Glover earned an April promotion to Care Team Coordinator, where she will assist with integration and implementation of programming on Baltimore’s upper campus. Known at BCC as Alex, she’s a 2009 graduate of the University of Kentucky — Go Cats! — and secured her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland in 2014.
Q: Before you became a social worker, you were an on-call childcare worker and later interned with our Treatment Foster Care team while you attended graduate school. What was your perspective those first few months – how has it changed? – and how did those challenges prepare you for your present caseload and responsibilities?
A: I went from a person focused solely on doing one job to dispersing my energy into many areas at once. The challenge was to find the balance in juggling work, school, and the internship while ensuring the multitasking would not affect my work and relationships built with my youth. I had many ‘aha moments’ in those first few months of grad school and still have them. It is all part of being a social worker … You need some grit in this field, because it’s not for everyone, but it is for me.
Those challenges and experiences have aided me many times when I had a demanding week and was not sure where to start. Prioritizing tasks and figuring out what is important is how you win the day.
Q: Your second graduate school internship was with Johns Hopkins Hospital, but you choose a full-time offer from BCC over Hopkins after graduation. What made BCC your top pick?
A: I was fortunate to have to decide between BCC and Hopkins, but the decision was not difficult. I had fallen in love with residential treatment and felt like BCC was already my home. I like being in a setting where social work and mental health were the top priorities, whereas in the hospital medical needs were understandably put first. I also wanted to work in a position where I could build long-term therapeutic and working relationships with clients, families, and agencies.
Q: Can you talk about how your progression from childcare worker four years ago to intern to social worker to coordinator helps shape the therapeutic strategies you employ in your new position?
A: We speak of our participants from a programming or clinical standpoint, and I am blessed with some background in both, so my progression shapes strategies daily. Residential care is constantly evolving; the challenges I faced as a childcare worker are different today, but I know both perspectives.
I am excited about my new position because it is completely in line with BCC’s new mission. This is a way to bridge BCC’s work from a clinical and programming standpoint from a time where we were separate to being truly integrated.
Q: You said the diverse team that supports the kids we serve is vitally important to achieving successful outcomes. What makes this so?
A: We are tasked with designing and executing a program that completely wraps care around an individual. This means the more obvious categories like education, physical health, and providing housing.
It also includes the intangibles such as teaching life skills, coaching them how to be their own advocates in treatment meetings, and just generally supporting them through breakups, crushes, tough teachers, and everything else that comes with being a teenager. That is the best way I can describe how BCC becomes their nonconventional family.
Each member of the care team is working on one, if not multiple goals in those categories I just mentioned.
We must all learn from one another, and from the youth directly, what is working and what isn’t. That’s where the communication piece is so critical and having a diverse team so important. One person may think to try something a different way and that becomes the breakthrough moment that really resonates with youth.
Q: Kentucky and Maryland are two universities with proud basketball heritages, and your brothers attended the University of North Carolina. March Madness must be intense, right?
A: Yes, quite intense! We grew up watching and rooting for Maryland – and still do! – but our primary loyalties are with Kentucky and UNC now.
I decided I’d take it easy on my parents and made them a blanket they keep on the couch with one side UNC and one side Kentucky. My mom just flips it over dependent on the game they are watching at the time. I also gave them two attractive yard gnomes as a present one year that they now proudly keep in our nice living room. We rub their heads for good luck on big game days!
All serious fans have their rituals, right? Needless to say, it’s not bad being a basketball fan as a member of our family – most years we’re going to have at least one serious contender!
Know of someone worth spotlighting at BCC? Email that recommendation to email@example.com.Read more from BCC Spotlight: ALEXANDRA GLOVER, LGSW and Care Team Coordinator