Jannay Douville-Lucas, this year’s Support Worker of the Year, was nominated by a brand-new foster parent, which really highlights her passion and commitment to her role. Described with a long list of words: supportive, encouraging, guiding, responsive, generous, listener, coordinator, responsive, Jannay appreciates being honored in this way, but her biggest highlight in her career so far has the relationships she has built with so many of the families she has worked with. She shares that, “Being able to have authentic, raw conversations that involve being vulnerable is really a privilege and when I reflect back on the most notable moments of my work in foster care, it is certainly having been a part of those moments.”
As her nominator wrote, “Jannay presents herself in a professional, caring, approachable manner. She listens to concerns and does all that she can to provide guidance to support the relationship between foster caregiver and foster child. This, in turn; reflects positively, not only (her), but also on the Program itself. I am so grateful to have been assigned such a wonderful caseworker.” Considering the significant needs of her first placement, her nominator believes that without Jannay, they would not have been able to handle the situation with the confidence they had. Jannay explained her ability to bring out strengths in families further, “As a foster care caseworker, I am exposed to families offering themselves in abundance to children and youth every day. There is always good work happening, even on tough days that don’t feel like an overt success. I value pointing that out and honoring that there is a holistic story to capture and reflect upon; that there were moments of really, really, important connections and supportive interactions happening- even on the days that don’t feel like a caregiving “win”. “
So, what is it that drives Jannay’s passion to go above and beyond? For her, the answer is simple. “I feel inspired to go above and beyond because I am surrounded by others that do. You can’t help but want to grow and offer more when it’s all around you. There are so many caregivers out there creating space for best practice and child-centered work, and just as many co-workers and leaders around me mentoring the same. It’s easy to echo good work when it’s mirrored in your day-to-day environment.”
Her nominator’s appreciation was clear, “Thank you, Jannay, for everything. You are amazing!” We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations!