In our Staff Spotlight Series, we catch up with the talented, dedicated, and compassionate individuals who help make everything our organization does possible. This month we’re featuring Amber Mace, Foster Care and Adoption Supervisor with CH/LSS. Read more about Amber’s work and life below.
What is your current role with CH/LSS and what are some of your primary responsibilities?
I recently accepted the position of Foster Care and Adoption Supervisor. Prior to this role, I had two roles: Foster Care Adoption (FCA) Social Worker and Child Specific Recruiter (CSR). Some of my primary responsibilities as an FCA Social Worker included walking alongside families in their journey in the foster care adoption program — including completing the family’s home study — advocating for families in the matching process, and supporting families in placements. As a CSR, I worked with a young person’s team to identify and advocate for a home that best supports the child, their history, needs, and personality. I definitely love the opportunity to see multiple sides of things!
What originally drew you to the field of foster care and adoption?
There are actually a few things that drew me to the field of foster care and adoption! Because of my life experiences, I became interested in learning more about the professional aspects of the system. When I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in social work, I started as an intern with the CH/LSS Post Adoption team. As I was interning in Post Adoption, I got some experience in the foster care and adoption program and thought it could be something I envisioned myself doing!
What is something everyone should know about foster care and/or adoption that they might not?
I think oftentimes people view foster care/adoption as something that only brings joy and happiness. There are many joyous and happy aspects of foster care/adoption, and it’s also important to acknowledge the aspects of grief, loss, hurt, and challenge that can come up. All these feelings are essential to acknowledge, both for the family and the young person(s)!
What advice would you give to families thinking of beginning their adoption journey?
My advice would be to do your own work first. Work through your trauma, discover your motivation, and get involved in any learning opportunities that you can! The foster care/adoption process can be ever-changing, and it is so important to have a solid foundation to stand on. You can never learn enough about trauma and parenting different needs!
Switching gears to life outside of work – what does an ideal weekend look like for you?
An ideal weekend for me would be a weekend in the peak of fall when the leaves are changing colors but still on the trees. It’d spend most of the weekend outside, taking a hike or a nature walk, looking at all of nature’s colors. To end the weekend, I’d probably wrap up in a blanket and sit by a fire.
What is the last book, movie, or TV series that you enjoyed so much you’re telling everyone you know to check it out?
One of the last books I’ve read that I recommend everyone check out is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk. It has so much good information about how the body remembers trauma and how to work through some of that!
What’s something that always brings a smile to your face?
Many things bring a smile to my face at work and home! In my work life, building connections and relationships with the young people I work with brings a smile to my face. In my home life, spending time with loved ones, exploring nature, and my cat are things that make me smile.