Marcia Parker, the director of Marshall County Department of Human Resources since 2012, is retiring.

She announced it to her staff last week.

Her last day is Feb. 28. No replacement has been named for Parker. That will come later from the state DHR in Montgomery.

Parker, who grew up in Arab, was also director of Blount County DHR before taking over the Marshall County office.

Parker said it’s just time.

“I think I’ve paid my dues, so to speak,” she told the Tribune. “I want to spend more time with my family, and work gets in the way of that sometimes. I also want to do some things that I want to do.”

Parker and her husband, Lonnie, live near Warrenton.

Parker said of her time at Mashall County that she’s most proud of the DHR staff working as a team.

“We are a team,” she said. “It’s definitely a team effort to do the work here, and I think that’s a great accomplishment.”

The other great accomplishment is the new building Marshall County DHR has. They moved into it in June 2017.

“It’s the first new building Marshall County DHR has ever had,” she said.

Cases that DHR work have become “harder” in the nearly 26 years of her career.

“It’s mainly because of the drugs – especially crystal meth,” she said. “That’s made a huge difference. I remember a time when our biggest worry for children was dirty houses and things like that.

“But the job is harder now,” she said. “It’s more dangerous than it used to be for our social workers. They never know what they are walking in to. It’s scary for them and it really scares me for them. I’m like a mother hen, I worry about them.”

For more on this story please pick up a copy of Saturday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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