Leadership Spotlight - Jeanne Harvey

Please describe your background, and what led you to EA:
I was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. I attended college at the University of Hawaii and graduated with a BS in Family Resources. A couple of years later, I enrolled in graduate school and attained my degree in Criminal Justice Administration. I was fortunate to work for the Prosecuting Attorney of Honolulu as a Victim Witness Advocate. Shorty after marrying my husband, we decided to relocate to California to be closer to his family. In 2009 I was employed as a CPS social worker in Tuolumne County and placed my very first foster youth with our EA San Andreas office. My FFA social worker was Tiffany McGee! A few years later I moved to Amador CPS and developed a wonderful working relationship with our EA Jackson office. After deciding to leave CPS and focus on my family life, Jennifer Gilliam reached out to me to see if I was interested in working part-time with THP clients. I accepted the position and here I am today seven years later.

What experiences early in life contributed to your success with EA?
My experiences as a single mother and having to face the challenges that comes along with it, has given me the ability to have a greater compassion for families who are struggling with life's obstacles. Becoming a CPS social worker and experiencing the complexities of the system and being on the "other side" has given me a deeper understanding of the process. I've been able to share this knowledge with colleagues, foster parents and most importantly our foster youth. Transitioning to a foster family agency has been the best career move I've made. As a FFA social worker I have gained a greater appreciation for all who are involved in foster care.

What advice would you give to someone interested in working with youth in foster care?
I would say if someone has the interest to work within the capacity of foster care, to take advantage of the opportunity. Go in with an open mind, open heart and the willingness to learn. The experience you gain will be valuable.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?
I enjoy spending time with my children, watching them participate in sports. I love date nights with my husband. And my main interest is cooking for my family. I love my Instant Pots, yes I have more than one :)

What's a hidden talent you have, or something about yourself that would surprise most people?
I have a butterfly tattoo with the names of my children inscribed on the wings.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I am grateful for my employment with EA, the wonderful people, families and youth I am fortunate to work with each day. I look forward to the years ahead.