Employee of the Month: Darla Chayrez
What originally made you want to work with EA?
I was initially recruited by a former employee and began as an intern working with THP and assisting resource families. Once I completed my Master's program, I accepted a social worker position and continued supporting THP and FFA. Eventually, my caseload transitioned to the FFA side and I thoroughly enjoy working with resource families, biological families, clients, and other providers.
Describe what your best day on the job looks like:
The best day for me is when my clients, resource families, and bio families are stable, safe, and progressing in school, work, or anything of importance. Celebrating those milestones, fulfilling everything on my schedule for the day, no IR's, and happy/content county workers are all added bonuses for a good day.
What do you wish people knew about working in your field?
I wish people understood the process of removal, placement, reunification and why there is a need for resource homes. I hear and see so many negative comments about foster care, foster homes, child welfare, and social workers. I feel this hinders the relationships with families, clients, other agencies, and the general population. Whenever I get the opportunity to educate others, I do so with grace, openness, empathy, and truth.
How do you practice self care?
I live on a small ranchette, and being outdoors brings a sense of peace and nurtures my well-being. I enjoy spending time with my family, making seasonal wreaths, gardening and planting vegetables and fruit trees. I am a total animal lover and my furbabies (goats, horse, cows, chickens, cats, and dogs) bring me a lot of happiness and comfort especially on a tough day.
What's a hidden talent you have, or something about yourself that would surprise most people?
I'm pretty crafty... I enjoy chalk painting everything and have a passion for decorating and party planning.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Being a social worker is a challenging yet fulfilling career and one I hold with integrity and always being the best version of myself.... I make each day count by helping others and trying to make a positive difference in their lives.