workers try to work with the family to get them back into their homes, when possible. DHR workers can see that these families get what they need to get them on track by making sure they receive parenting classes, counseling, and substance abuse treatment, for example.
McCarty has seen all of her children grow up in Brewton. Besides Beth, she has Kathryn who is a sophomore at the University of Alabama majoring in pre-dental (following in her grandfather's footsteps) and Jim is a junior at T.R. Miller High School. McCarty's father, Dr. Mike Dasinger, is a well known dentist here in
Brewton and her mother, Joy, is a retired dental hygienist who also has assisted Dr. Dasinger at the dentist's office.
McCarty doesn't have a lot of free time, but she says she loves to cook and does it very well.
Since March is Social Workers Month, McCarty and those who work in her profession are to be greatly appreciated and admired for the work that they do in and for their community.

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