The national office of the Community Action Partnership has announced that Deborah Ferguson, Director of Outreach and Social Services and Willie Harris, Director of Housing Counseling and Development for the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area were two of 59 first-rate human services professionals nationally to receive the organization’s Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) credential this year. The new CCAPs will be honored Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the Awards Gala during the Partnership’s Annual Convention in New York.
“The CCAP credential reflects a mastery of many areas of knowledge about Community Action and social service delivery principles,” said John T. Donnellan, President & CEO of the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area. “The time commitment is almost overwhelming and both Deborah and Willie have devoted hundreds of hours toward earning the CCAP. We are all well-served by their achievement.”
Community Action managers and leaders from across the country that work with low-income individuals and communities earn the CCAP designation after demonstrating their Community Action acumen by completing a detailed assessment of their knowledge of poverty theories, causes, and remedies; ability to help low-income people achieve economic stability; and comprehension of the mission, vision and values of Community Action. To date, there are 442 CCAPs across the country representing rural, urban, and suburban Community Action Agencies.
Established in 1993, the CCAP program provides a structured and focused procedure for Community Action leaders and managers to prove their mastery of a wide-ranging body of knowledge covering theories on the causes and remedies of poverty and to assess how they are helping vulnerable people achieve economic security. Their understanding and comprehension of Community Action’s history, vision, and values are also measured. In order to successfully complete the process, individuals are required to provide an extensive record of their management and leadership skills and involvement in anti-poverty initiatives on the local, state, and national levels; develop a portfolio highlighting their education, training, and accomplishments, and pass a written exam.
As Director of Outreach and Social Services, Ferguson oversees programs that provide case management and family support services, emergency services and referrals, tax filing assistance, employment assistance services, and support services for local veterans. She also works with the agency’s Advocacy and Education Committee to influence laws, regulations and policies that benefit low-income communities and serves on several local boards and committees that address poverty issues.
Harris oversees the agency’s Homeowner Foreclosure Assistance Program that has helped hundreds of families prevent home foreclosure and eviction through a variety of refinancing strategies. In 2011, the program received a Best Practices in Community Action award from the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.