NEWS-JOURNAL EDITORIAL: Breaking down perception vs. reality

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It appears as if the Mitchell County Department of Social Services director has begun the process of creating a perception that somehow the Mitchell News-Journal is at least partly responsible for the lack of foster homes in Mitchell County. 

Ross said in the recent meeting of the county’s DSS board one of the primary reasons for the drop of local foster support is negative discussions on Facebook and unfavorable articles about her department in the Mitchell News-Journal. The odd part of that statement is, there have been no negative articles about DSS in the Mitchell News-Journal. 

There was an article about the “moving-allowance-turned-incentive” and an editorial criticizing the commissioners that voted for that decision. Another article detailed why she chose to breach her contract and not move to Mitchell County. Again, not negative about DSS. 

So, while the flimsy perception the Mitchell News-Journal and social media are to blame for the lack of foster homes is being floated, the reality of why the foster care numbers are down in Mitchell County could have something to do with the dozen or so CPS workers have resigned or been fired in the past year. 

It could have something to do with perception of an almost complete lack of community engagement, shortened workdays and workweeks, and a disillusioned staff. But that’s just people’s perception. 

It seems as though our county’s DSS director has learned one thing during her time in Mitchell County, and that’s to blame this newspaper for having the audacity to focus on the reality instead of the perception.