Child welfare case managers lead very stressful, busy lives caring for society’s most vulnerable children and families. Every family on their caseloads has unique complexities and considerations, making it even more important to recognize exceptional work. Additional coverage at Daily Commercial.
Kelly Thompkins, a caseworker in the Tavares office of the Children’s Home Society, is a shining example of an exceptional case manager, and for excellence in service delivery, she was awarded the National VERONICA Award by the Superstar Foundation. The award was presented in a Publisher’s Clearinghouse-style presentation on Wednesday December 16.
“I’m just overwhelmed and shocked,” shared Kelly.
The Children’s Home Society (CHS), through a contract with Kids Central, provides dependency services to children in Lake, Hernando and Sumter Counties. CHS is responsible for providing case management services to the children and families involved in the formal dependency system, as well as in-home non-judicial cases. CHS is devoted to protecting and healing children along with building and strengthening families.
“We believe our Children’s Home Society of Florida team is the best of the best, and Kelly truly exemplifies that,” says Children’s Home Society of Florida CEO Michael J. Shaver. “It’s truly an honor to serve Florida’s children alongside such dedicated individuals, and I’m thrilled that Kelly has earned this incredible national recognition for her dedication and great work.”
For over three years, Kelly has served CHS as a dependency case manager supervisor. Kelly was recognized for her impact in the lives of the children and families she serves, such as when she volunteered to travel to Miami to spend three days with an infant in need of a transplant. Since the transplant, she has returned to Miami periodically to visit the baby and has arranged monthly travel and stay for the baby’s father so he could visit his child.
“I’m honored to receive this recognition,” said Kelly. “Having children of my own, I know the importance of positive guidance in the life of a child and I’m proud to be there for the children and families I serve each day.”
“We are proud of our partnership with Children’s Home Society of Florida and are excited to make the Superstar Award available to exceptional direct service workers around the country,” offers Superstar Foundation founder, Steve Butz. “Kelly’s work is inspirational and represents a remarkable commitment to using data to achieve superior outcomes. We hope our recognition of her efforts and her impact helps other Superstars step forward and drive the transformative change that individuals and families in need deserve.”
A national Superstar, Kelly, who has been with Children’s Home Society of Florida since 2012, will receive $5,000 from the Superstar Foundation and $5,000 from Children’s Home Society of Florida for a total of $10,000. She received a $2,500 check upon her initial recognition as the CHS Superstar.
Children’s Home Society of Florida’s compassion and determination to use data to inform and improve the quality and impact of its services was critical to the success of Kelly’s nomination; 100 percent of children on Kelly’s caseload are free of abuse and have remained free of abuse 6 months after their cases close. Further, 100 percent of children on her caseload did not re-enter foster care within 12 months of moving to a permanent home.
“Many people think we take children and break up families,” Kelly said. “We are here to help the families to get past whatever is going on in their lives — substance abuse, lack of supervision … We want them to be a family, and we want to get children with their families. We are here to support families.”
“Kelly embodies the true spirit of social work. Kids Central is proud to have such a compassionate, devoted individual caring for the children we are charged with serving,” said John cooper, Kids Central CEO. “She is just one example of the many exceptional case managers in our system of care.”
The Baltimore-based Superstar Foundation works to recognize human services professionals who keep the transformational relationship with participants at the core of their work and who demonstrate the effectiveness of that approach through the use of data and measurable outcomes. Superstar Award recipients receive a cash award from the Superstar Foundation. This year’s winners are characterized as going “above and beyond” in consistently supporting the individuals they work with to feel empowered and being passionate and dedicated to seeing positive change in the lives of those with whom they work.
About Children’s Home Society of Florida
On the front lines since 1902, Children’s Home Society of Florida is the oldest and largest statewide organization devoted to helping children and families. Children’s Home Society of Florida offers services that help break the cycles of abuse in more families, heal the pain for traumatized children, guide teens to successfully transition into adulthood and create strong, loving families. Children’s Home Society of Florida serves approximately 100,000 children and families throughout the state each year. More: www.chsfl.org.
About Kids Central
Kids Central is the lead nonprofit organization charged with caring for the abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties. Kids Central contracts with quality local nonprofits to provide services to children in prevention, diversion and dependency programs. Kidscentralinc.org
About the Superstar Foundation
The Superstar Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 committed to recognizing and rewarding great social service professionals for the invaluable work that they do. Dedicated to expanding the use of data and highly intentional, transformative relationships as the core of impactful human services, the Superstar Foundation has offered annual awards since 2008. Learn more about our work here.