GET TO KNOW OUR STAFF MEMBER, ELIZABETH DAY, IN TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT Q&A!
What is your position?
Program Director at EAC Network’s New Path Treatment Center.
How long have you been working with EAC Network?
3 years and 2 months.
Why did you choose this profession?
I chose social work after taking a year off from my undergraduate studies. I was accepted into a forensic psychology program out-of-state. I ultimately decided to move back to NY after being unable to secure off-campus housing. During that year off, I realized social work was a versatile degree and career that encompassed not only a clinical and hands-on component, but also a policy and advocacy component that I am passionate about.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing the change that individuals go through is always the best part. Another aspect of the job I love is having the opportunity to continually learn new ways to engage with my clients – it never gets old.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Usually the systems that I cannot control – working to get a client housing, their insurance benefits, employment issues, etc. When you work with so many systems you realize how broken it all is. Vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue are two very real things as well, so managing a level of self-care so that I can effectively do the job can be hard.
What aspect of your job do you wish people knew more about?
Working in the addictions field is a wonderful challenge. There tends to be a bias towards individuals in treatment, but recovery is a life-long process that has to start somewhere, and addiction hits every gender, income level, race, and walk of life – none of us are immune.
Name one goal you have for the upcoming year.
Professionally and personally, it is to obtain my LCSW. For the program, it is to grow our census and offer additional specialty groups for clients. Specifically, I’d like to add a trauma and seeking safety group, and continue to utilize all of the strengths of each counselor.
Tell us about one client in particular that deeply influenced you and how you do your job.
I couldn’t pick just one, which might sound cliché. I have carried clients with me from my previous outpatient clinic, and ones I have worked with here. You don’t forget the losses or trials and tribulations. You hold on to the wins that each client gets for themselves. It’s an honor and privilege to be part of a client’s journey, good and bad.
Name one of your hobbies.
Baking – it’s relaxing, even if a bit messy.
Would you encourage others to go into your profession?
Absolutely; social work is a field that is needed. When in doubt or need, teachers, medical professionals, lawyers, etc., turn to this field for our expertise.
What advice do you have for others interested in your profession?
Stick with it. Social work, or any human services position, does not always get the glory or respect of other fields, but we do as much work and as much good. Network with your peers. We all need each other.
To learn more about our New Path Treatment Center, click here.
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Cassandra Huneke was the Development & Marketing Specialist at EAC Network. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a B.A. in English and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Media Studies at The New School University in New York City.