Case Manager Corner: 11/13/2019


- Amnesha Willix at Devereux
- Michelle Ramirez, Chance O'Conner, Mayelin Quintero, Vira Thomas, Krystal Garza, Roger Vasquez, Angela Findley, Emily Virts, Lora King, Akeva Southall, & Shannon Simmons at OHU
- Carlos Nieves at CHS






Today’s visit with mom could have looked different, but it didn’t and here is why.

Received from a caregiver regarding DEV DCM Amensha Willix:

B has been our care for 5 weeks. We have heard nightmare stories of case managers- all covered with grace because they are “over worked and under paid”. I wasn’t sure if we were in a honeymoon stage for the first few weeks because we have had the exact opposite of these experiences we’ve heard about.

From day one Amensha has been attentive, thorough, and responsive to B’s specific needs. Today was exceptionally more than those three simple things that mean so very much to us as foster parents. Amensha picked B up today from daycare for his visit with his mom this morning. Unfortunately, B drank too much water at snack time preceding this and he projectile vomited all over himself in the car seat. Amensha sent me pictures- he was soaked, the car seat was covered and vomit was puddled. Amensha took him to our house, pulled the car seat out of the car to dump the vomit and wipe it down best she could. She undressed B, put him in the bath tub to scrub him down and dressed him. All the while, she is counting his toes, explaining to him every step, assuring him of his worth and telling him what is to come. She fortunately had a second car seat to use and off they went to the visit.

Amensha could have used a pack of baby wipes to clean him up a little, change his clothes and taken him to mom. But she didn’t. She could have just gone back to the daycare to grab the extra set of clothes and pawned the task on them. But she didn’t. She could have called me convinced that B was sick and cancelled the visit. None of those things were enough.

What Amensha did took extra time. It took a lot of effort. It was gross. It was the road less traveled and less chosen. It looked outside of her job description. It focused on Brantley’s specific needs. She acted as though he were hers and in the mind frame of “how would I feel as mom?” And that is what makes her and this situation so remarkable. My husband and I commend Amensha for her incredible work with our family and Brantley. She is the definition of intentionality. Amensha is an asset to this work.

Email sent by Debbie LaBeouf of HFC to Michelle Ramirez, Director of OHU:

Good morning Michelle,

I just had to take a moment and send along a ginormous thank you to a couple of your staff – Chance O’Conner and Mayelin Quintero!! Yesterday, while at the OHU Bartow office the caregivers support group was scheduled, but as you know the elevators were not working. I asked people in the building if there was a room downstairs that would be available and that was met with many “sorry, none available.” I had considered bringing the group over to Heartland but that would have taken a huge amount of time to contact the caregivers and it just wasn’t an option. With a large amount of food to bring up to the third floor (and it happened to be  a day where it was VERY heavy boxes) I was convinced it would take me at least four hours to bring the food upstairs. So I began my mission…and within a short time, an angel appeared!! Chance! She took her shoes off and started transporting the boxes up the three flights of stairs with me. Believe me, those 69 steps were getting longer and longer….Almost two hours later, we were just about done…and then Mayeln came over and also helped us along. What a wonderful heart these two ladies have…and I am so grateful they took the time out of their crazy, busy schedules to help.

KUDOS to them!!!

Other Kudos for OHU Staff:

Sharing the great work done by Family Support Specialist Vira Thomas. Vira is especially connected to the teens we serve and has recently assisted in developing a supportive bond and relationship with two young ladies on the cusp of becoming adults. She spends time with them and mentors them on life choices which may support their future goals.

Also Krystal Garza and her team members Roger Vasquez and Angela Findley, who were able to move six children from licensed care on one Court day. Three of those involved reunification with moms who are sisters and had significant barriers to moving the kids back in the home.

Shout outs to three of our Polk staff who have been connecting with their teen girls while in the midst of placement and transportation matters. The connection to these girls and their trauma needs has been demonstrated by Emily Virts and Lora King.

Lastly, thanks to Akeva Southall and Shannon Simmons who paired together to transport one of our youth to her new out of State placement. Shannon stepped in to support her fellow OHU member and they successfully made the trip and worked with HFC and CLS in navigating the placement.


Carlos Nieves has been employed with Children’s Home Society for a little over a year. Ever since he was a brand new DCM Trainee, we was in the field providing exceptional service to the parents and children on his case load. A few months ago, he became fully certified and has continued his passion for the families in our community through his work.  Carlos is the first person to volunteer to help another case manager in need and is also the go to person for any shadowing opportunity for CLS and the GAL office. Carlos knows how to turn small resources into big ones and is consistently holding meetings in his cubical with his peers, where he routinely assists new case managers and veteran case managers alike. Carlos is always available for questions and is looking for the best way to assist his clients. Carlos is the biggest advocate for his children and does whatever is needed to assist in finding permanency for his children. One thing that few know about Carlos, is that he has a deep desire to become a doctor and intends to go back to school to pursue that career choice.  Carlos is a glowing example of what a case manager should aspire to be in terms of accountability, responsibility, and initiate in the field of child welfare.  He is without question, an asset to our Children’s Home Society team.