Have you ever heard the term “sad-mad”? If you have kids or have enjoyed the movie “Home”, this term will likely sound familiar to you. At the Amani Center, we have recently experienced a similar concept of mixed feelings & emotions we’ll call “sad-glad”.
For nearly 5 years, a smart, caring, competent and humble individual has been an integral part of our small but mighty team. Nick Schwarz provided years of experienced and dedicated service in the areas of Intake Coordination, Family Support Services and Forensic Interviewing, finishing off his time with the Amani Center as our Lead Forensic Interviewer. Just shy of his 5-year anniversary, Nick has recently departed the Amani Center to complete his EdS degree through a School Psychologist internship at a High School in Tempe, Arizona. His calm character, warm demeanor and patient attention toward our clients and his easygoing and jovial nature will be missed greatly. While we are deeply sad to see him go, we couldn’t be more thrilled for Nick’s future and for the students he will serve! When you watch future Timbers soccer or Blazers basketball games, remember our dear colleague Nick and toast to his future successes (and that his teams win too!).
Remember though, we mentioned that this mixed feeling of emotion has an element of “glad” in it as well, and it is our pleasure to RE-introduce you to a past Amani Center employee. Brandy Hayes (formerly Rountree) who has rejoined the Amani Center team to take on the duties of Intake Coordination and Family Support Services Specialist, as Ellen Sperl moves into the Lead Forensic Interviewer position. Brandy was with the Amani Center from Oct. 2015-June 2016 before moving out of state. She has returned to Oregon, after several years of working with Child and Family Services in the state of Montana. Brandy grew up in Southern Oregon and is now living in Portland. She studied social work at the University of Alaska and has attended multiple trainings on forensic interviewing, child welfare and domestic violence. Brandy is bi-lingual in English and Spanish and has experience in nursing, as well. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband and of course, their pets. Brandy is excited to be back working in Columbia County and continuing to be active in community outreach and support. And she’s super stoked to be back in a state that has Chick-Fil-A! Please help us welcome Brandy back to the team!
One last exciting (upcoming) change to our direct service team…we are in the final recruitment stages of bringing on a FULL-TIME medical provider to offer specialized child abuse pediatric medical forensic evaluations 5 DAYS A WEEK! This is a HUGE development for our organization, as we have never had a medical provider available every day of the week. This allows our community partners more accessibility and a quicker response time in scheduling children at our clinic. We will be able to address nearly EVERY Karly’s Law case that is referred to us (the law mandates that children in Oregon who exhibit suspicious physical injuries in the course of a child abuse investigation must receive medical attention within 48 hours). Additionally, we will have a medical provider who is able to interact on a regular basis with our community, our MDT partners and the investigative process. Funding for this position was secured by combining Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention and Department of Justice grantsfunds, as well as utilizing unrestricted funds from fundraising sources. If you have questions about the changes in our direct service staff, please reach out to Program Manager, Amelia Kercher, with any questions.