As we all know, November is a month of being thankful. So, this month we are going to meet some members of the ESNG family that we feel are our heroes. To get us started, we talk to Laura Moncada, who is the service coordinator for our early intervention program, Babies Can’t Wait. (To read more about the beneficiaries of the program, check out this previous blog post.)
- How did you come to work at Easter Seals North Georgia?
In 2009, I finally finished my Bachelors in Early Childhood Care & Education (Birth to 5) and was looking for a position. I saw the Service Coordination position posted on a job website and applied.
- Please describe a typical day in your position.
Every day is different. I supervise 15 Service Coordinators that see the 1000+ families enrolled in Gwinnett/Rockdale/Newton Counties Babies Can’t Wait. I have a small number of families I directly coordinate services for. I review the IFSPs [Individual Family Service Plans] that are submitted to the office, which initiates therapy for our children. I lead two of our teams where our therapists, instructors, and coordinators staff our families. Things here move quickly as our federal policies have quick turnarounds we must meet for eligibility and services/therapy to start.
- What is your favorite part of your job?
I truly enjoy learning strategies and ideas from the different therapists (physical, occupational, speech) and the instructors. However, my favorite part is my families. There have been instances where I link them with a program or service or therapist and things seem to unlock for them. Families don’t know what to expect when they are diagnosed or referred for a delay and sometimes just one conversation can open doors to help the family.
- What quality do you think makes a person a good service coordinator?
A good service coordinator has to be ORGANIZED, have a passion to help families and children, work as a team to help families, and want to learn about the changing world of disabilities and special needs. One also needs to have compassion to know when families need the gentle push or when they need the time to work through their diagnosis. Sometimes we feel families don’t want to participate/in denial. I read an article years ago talking about families needing time for “pain control”. That statement has resonated with me ever since.
- Do you have a story of a child and/or family who thrived because of the services you provided?
I give a lot of credit to my therapists and instructors for thriving families and children. They are out there every week or every 2 weeks helping families figure out ways for a good mealtime or a successful bath or a trip to the grocery store without a meltdown. I’m in the background – I push papers, I link to therapy, parent supports, community programs and financial assistance. I get the fuzzies when I see a family happy and tears of “I never thought we’d do this!” A lot of what I do for my families is just what I do daily. BCW is the first stop for many families in the world of Special Education. It’s not about me – to be a cliché – it’s about the foundation we help build for our village.