Rae Alepa named DSS director

Aug. 22, 2013 @ 05:12 PM

Human Services Executive Director Richard Matens has announced the appointment of Rae Alepa as director of Union County Social Services.

For the past 2½ years, Alepa has served as the social work program manager for Union County’s Adult and Family Services.

“Throughout her time with Union County, Rae has brought a sense of professionalism and sincere dedication to the job she has performed,” Matens said. “I am fully confident that Rae will excel in her new role with Social Services.”

Alepa fills a position that has been vacant since the resignation of John Holtkamp on July 19, 2012. Holtkamp had been on paid leave while the DSS board investigated complaints about his management style. Holtkamp, who had been paid $104,000, had been hired to replace Dontae Latson, who resigned amid questions about his leadership style.

Since those resignations, the county has consolidated health and human services departments and hired Matens to oversee all human services functions, adding a management layer between department directors and top county management. Alepa will be paid a salary of $86,000 a year.

Alepa received her undergraduate degree in communication with a concentration in social sciences from the University of Pittsburgh and a master of science in special education with a concentration in rehabilitative science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

“As the new director, I look forward to setting goals and objectives that are measurable, meaningful and attainable,” Alepa said. “With the wide array of new technological advances and updates being brought to DSS, we plan to work hard on all new initiatives, forge partnerships with the public and private sectors and help our organization overcome long-standing barriers that have prevented our customers from receiving the support they deserve.”

The mission of Social Services is to help families in Union County support themselves and to provide care and protection for children, the disabled and the elderly as it is needed.

“As an organization, we will continue to advocate for our customers and use our resources where they produce the best outcomes for our families,” added Alepa. “My focus is to efficiently and effectively serve the citizens of Union County by working with families in achieving economic well-being, safety and permanence within our community.”