Social‌ ‌Workers‌ ‌Spotlight:‌ ‌Katie,‌ ‌Chandler‌ ‌Police‌ ‌Department‌ ‌Victim‌ ‌Services‌ ‌Coordinator‌ ‌

March 18, 2021
| by:
Communications and Public Affairs

City of Chandler social worker Katie began to explore new career ideas during her volunteer program in Alaska. After earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology, she decided to participate in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where she was assigned to a domestic violence shelter. It was here Katie discovered her lifelong passion for social work.

After completing her service in Alaska, she returned home to New York and began to pursue a graduate degree in social work because it allowed her to apply her skills in a multitude of careers. 

“Social work is so broad,” Katie said. “You can work in healthcare, education, social services, or for the police department.” 

Eventually, Katie settled into a career as a Victim Advocate. Currently, she utilizes her past knowledge and experience as a Victim Services Coordinator for the City of Chandler. Her current role involves a lot of listening and education. Katie helps people in difficult situations plan for safety and provides resources that they can access when they’re ready.

“Some people associate social workers with getting their children taken away or other negative situations, but in reality, social workers are there for support and to provide education about options and resources in the community,” Katie said. “Social workers aim to empower people to make choices for themselves, not make the decision for them.”

Katie provided an example of how social work has influenced police work. In past years, interrogation rooms would be located near victim interview rooms. Oftentimes victims would see their abuser in passing. Social workers and advocates have helped create changes in this practice that address the well-being of victims, without the fear of unwanted encounters.

Today, the City of Chandler and other cities across the country have Family Advocacy Centers where victims of crimes can be safely distant from their abusers and receive the support and resources they need.