Ethel Mae Boggs, an adult services social worker for more than 28 years, has been named the recipient of the Anita S. Harbert Outstanding Achievement in Aging Award.

The award will be presented during the West Virginia University Division of Social Work’s Summer Institute on Aging June 9 at 11:45 a.m. at the Lakeview Resort & Conference Center in Morgantown.

Boggs began her employment with the W. Va. Department of Health and Human Services on May 17, 1974, in Child Protective Services and has worked in WVDHHR’s Adult Services section since January 1982.

“Ethel Mae Boggs is a shining example of a social worker who works day in and day out to protect and advocate for some of our most vulnerable citizens in West Virginia, the abused and neglected elderly,” said Susie Layne, a WVDHHR senior program specialist who nominated Boggs.

“She is a hard worker in a difficult field, yet she finds the strength to march on and serve – even after 28 years in Adult Services. It is an honor to recognize her as she is the quintessential “worker bee” for whom many people, quite literally, owe their lives.”

Boggs has a degree in Social Service Technology from Glenville State College.

In January of 1982 she began working in Adult Services. At that time she worked primarily with the Chore Program. She took and processed the applications, completed determination for eligibility and arranged training for chore service providers.

She moved up the ranks and in July 1984 worked with Adult Family Care services, chore services, health related services and information and referral.

In June of 1998 she was promoted to Adult Protective Service Worker. Currently she is the sole APS worker for Braxton and Clay Counties. She investigates all the adult abuse and neglect referrals in those counties. She also provides ongoing services to active APS cases.

She has had a record of perfect attendance for many years.

Boggs relishes her role as a social service provider to the elderly.

“Many people are lonely and have very few friends or family to assist them,” she says. “They often live in isolated areas and their needs are not being met simply because they are not aware of available services.”

Her ability to connect people with the help they need is rewarding to her. “Helping to get these folks linked with services or medical attention if needed is something that gives pleasure to me.”

Boggs and her husband, Doyle, have been instrumental in organizing the annual Adult Family Care Christmas Party at the Gassaway Baptist Church for the past 20 years. For several years she served on a local Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Board of Directors.
Boggs’ son is Brent Boggs, a West Virginia legislator.

Anita Harbert, Ph.D., founded the Summer Institute on Aging in 1977 as chair of the School of Social Work at WVU. Her vision was to launch an annual professional development conference to train social service practitioners in the field of aging, and her idea evolved into the Gerontology Center at WVU in 1978, now known as the Center on Aging.

To learn more about the Division of Social Work’s Summer Institute on Aging, visit



CONTACT: Jacki Englehardt, Coordinator of Professional and Community Education
304-293-3280; Jacki.Englehardt@mail.wvu

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