Career Story: Regional Director For An Adult Foster Care Program

Regional Director For An Adult Foster Care Program

Job Title: Regional Director/Social Worker

Type of Company: My company is a for-profit organization that provides elder care services. The specific program is a state-funded Adult Foster Care program.

Education: B.A. in Psychology •• Master of Social Work (MSW)

Previous Experience: Following earning my MSW, I have worked in various positions in the field of aging, including the Director of Social Services at long-term care facility and then as the Social Worker for a municipality.

Job Tasks: My overall responsibility is to direct and supervise all aspects of our Adult Foster care program for the Boston area. This includes oversight of Program Managers and staff, ensuring delivery of the program and compliance with state regulations, marketing and outreach, and budget oversight.

I work with the staff on client (one of the adults we help) and caregiver recruitment, dealing with client issues, providing clinical support to staff, and helping to problem solve as needed. It is my responsibility to be sure that our clients and caregivers meet the state requirements for our program.

My role also includes developing business relationships with vendors and working with state and federal agencies toward the development of a program to meet needs of specialized clients. I am presently working with agencies such as the Veteran's Administration and Department of Mental Health to collaborate to meet the needs of such clients in finding appropriate caregivers and ensuring all of these client's service needs are met. I am responsible for recruiting and hiring of staff, as well as training and orientation. I work with the staff on their professional goals, ongoing performance, and corrective action as needed.

As a Regional Director, I need to ensure for quality assurance for our client, caregivers, staff, and business partners and identifying best practices for our program (recommending system changes, updating policies).

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I enjoy the opportunity to work on behalf of elderly and disabled clients by offering them the opportunity to live in their own homes versus living in a long-term care facility. Our program provides their family members both financial and emotional support so that they can care for their family member in their home. I love that I work with clients and families from various backgrounds and in culturally and economically diverse areas. Since the program was new, it was initially a challenge to get the word out, but developing marketing skills became easier over time.

Job Tips:
1. In order to be able to be successful in a social services career, you need to take care of yourself. Set boundaries with your clients and as best you can, try not to take your work home with you.

2. You can only help those who wish to help themselves.

3. Always remember to start with where the client is. Ask the client to identify what he/she sees as the problem, and do not impose what you see as the problem.

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