Get to Know Lauren
Lauren helps support families and works with our partners to prepare information for assessments. Her work is vital to what we do at Children’s Center, and we feel very lucky to have her as Family Support & Intake Specialist! She joined our team in March.
Tell me about your role at Children’s Center. What does a typical day look like?
I am a Family Support & Intake Specialist. My day varies on what job I’m doing that day. On days when I’m acting as Family Support, I meet with caregivers during their child’s assessment. We want caregivers to feel supported and like they don’t have to go through this alone. Although we do our best to make sure families have a good experience at the center, families are coming to us in crisis and it’s important to help caregivers identify ways that they can care of themselves to better support their children. Another part of Family Support involves connecting caregivers to different resources, which could include things like education around abuse dynamics and disclosures, parenting resources, therapy referrals, crisis lines, or even victim advocates at the District Attorney’s office.
On days when I work in the Intake department, I talk with community partners like DHS and law enforcement to make sure we have all of the information we need to schedule an assessment. When we have all of the information we need to schedule an assessment, I call families to explain what an assessment entails and get them on the schedule if they agree that an assessment would be helpful for their child. Another part of my role in Intake involves mailing paperwork to parents and reaching out to therapists to get information from them if the child is already in counseling. There are a lot of moving parts and every day looks a little different.
What do you enjoy about working at Children’s Center?
Four years ago, I burned out from a job where I could work 60+ hours a week and I was on call every day 24/7. Recovering from that took a long time. I deeply value work-life balance, to the point where I have turned down good paying jobs because I knew the environment would be unhealthy. Children’s Center places a true emphasis on work-life balance and self-care. Many organizations just aren’t like that (they might talk about the importance of self-care, but they don’t actually do anything to foster it). I like working at a place where morale is high and employees enjoy what they do. To me, that says Children’s Center is doing something right.
Where did you work before you joined the team at Children’s Center? Did you know you wanted to work at an organization like this?
I was most recently a child and family therapist in community mental health. Other past jobs involving children have included: in-class tutor and teacher’s assistant, substitute teacher, and floor supervisor at a residential treatment center (working with boys who were there because it was court-mandated for their problematic sexual behaviors). I have also spent a lot of time working with adult survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (helping survivors obtain personal protection orders and attending court as a victim advocate). My educational background is in criminal justice and mental health counseling and I wanted to work at a place where those two fields intersected with children. Children’s Center fit the bill. I get to support families in crisis and also work closely with law enforcement to help children. It’s exactly what I wanted.
What’s your superpower?
If you were asking me which superpower I wish I had, I would say that I would like to be able to touch the cover of a book and instantly know the information contained within it (I have so many books I want to read but not nearly enough time). My real life superpower is helping kids regulate big emotions.