Project Assistant Southeast Kansas Family Care Treatment Project I have always worked on grants and find it exciting changing jobs every three to five years. I have worked on research programs with young children with severe and multiple disabilities concentrating on language, self help and vocational skills. I worked for the Title One Program and The Special Purpose School at PSH&TC and for three years for the University of Oregon under Tom Bellamy on vocational training packages that were marketed to consumers. I have also worked for Greenbush on various projects from on-the-job vocational training to assistive technology and teaching students with behavior disorders in the Science Center. Before coming to work with the Family Care Treatment Project, I was the coordinator for a 4-county, in-school volunteer mentoring program called YouthFriends.
The most important aspect of my job is that I call project parents/foster parents on a daily basis to collect behavioral data about our clients. After meeting with parents and observing clients in home and school settings, project therapists compile a list of questions that cover behavioral areas the parents want to address and behaviors they want to see changed. All the questions are stated in a positive manner so parents are looking for appropriate behavior as opposed to inappropriate behavior. I collect the data and the therapists graph the data to evaluate if the behavior programs they have developed for the parents to implement are working. These graphs are distributed to the parent so they can also see their child's progress.
I think calling the families on a daily basis builds a relationship between the family contact person and our project so families feel comfortable in opening up to me and trusting me with issues related not only to their child but to their life in general. Sometimes I can be the ear they need or their sounding board.
Reinforcing the parents for being consistent in working with their child and dealing appropriately with the targeted behaviors helps to let them know they are on the right track and gives them confidence that they can handle their child and make a change in their child's behavior.
Obviously, if the parents are on board and following our program, they, as well as their child, benefit. Parents and children get along better and enjoy being with each other. Parents understand why their child is reacting the way they are and understand that behaviors can be changed through consistency and their appropriate modeling, but it may be a long process.
The most rewarding experience was working with a great foster family with three foster siblings and during that time all three were placed in homes with plans for adoption. Happy ending!!!
I graduated from Pittsburg State University with a BS in Social Science with an emphasis on Social Work. I have graduate hours from the University of Kansas with an emphasis in Students with Special Needs and graduate hours from Pittsburg State University, Vocational Special Needs Certification K-12.
I am married to Bill, for 21 years. I have a 29 year-old stepson, Brett and we have two dogs, Micki and Moose. I am a huge KU basketball fan!!! I have two great nieces and a great nephew in KC that I love visiting as often as I can!