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Social Services director enthused
Fredericksburg names a new social services director


Date published: 11/15/2010

BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE

Budgets are shrinking, but the new director of Fredericksburg's Social Services Department feels rich in another resource: talented and enthusiastic employees.

"It's a great time to be a director," said Christen Gallik, who officially becomes the director today. "Our staff here is so committed and just a great group of professionals. And so is the community."

Gallik joined the department as assistant director six years ago. When Janine Sewell left to lead Prince William County's department, Gallik stepped in as acting director.

The city's Board of Social Services tapped her to take the position permanently.

"The board has confidence in the abilities of Ms. Gallik to continue to move the department forward," chairwoman Diane Clark said in a news release.

Gallik will lead about 30 employees who face increased caseloads. More people than ever are lining up for food stamps, Medicaid and welfare.

But Gallik also sees some bright spots in the department's future. The Virginia Department of Social Services recently launched an initiative to help foster children find permanent homes. Gallik said the changes are already working.

And she expects her staff members to continue serving the community.

"The employees here are just amazing," Gallik said. "Every day they live our mission, and they truly believe in what they're doing. I'm honored to be named director. I really do feel lucky."

Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973
Email: aumble@freelancestar.com