Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is proud to announce that Sharon Barlow, has been selected as the Director of Social Services effective immediately. Barlow has been employed with Guilford County for 12 years and most recently served as interim Director of Social Services after the resignation of former Social Services Director Heather Skeens last year.
Barlow brings 34 years of social services experience along with strong leadership skills, a focus on staff engagement, and an emphasis on community collaboration which make her uniquely qualified to take on this new role.
Barlow began her career with social services at the Caldwell County DSS where she served as a Child Protective Services social worker and supervisor.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving my community. I am very proud of the work we do and continue to be amazed at the commitment of our staff to provide excellent service to the citizens of Guilford County,” said Barlow. “Long term sustainable change demands that we take advantage of innovative opportunities and creative practices to provide quality services and maintain a quality employee experience. I am committed to working hard to make this happen.”
As DSS Director, Sharon Barlow will concentrate on setting strategy and direction for all Department of Social Service programs, being a change agent for the organization, and building a cohesive DSS team. She is responsible for the implementation of service integration, reduction of county costs and increase of state and federal revenues along with the improvement of technology systems. In this role, Barlow will maintain and improve upon the relationships with community agencies and accomplish visionary objectives through collaborative processes.
After a thorough search and interview process, Barlow quickly rose to the top of the list of extremely qualified applicants. “The interview committee was very impressed by Sharon’s commitment to the agency and well-rounded knowledge of Economic Services and Child Services along with her overall vision around whole person DSS care,” said Victor Isler, Guilford County Assistant County Manager: Successful People. “I see Sharon as key to our [Guilford County] strategic vision of working in a collaborate manner with our internal and external partners.”
Barlow attended Appalachian State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in social work. She was drawn to social work through her firsthand, childhood experience when her parents served as foster parents for The Children’s Home Society of North Carolina for 15 years, providing care to over 50 children.
Barlow was born and raised in Greensboro and now lives in the city with her husband. They’re members of First Baptist Church in Greensboro and have two children who are now both students at Appalachian State University.