Oscar Drummond of Easton could not have imagined a year ago being awarded the 2012 Responsible Father of the Year Award by the Talbot County Department of Social Services. Drummond, who was unemployed for eight months, had fallen behind in his child support for an older child in Somerset County. He soon found himself in court for non-payment of that child support. As if that was not enough bad luck, Drummond became separated from his wife and children and his wife became very ill.
He recalls, “I was really stuck in a funk with my life. At one point after I separated from my wife, I was homeless and I went to Social Services to ask for food stamps to help me.”
That is when a miracle happened in Drummond’s life. Through the Department’s Child Support Program, Drummond met Emily Joiner, Talbot County’s Young Father’s/Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program (NPEP) Coordinator. Joiner helped Drummond enroll in NPEP, which provides one-on-one case management to help parents to become gainfully employed in order to be financially independent, support their children, and become good role models for the future generation.
Within one month of enrolling in the NPEP program, Drummond got a job locally. But, just as he began the slow climb back to regaining his life with his family, his wife became ill, having three surgeries in a year’s time and experiencing the deaths of her mother, her grandmother, and her aunt.
He comments, “If I had not had Emily Joiner in my corner, I don’t know if I could have stayed so determined to keep fighting. Her encouraging and supportive presence was an inspiration in my life. I am a determined person, but she made me more determined to see this through.”
Drummond got his child support arrearages paid in full and with the assistance of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, paid the first month’s rent on an apartment to reunite his family. His wife began her recovery process with Drummond at her side. Lashawnnia Drummond comments, “Oscar has grown tremendously through this process. He restored our marriage and our family. He has a determination in him that I have never seen before. I am very proud of him for this award.”
Drummond, who was promoted in his job this year, recently got an even better paying job to help support his family. He adds, reflecting on this past year’s journey, “My family is everything to me.”
For further information about the Talbot County Child Support Program or Young Father’s/Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program, contact Dawn Coleman, Child Support Supervisor, Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-4848.
In photo: Pictured holding his plaque for the 2012 Responsible Father of the Year is Oscar Drummond of Easton. Seated left to right are Oscar’s daughter, Jashawnnia Drummond, his wife Lashawnnia Drummond, and his son Sir Jashaun Drummond.