Q&A with Corpus Christi Family Outreach Staff

Corpus Christi Family Outreach Office Staff
Corpus Christi Family Outreach staff are pictured above. Left to right: Marisol Gomez, outreach director; Olga Paull, office manager; Dominique Caram, case manager. Michelle Gunter, case manager, is not pictured.

We had a chance to catch up with the Corpus Christi staff to learn more about their perspective on working with our children, youth and families. What we discovered is a “typical day” doesn’t exist for our outreach staff, and that while the work may be exhaustive at times, it is always rewarding.

The following is a Q&A with Marisol Gomez, outreach office director, and Dominique Caram, case manager.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your day?
A: Marisol: Every day we’re helping children and families through rough times in their lives. It’s always busy and it’s never the same day twice, but to me, it’s not stressful. We, as an organization, have what we need to help families. We have the resources available for them. No matter what, we know that if someone calls with a need, we can help them with any one of our resources or we can refer them. If we cannot help, we can give them information for other services and I like that.

Q: What is the most challenging part of your day?
A: Marisol: The most challenging part of my job is trying to fit it all in one day. I work on prioritizing what needs to be done. It’s a breath of fresh air when my case managers come into my office with a question. It’s important to me to make sure they know my door is always open and my phone is always on. When they go out and work with families, I know the families are in good hands. I have to remind them not to work too much. I worry about them getting burned out.

Q: Can you share what goals your outreach office seeks to accomplish when working with families?
A: Marisol: The question is, “How can we educate our families so they don’t need us again?” We provide as many services as we can, but we refer our families to other community resources as needed. We want to leave families in a better place than when we met them. Our hope is for children to grow up in happy, healthy, stable homes and it is our privilege to watch that evolve. Our goal for foster care is to screen and license the very best homes that can offer safety and hope to children in need of out-of-home placement while their parents work on areas that need improvement.

A: Dominique: When I’m working with our foster parents, I make sure they feel supported and they have everything they need. I also make sure the kids in placement have everything they need too. The most important factor in maintaining stability is that our clients develop a support system. Resources, friends, and community involvement are important.

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