For Immediate Release
Monday, April 30, 2012
McLernon Named Social Worker of the Year
John McLernon, Atlantic County Director of Community Relations and Social Services, will be honored as the Social Worker of the Year on May 7 at the Trump Taj Mahal by the National Association of Social Workers, the largest organization of professional social workers in the world.
McLernon has spearheaded Atlantic County's efforts to reduce recidivism at the county jail with the implementation of a discharge planning program. The program connects inmates with community-based agencies that provide resources to support their return to their families and their communities to help them from becoming repeat offenders.
"John is committed to helping those who for whatever reason are unable to help themselves. He has compassion for others and is passionate about what he does. And what he does, he does extraordinarily well," stated Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County Executive.
McLernon was honored in January as a 2012 recipient of the Atlantic County Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for service to his community and upholding the principles of Dr. King.
McLernon is a resident of Northfield who started his career as an Atlantic City Press reporter detailing the social impact of the casino industry on county residents. In 1986 he joined Atlantic County government as a coordinator in the Office on Aging. He later became a supervisor in the Adult Protective Services Unit where he helped protect residents from abuse, neglect and exploitation. As the coordinator of the Atlantic County Human Services Advisory Council he also helped identify services and funding to meet the unmet needs of county residents. He has served in his current position since 2001 where he is also responsible for administering emergency assistance programs and intervention to at-risk families.