Melinda Romayor, WCA Client Advocate II
What do you do in your job at the WCA?
I advocate for families by validating their experience and feelings, helping to explore their options, providing resources, helping to assess their situation, fears, and needs, and assuring them that they are not alone or “going crazy”.
How long have you been with the WCA?
I’ve had the pleasure of working at the WCA for 2 years and 9 months.
Where did you work prior to joining the WCA team?
I completed my internship at Hope’s Door and was hired immediately after as an advocate. I worked there for about 4 months before starting at the WCA.
What do you find most rewarding about your work at the WCA?
The most rewarding part of my job is working with a wide range of people in a wide variety of circumstances. I have been exposed to many walks of life that I would not have been exposed to otherwise. It is rewarding because sometimes a perfect storm of circumstances arises and I am able to provide exactly what the victim needs.
How have you changed or grown as a person through your work here?
I have grown to be more patient and compassionate. I have learned to be more attentive to others needs but also take time to take care of myself. This job can be mentally draining and knowing when to practice self care is important.
Is there a memorable moment or story that you’d like to share that you have experienced at the WCA?
During an in-person I noticed the client’s son sitting quietly with his head down. His mother asked him if he was okay and her son replied “No!” She asked if there was anything she could do for him and he replied “Yes! I would like to hold the frog.” I asked the boy to show me where the frog was and he led me to the waiting room. I gave him the frog to hold during the in-person assessment and I could tell he was content. Towards the end his mother told him he had to put it back which made him sad again. I asked him if there was anything I could do to cheer him up and he said when he and his mother fled their home he was not able to take his teddy bear. He said the bear made him feel safe and he didn’t feel safe anymore. I went to the back and was able to find a big teddy bear for him and the looks on their face was priceless. The boy came up to me and gave me the tightest hug I have ever received. A few months past and the client called me to tell me that her son still has the teddy bear and although they are still homeless he continues to feel safe. I think about that moment often and it made me realize something; I realized that children are often overlooked and the focus is more on advocating for the client. Since then, I not only ask the client how they are and what I can do to assist them but I also ask the children how they are and if there is anything I can do for them.
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