courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 227,000 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as chief administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government operates on a $392 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2018 and ends June 30, 2019, serving more than 227,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the county to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the county’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the county manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as assistant county manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Mr. Coudriet has nearly twenty-five years of public administration experience, with more than a decade as a county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message: Social Workers Advocate, Support and Encourage

Posted March 21, 2018 at 11:08 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet

March is National Social Worker Month, and New Hanover County has an incredible team of social workers that serve our community every day.

Their compassion, support and assistance make a difference in the lives of children, families and seniors throughout our county. You may not come into contact with them in your day-to-day life but I can assure you they are always there, and they are protecting the most vulnerable in our community.

New Hanover County employs 130 social workers at the Department of Social Services (DSS), eight at the Public Health Department, and four at the Senior Resource Center. These dedicated public servants create bridges in our community between families and the services they need. They provide much-needed encouragement and support by genuinely listening, talking through possible solutions, and providing assistance during difficult and chaotic times. We couldn’t provide the services our residents need and deserve without them.

DSS social workers investigate claims of abuse or neglect, assist foster families who have children in their care, and help households that need emergency financial assistance. They provide case management for older or disabled adults who want to live at home and assist noncustodial parents to build relationships with their children and meet their child support obligations.

Last fiscal year, DSS social workers touched the lives of more than 4,600 people in our community. Of those, 3,000 were children during investigations for abuse or neglect, 280 were children placed into foster care, and 54 were adopted children. They also served 347 families with in-home services, 553 adults during investigations of abuse, neglect or exploitation, 154 adults to whom DSS is guardian, and 232 adults who received health support, individual and family adjustment and/or Special Assistance In-Home services.

New Hanover County social workers also work one-on-one with parents with substance use disorders to maintain the parental bond and expedite reunification through therapy, parent training and substance use disorder treatment. And they make valuable and life-saving connections in the community, participating and partnering with more than 40 community groups and advisory committees.

The county’s Public Health social workers make a difference in the social and emotional wellbeing of pregnant women, children and families in our community. They provide important services through the care coordination of services for children and specialized evidence-based therapies, and by linking families to assistance that will meet the specific needs of the child. They also act as pregnancy care managers to help women through pregnancy with prenatal care for the mother and baby.

From going to prenatal visits with expectant moms and helping to coordinate care for the mother across multiple providers to acting as an intermediary for families who have children with long-term medical conditions or families who are dealing with challenging levels of stress, these social workers put the child and the family first. Last year, they served as sounding boards, experts and advocates for 1,650 children and families in New Hanover County.

The Senior Resource Center’s social workers provide quality and responsive services to more than 1,600 older adults and their families each year. Their goal is to promote social, physical, economic and emotional well-being, while encouraging maximum independence and improving their quality of life.

Their home-based services allow seniors to stay in their homes longer, and just last year, they assessed 584 homebound seniors for the home delivered meals program. They are a resource for seniors’ health independence, protection, advocacy and community enrichment.

Social workers connect older adults with transportation, long-term planning, and housing services, as well activities and congregate meals at the center. They provide a vital link for seniors with community organizations to help with behavioral health, hospice, legal services, home repairs and more. Social workers assist family caregivers with information, respite services and support to maintain their own well-being while caring for their loved one.

I could go on about the outstanding, quality services our county’s social workers provide, but I think you get it. Their work is making an impact in remarkable ways each day, and we are fortunate to have these heroes in New Hanover County.

So, I hope you join me in thanking a social worker this month – and every day – for their advocacy, support and encouragement that improve lives and strengthen our community.


Manager’s Message: Advancing New Hanover County’s Strategic Priorities

Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:18 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet The need to plan for the county’s future, to create a road map for setting measurable targets and achieving them, is the basis for New … Read More »


Manager’s Message: Advancing Our Success into 2018

Posted January 19, 2018 at 10:44 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet New Hanover County had a good 2017, and I am looking forward to another productive year in 2018. I am confident the county will continue … Read More »


Change Agents on a Mission

Posted December 22, 2017 at 9:13 am

It is the end of 2017 and I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the more than 1,700 dedicated county employees who work hard, serve our citizens … Read More »


Investing In Early Childhood Education Creates Long-Term Benefits

Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:30 am

Providing every child with a strong foundation for learning matters. Research suggests that quality pre-kindergarten and educational readiness lead to increased high school graduation rates, higher earnings, less crime and a … Read More »