As a former caseworker, clinical coordinator and program services coordinator at Alabama MENTOR, Deloris Johnson has worn many hats since she joined The MENTOR Network nine years ago. It’s those hats—and her willingness to throw the appropriate one on whenever needed—that led her to her current role as team lead. In addition to supporting and training program services coordinators, assisting foster parents,managing staff meetings, developing lesson plans, deescalating crises, Deloris is responsible for handling referrals—something she excels at to the applause of her colleagues, youth served and foster parents. In crisis situations this trust can be invaluable, but over time it has a significant effect—strong partnerships, committed foster parents, employee retention, and the success the children experience because of Deloris’s ability to build relationships and pull all the necessary resources together.
“When Deloris approaches a foster parent about opening their home to a child, the foster parent trusts Deloris’s judgement that it will be a good match because they know she has thought through the placement,” said Joy Grafton, program director at Alabama MENTOR and Deloris’s nominator. “Many foster parents have said they gave a child a chance because of their faith in Deloris.”