It’s National Social Work Month

Let’s celebrate our Champions

March is National Social Work Month! Social Workers are essential to our community’s well-being because they help individuals and families identify their needs and offer them resources for assistance. From case support services to lending a listening ear, social workers are key supporters for families, especially at Champions! This week we highlight some of our employees who are trained social workers and have them share their “why” for choosing this field of work. 

photos of all of champions' social workers

Photo of Nikki Daniels, MSW Associate director of champions for ChildrenNikki Daniels is Champions’ Associate Director. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Resilience for Public Health and certifications in several types of therapy for trauma.

Nikki’s “Why”: Social work addresses the psychology of the individual in the context of the systems in which they interact, such as family, school, work, community. It also has a very strong focus on social justice and advocacy. I knew I wanted to be a therapist and I liked the holistic perspective of social work.

photo of francy owens, msw,

Francy Owens is a Family Champion/Case Manager with Champions’ Positive Parenting and Partnership program and holds a Master’s in Clinical Social work. 

Francy’s “Why”: To me, the most important thing is to empower people to become the best version of themselves so they can reach their goals. I help them by connecting them with the right resources within the community.

photo of Karen Caballo martinez mswKaren Carabello Martinez is a Family Learning Specialist with Champions’ Great We Grow program and holds a Master’s in Social Work. 

Karen’s “Why”:  From an early age, I had a passion to help others. My beginning in the social work world started in Elementary School where I was tutoring younger children after school. Little by little, I understood that social service goes beyond providing services or fulfilling a need of a particular family. Social work disrupts and changes lives while creating a relationship with the families. In addition, you meet family goals just as you meet yours, find your life purpose, and fill the world with positive actions. Just like Hellen Keller wrote “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

photo of tiffany vitale mswTiffany Vitale is a Nurturing Parenting Educator with Champions’ Family Learning Center at DACCO. She has a Master’s in Social Work and is soon to be a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern. 

Tiffany’s “Why”: I became a social worker because I love assessing needs, filling in gaps across various contexts, and encouraging others to do the same. From providing family therapy as a contracted therapist to advocating for change in the child welfare and education systems, being a social worker to me means I get to “try on” all of the change agent “hats” and I don’t have to give up any of them! Social workers teach, lead, protest, create art, etc and I’m grateful for a career that keeps me on my toes and growing! 

photo of casey ibiapina bswCasey Ibiapina is a Family Educator with Champions’ Positive Parenting and Partnerships program and holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work. 

Casey’s “Why”: I decided to become a social worker because I wanted to help people in a tangible way. I love that I get to do this in my work at Champions for Children. Being a part of each family’s journey is an honor!

We are so thankful to have these dedicated social workers as a part of our Champion staff. They empower our client families, giving them the skills and encouragement they need to overcome life’s challenges.