Each March, during Social Work Month, Seniorlink celebrates the many social workers who are making important contributions at our company, across our nation, and in our local communities. Social workers tend to wear many hats while solving the tough problems vulnerable populations in our communities face. At Seniorlink, our care managers, often with social work backgrounds, support family caregivers by providing them and their loved one with resources and support to ensure their loved one may receive proper care at home and stay in their communities.
This March, we're highlighting a few of Caregiver Homes (Seniorlink's in-home intensive care model) all-star care managers who make large contributions to family caregivers, their communities and Seniorlink.
Fabieny De Pina has worked as a social worker for the past four years. After interning with Big Brothers Big Sisters in college and working with social workers she became inspired and knew she wanted to make a career out of helping people. When asked about her time at Caregiver Homes, she shares some of her favorite moments.
"What I like most about working with caregivers is the ability to become more than a case manager. They accept you into the family with open arms which makes supporting them an immense pleasure. My best memory at Caregiver Homes was the first time I visited one of my patients, she appeared very down and reported not having gotten out of bed in the last couple of days. I challenged her to meet me on the first floor for our next visit. When I arrived for the next visit I walked into the living room and there she was smiling and proud to report that she made it down for me.
I'm proud to advocate for those who are unable to do so for themselves. I've had many experiences where I needed to step in and stop unfair treatment due to language barriers, or easy dismissals from care providers due to patients being unable to advocate their needs."
Misti Leverton, LBSW, has been a social worker for almost eight years. She shares some of her favorite memories helping others, which inspired her to become a social worker.
"I’ve always had a heart for helping others. As I look back on my life, some of my best memories revolve around the impact I had on others. From regular visits with an elderly neighbor at a young age, to lending an ear and offering encouraging words to a co-worker in need. One of my favorite parts of being a Care Manager at Caregiver Homes is the raw, vulnerable moments I experience with families, it's an honor to be a part of that. I work hard to build trust and rapport with my families which makes difficult conversations such as end-of-life care coordination a little easier.
My proudest moment as a social worker was seeing a consumer complete a task that we worked on regularly. I can still see the smile on her face when after six months she accomplished the first objective towards her long-term goal of being able to do her own laundry without assistance."
Brianna Doughtry, LCSW, spent 10 years in nonprofit work and became inspired to become a social worker after seeing communities where residents are often underrepresented and misunderstood. She now advocates for people whose voices are often unheard.
"Family caregiver's jobs are at times, a silent, thankless one, and I enjoy giving support and validation where it is needed most. I'm proud that I'm able to champion a cause that is important to our families and watch their lives change for the better, no matter how small."
Karen Smith Taljaard, MSW, LSW, has been a social worker for 32 years and shared why she was inspired to become a social worker.
"I was drawn to a career in social work due to early years in the Methodist church. My mother was greatly involved in visiting shut-ins, seniors and disabled people in the church as I followed behind her. I watched her take care of my grand-parents as a caregiver for many years and acknowledge the interest that she performed in such a loving and thoughtful manner.
As a past caregiver to my parents, I respect the tenacity and spirit that it takes to do the tasks every day. I enjoy watching their growth in knowledge and skill building."