The Annual Chefs for Gemma Benefit a Success!

Reflections from Our Staff

We recently asked some of our dedicated team members to share reflections on what they find most rewarding about their job working with at-risk youth and families. We share a some of their inspiring answers here.

A FOSTER FAMILY CARE Case Manager  reflected: “I didn’t choose child welfare; child welfare chose me. My most favorite part of my job is assisting or advocating for my foster parents and the children/youth. Sometimes it can be challenging for foster parents and youth. My role is to and help them feel supported and not alone. The most rewarding part of my job is the child/youth find permanency, whether returning to their home or through adoption or permanent legal custody.”

A Case Manager in the IN HOME PROTECTIVE SERVICES (IHPS) program shares: “The most rewarding part my job is when I can assist a family that has struggled with their Family Service Plan Goals be able to convince them to have faith in the plan itself and to believe that the services provided will ultimately help stabilize the overall family dynamic, which in turn will either allow the family to remain intact or be reunified.”

A Reading Assistant in MARTIN LUTHER SCHOOL (MLS) stated: “The most rewarding part of my job is when my students show me they learned something. My passion for helping people is what drew me to my position as a Reading Assistant. Ever since I was a little girl, I would say I want to be a nurse or a teacher when I grow up. Now Martin Luther School (Gemma) has given me that opportunity to teach and help children.”

Our Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services recently stated: “I was drawn to Gemma because of its innovative therapy program that focused entirely on children and their families.” A Program Supervisor in the same program shared: “I always knew I was a helper at my core. Once I determined that social work was my passion, I have been determined to help provide high quality mental health services to underserved populations. Helping people feel heard is personally the most rewarding part of being a social worker. Helping people to feel understood or seen can be invaluable. I feel so grateful to be able to do this work.”

Our Adoption and Permanency Services Supervisor recently said: “It is a privilege to accompany the children and families we serve on their path to permanency through Adoption or Permanent Legal Custodianship, and remarkably gratifying to experience fulfillment of their dreams of a forever family. Gemma shows tremendous commitment in supporting the permanency journey for children in foster care, and I am grateful to be able to make a positive, transformative, and enduring impact for children in need of loving families.” We are honored to do this work.

A Mental Health Worker in our Family Based Mental Health Services shared. “My favorite part about working as a Gemma Family Based clinician is the joy and feeling of happiness when a family successfully graduates from the program. Knowing that you and your team have supported the family’s progress and encouraged them to utilize their coping skills is a great feeling. Inspiring our families from the ground up and creating healthy attachment is the most rewarding part of my job.”

A Family Empowerment Center (FEC) Supervisor shared: “The favorite part of my job is working with my colleagues. They inspire and motivate me to be a better supervisor, a better professional, and a better person overall. I also like the teamwork and relationships within the Family Empowerment Center. We work as a team through the good and the bad, and we encourage each other to persevere so we can continue to provide quality services to the families we serve. I had previously worked for the agency and had a great experience. After completing my graduate work, I wanted to return to that sense of family that was dedicated in making a difference.”

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Clinical Director recently reflected: “Knowing that I would be working with children young enough to still have a chance to change their way of thinking, which ultimately could change the way that they view themselves from negative to positive, drew me to this field. My favorite part of working in the Residential Treatment Program is providing a safe and healthy environment for children to learn appropriate coping strategies when they feel angry, upset, or scared. The most rewarding part is seeing children that I worked with become successful adults.”

Supervisor in the Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program stated: “Being raised in inner city Philadelphia, I saw the need for young children and teens to have a mentor, father figure, or big brother in their lives. I was blessed to have both parents raise me. I also know that many children do not have the luxury of having both parents and good role models. I wanted to make myself accessible to be a positive role model and hopefully make a difference in at least one child’s life.”

When asked what drew her to work at Gemma, the Recreation Therapist in the Residential Treatment Program shared: “Gemma Services’ mission of promoting hope and healing through holistic care is what drew me to this position. As the Recreation Therapist, I am able to utilize the children’s interests as a treatment avenue. One of the favorite aspects of my career is modifying those interests that naturally evoke feelings of happiness in the children and teaching them ways to intentionally use them as a coping strategy. It is very rewarding to see the children learn to use the things that interest them in ways that enhance their health and safety.”