Friday, I was honored to have a conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris during her visit to New Haven, CT… a pinnacle moment in my career as a life long social worker. The roundtable topic centered on one of the targets of the impact of The American Rescue Plan-- lifting ½ of the country's children out of poverty. This issue is inextricably linked to our work. We discussed system collaboration necessary to recover from the pandemic. To Build Back Better we must all do our part to support children and families across Connecticut!
As we sat in the room together, I thought about the "firsts" that she and I (to an obvious lesser status) represent. As the first female in this role, VPOTUS Harris is the first Black person, Asian American to be elected to that office and of myself, as the first African American Commissioner of the CT Department of Children and Families. We recognized we have made history yet remain focused on "paving the way" for the "next ups" and that "our ceiling is the next generation's floor." Seizing the momentum of this moment is not lost on either of us. She gets it.
You will hear more about the conversation in a separate publication.
This month's "Spotlight on What's Right" newsletter highlights two career social workers and their journey to and within the Department.
Christopher Bidorini is the recipient of this year's Janet Williams Humanitarian Award! As a social worker in our New Britain DCF office, Christopher vowed at a young age to live his life giving back to others….and boy has he done that! Read about his journey from across the world launched his commitment to serve those within and outside the Department. Such an incredible story.
You will also hear about Siobhan Trotman - the first DCF employee to test positive for COVID-19. She shares with us her experiences one year ago after contracting the virus and what her leadership as DCF Office Director in Torrington required throughout the pandemic. She too was "called" to do this work and has lived a life of PURPOSE. I am reminded every day by your actions as to how strong we are as a Department and the life impacting commitment you make to those you serve.
Thank you for making this the most memorable Social Worker Appreciation Month and Women's History Month… Your success is mine and mine is yours.