Case Manager's Corner Spring 2016

Heartland for Children would like to thank the following individuals for their outstanding service to children and families in Circuit 10 this quarter.

Graneshia Glover, Children's Home Society

Graneshia Glover has been employed with Children’s Home Society for over 4 years. In that time, she has proven to be one of the most sincere and dedicated case managers in the entire system of care. Even with all the incredibly complicated and multi-faceted tasks that a case manager faces each day, Graneshia has managed to shine – even while often carrying a caseload twice the size of many of her peers!! She recently completed her nursing degree. Even though she could step away from case management at this time to pursue nursing, she has decided to stay here and answer this calling. We’re glad she made that decision, and we’re glad she’s in our circuit. Graneshia epitomizes everything we love to see in a case manager.

Rebecca Distler, One Hope United

Becky is working with a young boy who has serious mental health and behavior issues. He recently ran away from his group home and had to be moved to a new foster care placement. Becky spent the better part of three days ensuring that this  child transitioned smoothly to his new home, had a supervised visit with his mother (even though she lives over two hours away from her son), ensured the child attended the court hearing at his own request, completed numerous pages of paperwork to attempt to place the child in a therapeutic foster home, accompanied the child to an intake with a mental health professional, enrolled him school, and spent countless hours ensuring his safety and well-being. Becky did all of this in three very long days while handling all of her other cases. Her dedication to this child and to all the families she serves is remarkable!

Drake Sherwood, One Hope United

Drake Sherwood passed his pre-service post-test only three months ago and is managing a full caseload with One Hope United in Sebring. Drake has already demonstrated his dedication to the children and families that he serves. One particular case involves a biological father that is not the legal father of the child in care. Although this father is not technically a part of the case, Drake has worked tirelessly for the past three months to assist this man in accessing services and establishing paternity. Despite meeting resistance and encountering obstacle after obstacle, Drake has not given up. This is not behavior limited to only one of Drake’s cases, and his passion for his work is evident in his everyday activities. OHU is extraordinarily lucky and proud to have a Case Manager of Drake’s caliber. Thank you, Drake!

Darby Barwick, One Hope United

For good reason, Darby is one of the best known people in our entire circuit. She never refuses to help with any project that comes her way. She participates in the Legal Workgroup as well as the FTC Workgroup. It seems that anytime anyone needs anything, Darby is willing to pitch in. Not only does she help out, she does so with an infectiously positive spirit. She’s led the way on Methodology and has become one of our true experts. She continues to advise us and help us work through every issue that comes up. She is one of the people primarily responsible for teaching the rest of us how to convert a legacy case to Methodology. And now our SOC is receiving accolades from all over the state for being the first CBC to come to near complete conversion. There are really not enough superlatives to describe Darby’s commitment to this work and esteem that we all hold for her. We’re just really glad you’re here, Darby!!

Nicole Valle, Devereux Florida

From a court observation: Devereux Case Manager Nicole Valle was alternating talking to the mother and father (who don’t speak to each other).  Father has the children.  Case plan is just for mom.  One of the kids is grounded by dad from using her cell phone from calling anyone (including her mom).  The case manager talked to the dad and encouraged him to allow the child to call the mother.   The CM explained to dad that if the situation was different and the child was with mom and grounded that the dad would still want to talk to his own child so it’s best not to use that as punishment.  The father agreed to it but I was so impressed with how the case manager empowered dad to make the decision instead of just demanding he let the child call mom.  Wow, Nicole!! That’s true family engagement!!

Tim Boykins, Devereux Florida

Tim Boykins, Independent Living Life Coach, is truly the epitome of an all-around Case Manager. Tim wears many hats around Devereux, extending from a Life Coach, to a Security Guard, a Cook, a Mechanic, a Handy-Man….the list can go on and on. Even outside of his IL Duties, his willingness to help others whenever in need is priceless. Tim has been an employee of Devereux for 10 years and has received numerous recognitions for his exemplary work, including a recent recognition in January 2016 by Heartland for Children for his current role as an Independent Living Life Coach. Tim, we acknowledge & appreciate you!

Michelle Yates, Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services

Gulf Coast would like to recognize Michelle Yates for her commitment and dedication in finding permanency and building rapport with all of her families and caregivers.  Michelle has advocated strongly, ensuring that all professional parties complete tasks in a timely manner and makes certain that the needs of her cases are met.  Michelle has found permanency for more than half of her case load in the last 6 months sometimes absorbing cases that have been around for a long while.  Michelle thinks outside the box and knows how to respectfully push for things to get done so that cases reach permanency and children in her care find stability whether in the care of the parents or the caregivers they are with. She is a great asset to Gulf Coast!!

Sharie Ortiz, Neighbor to Family

Sharie Ortiz is Neighbor to Family’s Intake Screener.  While Sharie’s role with the family is typically limited to the first meeting or “intake” with Neighbor to Family, her impact on families is long-lasting.  She builds such great rapport with families that they often refer to her as their “case worker” and want Sharie to be the ongoing Family Care Manager. Recently, Sharie met with a mother and her 2 young children.  As a result of behaviors related to mental health issues, this mother had estranged the few natural supports that she had.  The mother did not have stable housing and was staying with a friend at the time of the NTF screening meeting.  The following day, the mother called Sharie in a panic, stating that she needed to leave her friend’s house and had no place to go.  Sharie returned her call and asked her if she would be willing to consider a local women’s shelter for herself and her children.  When mom agreed, Sharie took action to coordinate the placement for the mother and her children.  Within a matter of hours, the mom relocated to the women’s shelter.