Franklin Social Services director accepts new post

Published 10:56 am Saturday, January 15, 2011

FRANKLIN—Beth Reavis, who has led the city’s Social Services Department since 2007, is stepping down to become director of Warren County’s Department of Social Services next month.

“It’s just been a positive experience for me,” Reavis said of her time in Franklin. “It was my first director’s job, so I learned a lot and it certainly prepared me to go on and work as a director in a larger agency.”

Reavis is also looking forward to being closer to her daughter, who lives in Washington.

Warren County, located in the Shenandoah Valley, has a Social Services department that’s about twice the size of Franklin’s, Reavis said.

“It’s a promotional opportunity for her and I wish her the best,” City Manager June Fleming said. She also commended Reavis’ leadership of the Franklin department.

A native of Dallas, Reavis began her career in social services in 1971 as an eligibility worker and spent 25 years working in Norfolk and four years in Chesapeake before coming to Franklin.

As the head of Franklin’s Social Services department, Reavis worked to strengthen coordination among helping agencies and made a point to volunteer and participate on boards and commissions.

“I tried very hard while I was here not to just be a city employee,” she said. “I really have enjoyed the community. It’s a very nice community with lots of wonderful people, and they were very welcoming and made me feel part of the community right away.”

In a news release, Warren County Administrator Douglas P. Stanley said county officials are confident Reavis will lead the county’s social services department forward “in a positive manner.”

“Her passion for social services and dedication to the communities in which she has served are clearly evident,” Stanley said.

Unlike other positions, the state handles much of the process for hiring a new director of social services, Fleming said. The process takes several months, and the state will also assist in finding an interim Franklin director, she said.

“It’s a tough job and the people here work really hard. I was blessed with a wonderful staff of dedicated people who thought like I thought and we worked really well together,” Reavis said of the Franklin department’s staff. “I’ll be extremely lucky if I have that where I’m going.”