Moving Forward into Public Education
From time to time Crittenton Services for Children and Families (CSCF) has to go through the tough challenge of having to replace veteran staff as they retire or move on in their careers. When it comes to former Wraparound Family Services Program Manager, Stephanie Reopelle, the transition was tough to even think about.
Stephanie started with Crittenton in Residential Treatment Services aiding teenage girls caught up in California’s juvenile justice system. In time she took to the field of child welfare and her talents, compassion, and the dedication she showed working with youth that have experienced extreme childhood trauma did not go without notice.
Eventually Stephanie was promoted as a full fledge manager in Crittenton’s Community Based Services Division, in this case Wraparound Family Services, where she took her knowledge of working with juvenile justice youth and used this expertise to help children and families placed in Los Angeles County’s child welfare system.
In her near 20 year career she helped Crittenton establish and implement its well know community based programming efforts, she was the “mastermind” of the Crittenton Summer Olympics (that are still going strong) for youth placed in our Residential Services Treatment Program, and she was seen as a mentor by so many Crittenton staff that had the pleasure to work alongside her.
Stephanie is the type of employee that will be missed – it goes without saying. This is evidenced by how many emails were sent “employee all” via our agency’s email server with typical comments reading: “Congratulations”, “Say it Ain’t So”, “I’m in Shock” just to name a few.
But with all this said Crittenton truly is happy for Stephanie as she now moves forward in her new career in Los Angeles County’s public school system as their newest Special Education Teacher!
We couldn’t have picked a better person for such an important role to fill in our community. We thank her for her continued commitment for children and families in need, and for the passion for public services she holds. And now without further delay we bring you a note from our former colleague.
A Message from Stephanie Reopelle
When I think back to my first days of working at Crittenton, I remember wondering if “this” (child welfare) is what I was supposed to be doing? A part of me was unsure if I was qualified and able to help children who had experienced a level of trauma and harm I could barely comprehend. I remember feeling a level of anger that was unfamiliar to me toward the people who were responsible for hurting these innocent children and I was unsure of how to deal with that at the time.
In my first couple of weeks, I remember leaving my swing shift at 12:30 AM and driving home wondering what the heck was I doing at Crittenton and if what I was doing was helping these kids. I really thought based on my previous experiences working with children that I would be signing songs and playing games with the kids and it would all be “kum ba yah”. I started to realize that there was nothing I could do to go back in time and prevent these kids from being harmed.
But then I realized that there was something I could do NOW that could make each day a little more enjoyable, a little more safe, a little more “normal”. It was so simple too! It didn’t take anything extravagant, expensive, time consuming to do it either. I simply could just take time to play a game with a child. I could read to them before they went to bed. I could help them pick their clothes out for school the next day. I could run around in the yard with them playing tag. I could sit and just listen to them. That was all it took to have smiles, laughter, love, and more.
I have in essence grown up here at Crittenton and I have a heavy heart in trying to prepare for my next adventures. I am grateful to have the opportunity to have worked with such amazing people and for an agency that has and will continue to not let kids and families slip through the cracks.
I am proud to have stood behind, with and for all those that needed help through the ups and downs and all arounds. My fellow colleagues are inspiring and have been a part in helping me grow as an individual, professional, and manager. So thank you, thank you, thank you team Crittenton!
I am happy to reflect back and know that good people at Crittenton will continue to make a difference and that I was a part of something special.
Wishing all those that believed in me the very best that life has to offer.
Former Program Manager, Wraparound Family Services Program, Rancho Dominguez Office
As a whole the Wraparound Family Services team is a community based program that can serve and is responsible for the mental health and social services needs of up-to 500 Los Angeles and San Bernardino County based families per year. Our community based programs are just one segment of the continuum of care programming Crittenton is known for. The mission of our agency is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, and adoption services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.