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Elliott loves the versatility of his Ouachita County staffPosted Date: 05/08/2018
By: Charles Elliott
My name is Charles Elliott. I’m the county administrator for the Department of Human Services (DHS) Ouachita County office.
I’m a graduate of Southern Arkansas University. My DHS responsibilities often remind me of why I love the people of South Arkansas as much as I do.
I began my tenure with the agency as a caseworker in Ouachita County September 29, 1997. I was eventually named the county’s caseworker supervisor in 1999. In 2007, I became the Columbia County Program Eligibility Coordinator. Four years later I got promoted to county administrator. After two years as the Columbia County Administrator, I assumed the same role for the Ouachita County office.
Being a leader is not easy. But having a hard working and well-versed staff like I currently do, simplifies my job – plenty.
Their knowledge of DHS services and their knack for helping our clients in a timely manner is important. Also, time-and-time again the Ouachita County staff has shown that it can handle all kinds of situations. That also helps me out tremendously.
When I think about it, one of the most important things I’ve learned from my staff is how to work with different personalities.
Learning how to best interact with and lead each of the employees has made me a better manager and a better person. Sometimes I’m amazed at what I learn because of my staff, some of whom are more like family to me.
I cherish the family-like rapport I have with some of my staff. Honestly, I enjoy my entire staff a lot. There’s nobody who I don’t like being around.
And when a difficult situation arises, I’m always impressed with how they’re quick to support each other and get the job done. I also like how the Ouachita County team is mature enough, to sometimes agree to disagree in order to maintain a good working environment.
Also, throughout Ouachita County – especially in Camden – our office makes a positive impact. We have a Relay for Life team each year. We’ve regularly donated hygiene items to the local Women’s Crisis Center.
We are also very familiar with the resources made available in Ouachita County by other groups. Due to our genuine concern for the people of South Arkansas, we don’t hesitate to refer clients to those groups or companies as well. We also sponsor food drives and school supply drives, in which staff donates the items. In fact, this staff is always extremely giving and compassionate.
As a county administrator, father, and husband, I understand how crucial it is that we as DHS serve as a support system to all people.
I’m also the past president of the Arkansas Human Services Employees Association. That was a great experience. Leading the human services association gave me an invaluable opportunity to work with and connect with our division directors.
Currently, I’m vice president for the Arkansas State Employees Association and the County Administrator Association.