by: Bill Nunnally

Case manager's corner is Chief Quality & Performance Officer, Bill Nunnally's forum in which
to recognize various employees from case management organizations for their outstanding work.

Lead Case Manager Karina Escalera of Devereux is an outstanding case manager.  The pride she takes in her work, the support she brings to her team, and the strength with which believes in the children and families she works is everything we want in a case manager.  Recently, she was assigned to a case where prior case managers had found it difficult to build rapport with mother.  Mom was described as “combative and defensive”.  Karina’s genuine love and passion for people allowed her to build a bond with the mother and work with her toward reunification.  This parent’s respect for Karina is based on constructive feedback that has helped want to be a better parent to her son and be a productive and positive influence in his life.  Karina goes above and beyond with all of her families and she ensures that with every family she encounters she leaves a lasting impression.  Keep up the Great Work, Karina!

Danielle Meinke has been with One Hope United since July of 2016. She transferred from the training unit to 855 and has a full caseload. Danielle works hard and effectively. As soon as she feels as if she has a handle on her cases, she asks for more! Recently she was working with a mother and two daughters. The family became involved with the Department due to domestic violence perpetrated on the mother by one of the children’s fathers. Danielle spent hours putting together police reports, FSFN case notes, family court orders, and a timeline of events as a testimonial of the mother’s protective caregiver capacities and the actions she took to keep her children safe from the perpetrator. Due to Danielle’s hard work, the dependency petition was dismissed by CLS. The mother and her girls will now be relocating to North Carolina so they can be closer to their support systems and get on with their lives. Awesome work, Danielle! This is the kind of work that changes lives.

Families love working with Ana Cruz of Neighbor to Family.  She receives glowing reviews on the NTF client satisfaction surveys.  Families report that Ana is always polite, caring, responsive and a pleasure to work with overall.  Ana is diligent in terms of her work and never leaves a stone unturned when it comes to connecting families with needed resources.  In addition, she goes above and beyond her expected job duties.  Some examples of this include attending court hearings with a family as a support (at their request - even though they had a dependency case manager) and translating for a service provider to ensure clear communication and expectations so that the needs of the family could best be addressed.  Ana is equally adored by her NTF colleagues.  We all enjoy seeing Ana’s smiling face, cheery attitude and can-do attitude at the office.  She is always willing to assist her coworkers as needed. Thank you, Ana, for everything you are doing for our families.

Cris Allphin has been with the Gulf Coast family for close to a year. In this short time he has made an impact on the families he serves and his co-workers. He has positive relationships with the families and goes into each case with an open mind.  His co-workers describe him as always having a positive attitude. He is always willing to assist and support new people joining the team to include allowing them to shadow, assisting with tasks, or simply encouraging them. He is awesome! There is nothing that rattles Cris. He is always one of the first to volunteer to assist with anything. Along with all this, he brings a great sense of humor to the office. Thank you, Cris……our families are better off because you’re here.


Specials recognition goes out to DCM Vereuch Simmons and Dependency Specialist Evelyn Padro of Children’s Home Society for the work they are doing with Parents as Partners.


This group commenced in January 2017, with its primary purpose aimed at carrying the message of successful reunification and healing to the parents who are currently separated from their children. The group provides each member with the opportunity to share and to hear the experience of other parents who are learning to provide a safe and healthy environment for their children. The group also provide a setting in which a newcomer can identify with parents who successfully been through the dependency process and find an atmosphere of encouragement.


The parents have defined the mission of the group as an agent that provides encouragement, advice and advocacy to parents going through dependency. Parents as Partners has held several capacity building sessions that addressed topics such as handling domestic violence, parenting children with special needs, managing behaviors at reunification and understanding the dependency process. Parents are given the opportunity to decide on the topics that they need assistance with and control the general programming and direction of the group. Future topics include money/credit management, school issues, parenting, and a whole host of other topics that our families need to know.


This is a very special project and Vereuch and Evelyn are to be commended for helping get it off the ground.

Thanks to everyone listed in Case Manager’s Corner and to all of our front line team members who are out there every day doing the work. This system just doesn’t work without you. Thanks to all of you for everything you do every day.