Marson appointed to state Social Services Commission


Dr. Stephen M. Marson, a social work professor at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke for 30 years, has been appointed by North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley to the state’s Social Services Commission.


Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis swears in Dr. Marson as his wife, Barbara, and daughter, Stephanie, look on.

He was sworn into office on March 20 by Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis, senior resident judge for Brunswick County.

Dr. Marson, who was recommended for the commission by state Rep. Ronnie Sutton of Pembroke, N.C., will serve a four-year term. As part of the nomination process for all commission appointments, character evaluations are required.   Zoe Locklear, Dean of the School of Education, was interviewed and vouched for Dr. Marson’s ethics.    

The 13-member commission has oversight for 100 Departments of Social Service (DSS) in North Carolina. Dr. Marson, who specializes in gerontology and social work ethics, said he is particularly concerned with Child Protective Services programs.

“Child Protective Services is a sensitive area where the most lawsuits are filed,” he said. “I am concerned about high caseloads and violence against social workers.”

Dr. Marson said he would also give voice to professional social workers.

“I would like to establish a forum for social workers to express their professional concerns,” he said.

Joining the faculty in 1977, Dr. Marson has served for many years as director of UNCP’s Social Work program and continues as coordinator of the Applied Social Gerontology minor. He is also in private practice in the areas of elder care and legal research since 1978.

He participates in a wide range of professional activities with associations, publications, editing and serving as a book reviewer for social work journals and grant writing. He is the founding editor of the online Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics.

In 2005, Dr. Marson was named Social Worker of the Year by the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. In 2001, he was UNCP’s Adolf L. Dial Award recipient for creative work and scholarship.

Dr. Marson earned a Ph.D. from NC State University and a Master of Social Work degree from Ohio State University. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Dominican University.     

The Social Services Commission has the authority to: (1) establish rules for public assistance (with the exception of medical assistance); (2) placement and supervision of delinquent children and payment of necessary costs of foster home care for needy and homeless children; (3) payment of state funds to private child-placing agencies and residential child care facilities for care and services provided to children in the custody or placement responsibility of a county department of social services; (4) social services programs established by federal legislation; implementation of portions of Title XX of the Social Security Act; (5) inspection and licensing of maternity homes; (6) inspection and operation of jails and local confinement facilities; and (7) rules required by the federal government for social services grants-in-aid.

Membership consists of one member from each of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts.