March is Social Worker Appreciation Month: Thank You Wayside Staff!
Dear Wayside Staff,
March is national social worker appreciation month, during which we recognizes all Wayside staff who work with our children and families, along with the excellent administrative support teams here at Wayside.
Over the next few months Guimel DeCarvalho, our Director of People and Culture and Chief Diversity Officer, Amy Hogarth, our Director of Recruiting and Inclusion, and I will be visiting Wayside programs to express our appreciation for the great work you folks do each and every day. We will first be presenting a recent workforce analysis showing turnover, diversity and satisfaction data, and what more needs to be done.
We would then like to take some time to hear some of the great success stories that reflect the wonderful work you do, but which I fear go under-celebrated and under-appreciated.
We may also want to video some of you telling the stories so we can share these on social media and our website. And since we will only have so much time at each site, if people can send us stories/videos we will post them and share them throughout the agency and the external folks who care about the work we do.
Below is one such story of the remarkable work that is done here at Wayside(!) Cara Marolda, clinician at Lincoln Street worked with this family, and Jessica Kohlstrom, Framingham Lead Agency Program Director, was the service coordinator. The write-up is from Allison Parks, who supervised Cara at the time.
Mother is a 23 year old single Mother. She lost custody of her 4 year old daughter due to exposure to domestic violence in the home, Mother and Father (not married) utilizing substances, and neglect. The 4 year old was placed in a DCF foster home and before Mother lost permanent custody (Father is now incarcerated and child has no visitation), DCF put in FSS services for a Clinician to work with Mother around parenting skills, safety in the home, ensuring Mother was utilizing community supports and not under the influence.
Cara would meet with the Mother and her daughter during a visit and observe their interactions, support mother with identifying age appropriate activities and intervene as needed. Cara would then meet again with the Mother to process the visit, what went well and what are some areas to continue to work on. There was excellent collaboration between the DCF Social Worker, Cara and Jessica. As a team they supported this Mother’s efforts for reunification while being cautious of Mother’s ability to effectively and safely care for her daughter. This was a great example of working as a team with the Mother included in the direction of these services. She was motivated to have her daughter back and worked hard with Cara through weekly meetings and phone calls, being vulnerable with her challenges and hopeful for her future. Once the decision was made after 4 months of DCF FSS services, the daughter was returned home to Mother with continued oversight from DCF. Cara prepared Mother for the return of her daughter by assisting her with grocery shopping, child proofing the home and parenting support. Cara has since closed this case successfully after having been working with this mother for just over one year.
Such wonderful work by the young Mom, Cara, the Lincoln Street team who supports Cara and each other in this work, as well as Jessica from Wayside’s Framingham Lead Agency team who partnered with Cara and Mom !
I look forward to our sharing more such success stories over the upcoming months. Thanks for getting us going Cara, Jess, and Allison !