Staff Spotlight: Social Services Team shares passion for helping

We’d like to introduce our valued and appreciated Social Services team, one of our Children’s Services departments that works closely with our students and their families, and with colleagues from every other department in the program. The impact their clinical work has on the children served by Latham Centers is at the heart of our mission. In this two-part blog series, our social services team members talk about their roles here at Latham Centers and give advice to others embarking on a clinical career. The group photos above, taken at the start of our 2018-2019 school year, provide a glimpse of a weekly team meeting and a lighthearted moment on the deck of the Dr. Russell Boles, Jr., MD Clinical Building.

  • Brynn Cooper, LICSW, Director of Social Services: “The greatest part of being a member of the Social Services team is the comradery we share on a day to day basis. There is always clinical discussion, formulation, and planning happening and an eagerness to learn more about the population we serve. Our component meeting days are my favorite day of the week because we get time to sit together to discuss challenges, successes, and interests as we grow and develop as a department and improve our ability to meet the needs of the students we share a passion for helping.” Brynn has been in her current role as Director of Social Services for 16 months, but she worked at Latham previously in various positions over several years while working toward her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

  • Clinician Judy Skolnick, LCSW: “After coming from a job in New York City and being the only social worker in my department for many years, it is wonderful being able to work with this team of incredible clinicians who are so compassionate about the students they work with as well as so supportive of each other!”

  • Social Services Case Aide Bill Greenwood: “Working with kids is as rewarding as it is challenging,” Bill said, adding his words of wisdom for anyone aspiring to join Latham’s team: “For young people, learning first-hand about boundaries, how observation really works, the value of excellent verbal communication skills, and the importance of good writing skills will give you a leg up on the competition at some point in your life… At Latham, you will have the chance to re-invigorate your appreciation for the next generation and their enthusiasm for life.”

  • Clinician Samantha Cronin: “I have been at Latham for only four months and I am more than appreciative of the teamwork we have here. Even from the first moment I arrived at Latham, I have been able to depend on my Social Services team for anything I may need. In order to care for our children here at Latham, you have to care about each other as well and that is something that is infectious here at Latham.”

Next week, we’ll feature clinical team members Melissa, Beth, and Maria. For clinicians looking for a meaningful career, Latham Centers is currently hiring one more clinician, and Brynn has some words of encouragement for candidates: “In interviewing potential clinical candidates, I always like to share with them how valued our clinical opinion is here at Latham. We are able to provide valuable and appreciated consultation across departments to teachers, aides, 1:1 counselors, residential staff, supervisors, and administrators. Our unique skill set is an integral part of programming at Latham, making this an excellent place to continue a career.”

Pictured in the deck photo: (front) Beth Conway (with Indigo) and Bill Greenwood; (middle) Samantha Cronin, Brynn Cooper, and Melissa Hyer-Mitchell; and (back) Maria Perillo and Judy Skolnick.

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