On Saturday, March 19, the NASW Orange County unit celebrated Social Work month. In selection of Social Work Month, Charisma De Los Reyes, USC alumnus and 2015 NASW San Diego Social Worker of the Year, served as the keynote presenter.
Charisma is a Senior Protective Services Worker with County of San Diego Child Welfare Services who presented on “Social Workers Move Mountains: A Response to Human Trafficking — Changing the Conversation.” As a social worker working with clients who are identified as victims of commercial sexual exploitation, she shared her experience and San Diego County’s approach to dealing with human trafficking which involves collaborative and strategic partnership with Child Welfare Services, Law Enforcement and the School District.
Photo caption: First, JoAnne Munro, Deputy Director, OCSSA; Gary Taylor, Division Director, OCSSA; Carmen McCorvey, Award recipient; and Cecilia Iglesias, District Representative for Senator Bob Huff.
NASW OC Unit recognized the 2016 Social Worker of the Year, Carmen McCorvey who was nominated by Joanne Munro, PsyD, MFT, Deputy Director, Family Assessment and Shelter Services. In Dr. Munro’s nomination she indicated Ms. McCorvey exemplifies the CORE Values of Integrity, Compassion, Respect, Efficiency, Teamwork and Creativity. She began her career as a group counselor at Orangewood Children and Family Center and worked her way up to the Senior Social Worker position and an Emergency Response Social Worker. Ms. McCorvey is known for her outstanding engagement skills with clients who are typically mandated to complete services within the juvenile court system. Her clients have expressed gratitude for her sensitivity and empathy during the very difficult process of having their children removed from their care.
She has also served in the role of Court Services Investigations where she made recommendations to the court about whether children are ready to be returned home while engaging traumatized families. She is skilled in using strength based practices to enlist cooperation while helping families to build resilience and support networks to enhance their success when children are returned home.
While employed at Orange County child welfare, she completed her master’s degree in social work and has since been promoted to a Senior Social Services Supervisor. Within this role, she continually identifies and individualizes training needs among social workers. She took the initiative to develop and lead a Training Unit to teach casework and documentation skills to unit staff with a focus on the Core Practice Model, Safety Organized Practice and child welfare through a Trauma Informed lens. Ms. McCorvey’s Dependency Investigations Unit conducts investigations of petitions filed under Section 300 Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC) and provides information to the Court by way of detailed reports, upon which the Court makes adjudication and disposition findings. Ms. McCorvey provides consistent consultation and support to unit staff and is responsible for the oversight of all unit work products.
Ms. McCorvey creates a positive atmosphere by her attitude of always leading by example. She models the importance of family engagement and trauma informed social work practice. Ms. McCorvey is an SOP Champion, provides SOP Coaching and developed SOP Tools for the social work staff. Ms McCorvey led the Court Report Workgroup to revise our reports so they are more trauma informed, achieving the goal of successful revision of the Detention Hearing & Jurisdictional/Dispositional Reports. The revised documents elicit more critical thinking and improve the quality of CFS reports submitted to the court, enhancing SSA’s credibility in the juvenile court environment.
Ms. McCorvey is also a tireless advocate for the rights of the disadvantaged and advocates strongly on their behalf — both in her role as a supervisor for child welfare and as an instructor at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Ms. McCorvey teaches her students about racial inequalities and the concept of privilege. Ms. McCorvey was also a clinician in LA County providing counseling to the underserved populations. She is the embodiment of exceptional social work practice.
Cecilia Iglesias, District Representative for Senator Bob Huff, also presented Ms. McCorvey with a certificate of appreciation for her work with families and children in Orange County.
In addition to the recognizing the social worker of the year, two USC MSW students were recognized for their contributions to the OC unit. Amanda McNab has served as an NASW-OC Unit student liaison since fall 2013. In this role she has worked with Dr. Pringle-Hornsby on coordinating many of the past trainings and events. She stepped in as a willing volunteer in her first year of the MSW program, and has been a valuable member of the administrative team. Amanda will graduate in May 2016 and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors. It is our hope that she will continue to be involved in the unit.
Anjali Patel has served as an NASW OC student liaison since Fall 2014 in the capacity of social media coordinator. In this role she has worked with Dr. Pringle-Hornsby in assuring that information is up to date on the Facebook page. She stepped in as a willing volunteer in her second year of the MSW program, and has been a valuable member of the administrative team. Anjali will graduate in May 2016 and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors. It is our hope that she will continue to be involved in the unit.