Praise from Monroe County Caseworker

Email received by Karen’s supervisor:

Karen McKeownHi Amy,

I just want to let you know how much I ADORE Karen (McKeown). She is doing so well with the Kraft family. Mom and even the kids express enjoying their visits more and how they have so much fun during their visits. Karen also comes up with amazing suggestions for locations of visits. I feel like these kids are having high quality visits with their mom and also together.

I really appreciate all of the positive work Karen is doing with the family!!

Thank you,

Crystal Rivera
Monroe County Children and Youth Services

Thank you Crystal for the wonderful feedback!  Karen, we appreciate hearing about the great success our team shares with the families we serve.  Thank you for going the extra mile to ensure that these visits make a life lasting impact on the children and their mother.

Pike County: Clearing the Way to Learn!

Amanda ChapmanEmail received by Amanda’s regional director:

I just wanted to shoot you a quick email about the great Job Amanda Chapman did with the Torrey Family in the Wallenpaupack South Elementary school. I have been a police officer for over 26 years and now work for the Wallenpaupack School Police at the South School. I have dealt with many agencies in my years as a police officer and most of them have not been very satisfying.

Amanda did an amazing job with this family and having us all work together to help them when they were in need. I wish more people took their jobs to heart like she does. The family is doing well now and this would not be the case without the efforts of Amanda.

Way too often people are quick to write about the bad but never the good. This is why I felt I needed to give her a thumbs up and a pat on the back.

Matthew McCormack
SRO Wallenpaupack South School

Thank you Officer McCormack for the kind words. Amanda, you are an asset to the agency! We value your hard work and dedication to the families you serve.

A Note of Appreciation from Washington County Children and Youth Services!

A note received by Brittanie Wudkwych’s supervisor:

Brittanie Wudkwych

Alicia,

I wanted to send an email about Brittanie. She is such an awesome FRS and does so much for the families that she and I share. She is always available at the drop of a hat when things start to go wrong. She is always good with the families and a very calming effect and is super helpful to me as a caseworker. I can always count on her case notes to be very detailed and accurate. I look forward to the cases we share because I know I can count on her and that she is always just a phone call away to brain storm over the case and come up with plans that might be outside of the normal “CYS” box.

Just wanted to say thank you for having such an awesome FRS.

Amy Szymanski
Caseworker II
Washington County Children and Youth Services

Thank you Amy for the kind words and vote of confidence in our staff. Brittanie, we appreciate the “Whatever It Takes” attitude you present to every family you work with. You are an asset to our team!

JusticeWorks’ Lehigh County FGDM Team Receives Praise!

Email from Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth Service

Ashley and Whitney

Good Afternoon Mike,

I wanted to commend Ashley Jacoby and Whitney Berrio. The FGDM I attended this past Sunday, coordinated by Ashley and facilitated by Whitney was executed with a high degree of professionalism, to say the least. Whitney and Ashley were extremely prepared. Their preparedness allowed them to guide and redirect a heated moment in the FGDM to a positive outcome. Their ability to de-escalate and redirect these type of scenarios affirms their high degree of competence and skill. This is not the first FGDM I have observed by these two workers that resulted in positive outcomes for the family. Ashley and Whitney bring credit to themselves and their Agency for a Job well done!!!!

Respectfully,
Edwin Rodriguez, MSW
Casework Supervisor
Office of Children & Youth Services

Thank you Edwin for the kind words, we appreciate the great feedback! Thank you Ashley and Whitney, for your expertise and professionalism in providing FGDM for our JWYC families. Your teamwork and decisiveness led this conference to a successful outcome.

Congratulations Ty Kanouff: New Education Director for Compass Academy Lycoming

Ty KanouffGood afternoon,

We wanted to take a moment to recognize Compass Academy Lycoming Supervisor Ty Kanouff. Over the past year, Ty has been instrumental in the growth of Compass Lycoming in his supervisory position. He wears multiple hats in order to successfully manage a healthy alternative education setting. Ty shows up every single day and puts in maximum effort with the students in our program. He brings a huge personality that brightens the day of not only our students, but also our staff. He is tremendous for our culture and is a reason why many of us enjoy coming into work each and every day, especially for our students who have a history challenging relations with academics.

Ty started with JusticeWorks in April of 2015 as a Family Resource Specialist in Lycoming County, and was promoted to the Supervisor position in early 2016.

As a result of Ty’s contributions towards growing Compass Lycoming from 1 student on 1/29/16 to 34 students on 2/17/17, Ty has been promoted to Educational Director!

So please reach out to Ty and extend a congratulations to Ty, our new Educational Director!

‘A Pat on the Back’ for our Chester County Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Coordinator, Rebecca Piorko-Shelly from Chester County Children, Youth and Family Services!

Below is an email from a CYF Caseworker to Rebecca’s supervisor.

Rebecca Piorko-ShellyI had a FGDM meeting on Saturday which, I have to admit, thought was going to be a mess. The participants are grandparents taking care of young girls while we are trying to reunify the girls with mom.

This ended up being the best conference I have had!  Rebecca Piorko-Shelly was able to get it done with professionalism and respect to all members. There were a few negative things being said, but Rebecca was able to pull it back where it needed to be. The group listened carefully and knew what was happening at all times.

I can’t say enough about how good Rebecca was with the conference. She deserves a pat on the back!!

Thank you,

Jill Wade

Chester County Children Youth and Families

Thank you Jill for providing wonderful feedback.  Rebecca, we appreciate the high standard of care you provide to ensure positive outcomes for every family you work with.

Thanks to our President

Giving thanks to our President, Dan Heit!

*Michelle, thank you for the thoughtful note. I am thrilled to hear that you are taking full advantage of the benefits of the Compass Academy.

I look forward to hearing more about your future success.

Be well,
Dan

*Name changed due to confidentiality

Praise from Lehigh County Children and Youth

Megan BuehlerLetter received by Megan’s supervisor.

Mike,

I wanted to touch base with you about Megan Buehler.

I am so very happy and impressed with her interaction with Crystal*, I have met a few times with Megan and Crystal* together but today was particularly impressive. Crystal* can be trying at times and her mental health doesn’t always make it easy to interact. Megan is patient and a calming influence on Crystal*, at court today Crystal* stated to the Master that she appreciates and loves working with Megan and that she is helpful and she appreciates her.

I have been very lucky to have some very good caseworkers working with me from Justice Works and I believe that Megan is an asset to your agency.

Cheryl A Leddy MSW
Lehigh County Office of Children & Youth

Thank you Cheryl for the kind words.  Megan, we appreciate your hard work and caring attitude to all the individuals you serve.  Thank you for embracing the “Whatever It Takes” approach to supporting the community we serve!

A York County Teen Succeeds Against the Odds with Help from a Special Family Resource Specialist!

Tiffany NulphFamily Resource Specialist (FRS), Tiffany Nulph, embarked on a two-year journey when assigned to work on a youth referral to assist *Debra in achieving her academic goals, securing a permanent home, and ultimately system discharge.   The journey has not been easy as there were roadblocks along the way.  As with many children in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems, Debra had been placed in various foster care homes due to her mother’s inability to care for her, and her father’s incarceration.  Despite a rocky start, Debra began to show academic promise, was placed with a foster family that loved her and ultimately adopted her, and was accepted to a private school with no cost to the foster family.  All of these achievements would not have been possible without the diligent work of Tiffany Nulph, who went above and beyond what was asked of her to assist this young lady in achieving her dreams.  This is a shining example of JWYC making a difference in young lives.

We thank you, Tiffany, for being an exemplary employee of JusticeWorks YouthCare.  Your diligence and determination in assisting this young lady are extraordinary and we are proud to have you on the JWYC team!

*Name has been changed for privacy.

Wayne County Employee Receives Recognition from Children and Youth Services

KRISTEN MCANDREW OF WAYNE COUNTY!

Kristen received high praise from Wayne County Children and Youth Services during a monthly case meeting for November.  Kristen received a STOPP case, where a mom of a teenage girl had decided to give up on her daughter due to continued verbal and physical altercations.  The mother went to WCCYS with the intention to leave her daughter and forfeit parental rights.  WCCYS talked to the mother about JWYC, and subsequently submitted a STOPP referral.   The child’s mother did not expect much to change, due to the long history of the child running away from the home.  However, the mother agreed to give us a try, since WCCYS would not take the child into their custody.

Kristen immediately started working with the mother and daughter and in only 60 days, this partnership produced successful results.  Mother and daughter were spending more time together by communicating, eating dinner together, and enjoying the time they were spending together.  The daughter started asking her mother for ‘permission’ to spend time with her boyfriend, rather than running away to see him.  Kristen asked them to write letters to each other about their feelings for each other and what they mean to each other.  The very moving exercise had them in tears as they read the letters to each other.

During case reviews, Kristen was recognized by the WCCYS Administrators that she had ‘worked a miracle’ within 60 days with this family.   WCCYS will be closing the case as successful.

Thank you WCCYS for recognizing Kristen’s ability to engage this family for a successful outcome.   Thank you, Kristen, for your family engagement skills producing a successful outcome by diverting this family away from further system involvement.  Your contributions to the JWYC Mission are appreciated. 

Positive Feedback from Hillsborough County, Florida!

Email received from a teacher with Brandon Epic Center:

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and positive behavior experiences I have had with students because of JusticeWorks. I have had students make positive changes, from behavior to grades. I don’t know what you are doing to create this positive environment to encourage these students to want to exceed beyond their expectations (as well as mine). I am superbly impressed and appreciate the hard work and dedication you have instilled in these young peoples’ lives. Thank you.

We thank you for recognizing our staff’s experience and accomplishments with the students at Brandon Epic Center.  We are grateful for our JusticeWorks FL team.  

Pictured (L-R): Jose Borras-Osorio, Director; Albert Lee, Behavioral Specialist; Bianca Robertson, Behavioral Specialist; David Robinson, Behavioral Specialist

Restorative Practice in Adams County!

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