The MENTOR Network

Stories of our Employees

Desiree Builds Trusting Relationships with Families

Desiree is a Senior Family Centered Clinician committed to serving  the children and families of Ohio. She has been with Ohio MENTOR since 2013, after previously working to provide transition services for military personnel.

“Our primary goal is to help families overcome challenges and keep the family intact or assist with the reunification process,” Desiree said.

As a clinician, it is important that Desiree build trusting relationships with both the children and their families.

“I faced many of the same dilemmas experienced by those we serve when I was young,” Desiree said. She recalls a potentially dangerous situation and explained how she was able to deescalate. “I remembered what worked and did not work for me. Knowing what I know both personally and professionally, I was able to defuse the situation because I had that trust and rapport with the family I worked with and they had the trust in me. He just needed someone to listen.”

Her team recognizes Desiree’s incredible commitment and success. Her supervisor Justin Hernandez, Senior Program Director for Family Centered Treatment®, nominated Desiree for a Ripple of Hope award designed to honor individuals and their good works, which have created a ripple impact in the community.

“I have been in the mental health field for numerous years and I have never worked with someone as dedicated as Desiree,” Justin said. “She has worked with over 100 families and will often give up her personal time to process cases with peers. I know I can count on her for anything.”

Throughout her time at Ohio MENTOR, Desiree has consistently completed therapy with families who have met their goals and improved their family dynamic. And those stories stick with her. Desiree recalled a girl in care who was having a difficult time. “I remember telling her that no matter where she went, I was there to follow her. I also told her that her job was to work me out of a job.” With support from Desiree the young lady was able to complete treatment and while celebrating with cake and ice cream and balloons, Desiree and her foster family at her side, she “fired” Dez. “She said this with great pride and joy and her smile was priceless,” Desiree said.

She encourages others interested in making a difference for a child to know they will always be supported. “If you are considering becoming a foster parent, you already have your answer,” Desiree said. “You will not be alone. You will be one part of a group of superheroes that many of the children we serve need.”