By Heather Sanford
I have been a case manager at New Phoebe House for many years, and I have experienced my fair share of ups and downs in that time. New Phoebe House is different in the types of interactions we have with our residents. Our office is in their home – something I believe makes being a case manager here different from anywhere else. This is not your typical clinical setting at all!
As case managers working in the home of the women we serve, we get to watch their transformations happen before our eyes. We’re there when they come in feeling hopeless and lost. We’re there when, before you know it, the light is restored in their eyes. We pay close attention to their strengths and help them overcome their obstacles. We celebrate their victories and comfort the women through their struggles.
With every up there is a down and this work proves no different. The disease of addiction is strong and a difficult fight. Not every woman who comes through our door is in a place to deal with her trauma. Sometimes it is too much for her to cope with, no matter how much support and guidance we provide.
As staff, we may also experience compassion fatigue, as the hours are not standard and we don’t always have time for self care. The women we work with are dealing with mental health issues, chemical dependency, and past abuse – it isn’t uncommon to experience vicarious trauma in this work.
But in the end, it is all worth it. Seeing a mother and child reunited is one of the most rewarding victories I get to be a part of as a case manager. The sense of love is overwhelming when I see the face of a child as they run to their mom smiling and a mom embracing her child, overcome with joy.
Heather has been a Case Manager at New Phoebe House for over five years.
Interested in working at New Phoebe House? Click here to view open positions in our staff.