March is National Social Work Month, a time to recognize the 650,000+ social workers nationwide. The Department of Social Work at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital is staffed by a team of seven social workers who focus on providing resource services and support to families and patients. They are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to help families solve problems and cope with the challenges of caring for a sick child.
“We believe the child’s support system is the most valuable resource. The focus of the social work team is to support and encourage the family unit throughout the hospital journey. The social workers strive to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to the families and the children they serve. Coordinating family training, providing resources, facilitating support groups for parents and siblings, and supporting the family through successful transitions at discharge are just a few examples of the work they do every day,” said Katie Fry, Master of Social Work (MSW), vice president of patient support services.
Jana Wing, MSW, is the director of social services at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. Her sister, Sara, was a patient at the Hospital for 15 years. As you can imagine, Jana spent hours at the Hospital. Having a brother or sister with a chronic illness affects the whole family. She vividly remembers the vital role Sara’s social worker played in their lives. The support and reassurance provided to her family significantly impacted Jana’s decision to study social work. “This is my dream job, and I hope I am living the life my sister would have lived if given the ability. Providing support and answering the needs of others is what I love to do,” said Wing.
Nicki Fruehling has always had a passion for helping others, and for a long time, she thought she would become a nurse. As she learned more about the broad field of social work, she realized it offered a diverse range of career options. “As a social worker, I love that we have the ability to help families through a time in their lives they might have never seen themselves going through. My work at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital has impacted my own life so much. I help patients and families who have gone through a traumatic event, but who still have so much courage and positivity to make it through another step of this journey. Being a part of that recovery is life changing,” said Fruehling. Nicki will complete her MSW degree next May at the University of Oklahoma.
Callie Randel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), grew up in a family that believed listening was the best medicine to help those in need. “I have the opportunity to work with families and patients who have been through difficult situations, yet they demonstrate strength and resilience unlike any other. Social work seemed to be a natural fit for my career goals as it embodies my own values and focuses on serving others, challenging injustices, and recognizing the inherent dignity and worth of all individuals,” said Randel.
Caitlin Griffin, Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), chose to be a social worker so she could meet the needs of others. Caitlin believes her work at the Hospital continues to show her how precious life is, especially now as she recently had her first child. “This job has shown me God’s love is unlimited and there’s no place his light can’t shine. As a parent, it also makes me enjoy every moment I have with my young daughter,” said Griffin.
Kaylin Snider studied child and family services as an undergraduate and holds a master’s degree in Family Life Education, which focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective. For Kaylin, every day at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital brings a new set of challenges and rewards. “I wanted a career where I could meet the needs of others in a variety of ways. Every day is different, and every day you get to help someone,” said Snider.
Laci McSperitt, LCSW, loves what she does for patients and families and believes wholeheartedly the job chose her. “This job has given me a purpose and makes me proud to be a social worker. I love the patients and the people I work with, and I realize each day being a social worker chose me.”
To learn more about the programs and services at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, please click here.