Case Manager's Corner by: Bill Nunnally

One Hope United

The One Hope United Leadership Team wants to send a Shout Out to some of their seasoned CM’s who have been beneficial in supporting trainees currently in pre-service. CM Tammy Cleveland and CM Leads Bruce Garver and Drake Sherwood have helped out tremendously with the structured field days.  They are always willing to schedule something for the trainees and we hear such positive feedback of how much the trainees learn.  They never hesitate to jump in and help, and are responsive to these requests for assistance.  Thanks to all of you!


Kelly Valk:  Clinical Engagement Specialist at Neighbor to Family

Since joining Neighbor to Family in April 2016, Kelly has quickly become a great source of clinical knowledge in her work with NTF families.  Not only does she work directly with parents and their children in-home providing mental/behavioral health counseling, Kelly has also started completing mental health assessments for families in the community, identifying their needs in order to get the appropriate services in place.  Kelly consistently sees what is needed for the families that NTF works with and steps in with a great attitude to provide any help she can.


LaShandra Thomas West:  Family Care Manager at Neighbor to Family

Lashandra is dedicated to helping her clients succeed. She will not give up on the families she works with, and encourages them not to give up on themselves. She lifts them up to stay motivated to keep working towards improving their lives and the lives of their families. She challenges her families, with respect and kindness always at the forefront.  Families tell us that they feel better after she visits, and that they believe that they can succeed. She wants what is best for her clients, and her work reflects this value.


Lauren Wolf:  Family Care Manager at Neighbor to Family

If you ask Lauren about being a Family Care Manager at Neighbor to Family, she will most likely reply “I love my job!”  Lauren recently worked with a family whose child had been in a residential placement and was returning home.  The family expressed anxiety about the child’s return and thought that the child would either run away from home or be Baker Acted within the first few days of return.  Lauren visited the home three or more times per week and coordinated with a NTF Clinical Engagement Specialist to meet several times per week with the family as well.  She coordinated with other agencies and community partners to exhaust all efforts in terms of supporting the family.  When the family was upset and needed assurance, explanations and help Lauren was there within the hour to assist.  Lauren worked with the family for several months, during which time the child was neither Baker Acted nor ran away.  Lauren has also assisted family members through the Family Court process when concurrent custody is being sought. 


Kathy Sangster- Senior Case Manager, Gulf Coast Unit 35.

Kathy is totally committed to her families and assists with taking them to appointments and court hearings. She will take them to employment opportunities and to look for housing options – anything it takes to help them complete their case plans.  She advocates not only for her children on her case load but also for the parents.  As the Senior Case Manager for the Unit she also offers support to her coworkers and assists with mentoring new staff. Kathy’s name constantly comes up around the system of care as one those quiet people who just goes out and does the right thing for families without seeking any recognition for herself.


Katherine Galvis, Certified Case Manager, Devereux

Katherine has been with Devereux for almost 3 years.  She recently became the Lead CM for Unit 828 as she shows exceptional leadership qualities. She is a mentor to her co-workers and she goes above and beyond for her families.  Katherine also has a teen who is a victim of human trafficking that she has worked diligently to locate.  Due to her efforts the child was located and placed in a CSEC home.  Although the child has run again, Katherine continues her efforts to work with the child and the family so that she is located and can find permanency that is agreeable to her and will prevent her from wanting to run again.  Katherine also has had a case with 7 children that has been open for about 3 years.  Six, (YES 6!) of the children were in foster care but due to her diligent efforts she was able to get 5 of the children out of foster care and with non-relatives.  Katherine Galvis is a DEVEREUX SUPERSTAR!


Kristina Goderich, Children’s Home Society

Kristina Goderich started with Children’s Home Society in June 2015.   With a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, she originally had her sites on making a difference in the world of law enforcement through the FBI, however she turned her career sites on protecting children and finding permanency for families in the dependency field.  She obtained her dependency case manager certification in June 2016.  She is well known for being hard working and dedicated.  She sometimes gives off a hard exterior however she has a big heart and it is clear that she would do anything for her families.  Although she is still fairly new to the field, she has shown herself able to handle the stress, fast pace, and higher caseloads that are often associated with the case management position, while rarely ever making complaints.  She also frequently tries to put herself in the shoes of her clients in an effort to understand where they are coming from or struggling with.  Kristina She truly is a positive force in the dependency universe.


Vereuch Simmons, Children’s Home Society

Vereuch Simmons is currently a DCM Trainee with Children’s Home Society.  Originally from Trinidad, and with a background helping communities through his work with the United Nations, he completed pre-service training in May, 2016 and has hit the ground running with a heart for helping his clients find permanency.   Vereuch has inherited many older cases in which the LOS was greater than 12 months, as well as many cases with children in therapeutic placements. He has played an essential role in advocating for the needs of his children, and linking their parents to appropriate service providers in order for his families to be reunified. It is noteworthy that Vereuch has a particular teen that has been in and out of care since 2003. This teen had previously been extremely resistant to services, and has a history of consistently running away for several months at a time. Vereuch was able to establish a connection with the teen, who is now open to working with providers in an effort to make a lifestyle change. Vereuch travels out of circuit often, to ensure this youth is aware that he has a support system in place.  Vereuch has exemplary communication skills, and is an asset to our agency, as well as the families that he serves.


Thank you to all of these awesome representatives from their agencies and to everyone who’s out there every day doing amazing work.