Every year, JCCA’s Robert Maslow Awards for Excellence in Practice recognize employees who have gone above and beyond their duties in support of JCCA’s mission. For a glimpse into the passion and dedication that power JCCA’s life-saving work, read our interview series profiling a few of the 2018 Maslow Winners.
Compliance Coordinator, Foster Home Services
JCCA: How did you come to JCCA more than 37 years ago?
BF: I had a 3-year-old son who was starting nursery school, and I was ready to come back into the workforce. I answered an ad for a part-time position in JCCA’s office services, which was perfect for me. I then became a receptionist at our old offices on Lexington Avenue, where I directed clients to the workers and services they needed. Later, I helped in administrating foster parent orientations and training. When the Compliance Coordinator in Homefinding was about to retire, she asked if I’d like to take over her job, and 32+ years later, I’m still here!
JCCA: What are some of the major changes you’ve seen over the years?
BF: When I first began, we had fewer clients, who, at that time, were mostly Jewish. Then there was a tremendous amount of growth and our population became much more diverse. The other big change is that we now encourage foster parents to meet and work with birth parents, which is really positive for everyone.
JCCA: What’s involved in foster home compliance coordination?
BF: We have about 400+ foster homes and all the information about them has to be entered in our computer system, Connections. I’m the behind-the-scenes person who makes sure we have everything we need to keep our foster homes open and active.
JCCA: What are some of the major issues you face in your work?
BF: There are 30 to 40 homes a month I deal with, so it’s a major task to keep all the information—medical, homestudies, clearances—in order. There are timeframes on everything and I send out monthly lists to our case planning teams to let them know what’s required and when. I have to make sure everybody involved is informed and on track.
JCCA: What are the most effective strategies you use to manage all this?
BF: Being persistent and organized! I have a visual tracking system, with lists and a detailed calendar on my office walls. I’m proud to say that I have an almost 100% accuracy rate for keeping our homes open, licensed, and recertified.
JCCA: What do you find most satisfying about your work? Most challenging?
BF: I love the team I work with—we’ve become a family. We all support each other: for example, if we have to pick up for somebody who’s not in, we know that comes with the territory. In my own way, I’m proud that I’m making a contribution behind the scenes to the children and families in our care.