TRANSCRIPT: “Structural Framework: Authority and Supervision” Program Transcript MAURICE WILLIAMS: As former director of Treatment Foster Care, when I show up at work every day there are hundreds of p

TRANSCRIPT:

“Structural Framework: Authority and Supervision” Program Transcript MAURICE WILLIAMS: As former director of Treatment Foster Care, when I show up at work every day there are hundreds of problems that need to be solved– really hundreds. So when I show up at work, first thing I’m thinking is, “Have we had any disruptions overnight? Have we had any foster parents call the hotline and say, ‘Listen, I want this 15 year old boy out of my home immediately?'” Second problem would be, do we have enough children in the program? We need to do more recruitments, get other clients into our program, so that we can continue to grow. Our program, of course, thrives off of serving clients. And in order to serve them, they must first be transferred to us from the Department of Social Services. So when foster parents say, “Listen, I want this child out,” it is my responsibility to get with the clinical director, to get with case carrying social worker to figure out what actually is the problem in this home. We do what we call an emergency case review. We gather the entire team together, clinicians will come in, we will speak at length about what these issues have been. Most of the time we already know what some of them are, but then maybe there were some new issues that presented over night. ANDREA INGRAM: You know, Maurice, it sounds to me like you have the families to be concerned about, the children to be concerned about, and your staff to be concerned about. MAURICE WILLIAMS: Absolutely. ANDREA INGRAM: And there’s a little part of what you said, it reminded me a little bit of my job, which is when you come in the morning, you have an agenda of things you want to do, and lots of times, that’s not what you end up doing. MAURICE WILLIAMS: We’re crisis interventionist people. We thrive in crisis. We want to work it out. And I must ensure that the social workers don’t get tired. There are a lot of problems that they’re having, so the social worker could get tired, and just be like, well, “Listen, I’m done with this family as well.” So when I show up at work every day with all of the hundreds of problems that we do have, that is my primary responsibility, to keep these families intact. ANDREA INGRAM: My youngest child described my job one day as– somebody asked her, what does your mom do? And she said, well, she solves problems all day. I hadn’t thought about it, but in our agencies, that’s what we’re doing, we’re solving problems all the time. And I share a lot of those kinds of staffing and concern for families, because I run a crisis center also. © 2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 1 But I wanted to mention a sort of ongoing larger problem that we have. Our organization has two main things that we do. We do crisis services, and we have a whole staff that does that, and we have shelter programs. And so it’s almost like we have two big departments, and we share the same building, and our staff need to be very integrated. And what happens sometimes is that they start to sort of go their separate ways and lose some of that understanding of each other. I might start to hear criticism from one side to the other, criticism, or not understanding why they’re doing certain things. I’ve got to bring them back together, because we are a unified staff, and we also need to back each other. So how do I do that? How do we avoid that? One of the things that I have found to be most successful is cross-training– to take a crisis staff person and teach them to work in the shelter, take someone who’s in house in the shelter and have them work in another location, at our day resource center for example. So cross-training– and not only is that a good way to understand each other, but as far as in an emergency, if we have staff who are trained in a lot of different positions, then we can keep going, because we’ve got to keep all of our programs going 24 hours, all the time. Also, sometimes we just have meetings, if I’m hearing something’s …

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