In every neighborhood, there are families who face challenges related to income, substance use, trauma and physical and mental illness. These challenges can impact a family’s ability to stay safely together and may be too difficult to overcome without help from caring professionals. Keeping children safely in their homes and with their families rather than entering foster care is our primary goal. With support from KVC Nebraska’s Intensive Family Preservation Specialists, we help stabilize and strengthen vulnerable families by providing family therapy, parenting skills, education, therapeutic solutions and behavioral health treatment and connect them with community resources.
Shannon Bolter is an Intensive Family Preservation Skill Builder who joined KVC in 2015. She works with children and families in their home to develop healthy communication and parenting skills to become more healthy. Read our Q&A with her below to learn more about her role and what drives her passion for working with children and families:
Q: What made you choose social work as a career?
Shannon: I have such compassion for those who need help and those who may have been dealt a bad hand. I have always wanted to work with people who have compassion for the well-being of others. I am also very fortunate to be married to someone who shares my love for children. We have 5 children and are caring for 2 children in foster care. We both feel that providing children with a loving home can give them hope, safety, and stability.
Q: Can you describe what it is like for you to work at KVC?
Shannon: I feel extremely lucky that I work for an organization that holds the same values as I do. I’m surrounded by co-workers that are all pushing for the same goals. Any type of social work can sometimes be demanding and sometimes frustrating, but with the support and training that I get at KVC, it’s totally rewarding when I’m able to help the families that I work with.
Q: Describe a proud working moment.
Shannon: I have so many proud moments with my clients. Each interaction I can see small amounts of growth or understanding of how to best care for children and the parents themselves. I was once told by a parent that getting to a point where she needed help had been one of the darkest parts of her life. She hated seeing her kids suffer but didn’t know how to help. She said that working with me was like I was there holding the flashlight to help her find the way. That’s what I love, is helping parents realize how incredible they are once they have the right tools.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Shannon: The satisfaction of knowing that I made a difference in a child and their family’s lives. That’s so incredibly rewarding when I know that in some way, the skills I’m sharing with both the children and parents are helpful. The small improvements will add up to big changes for that family.
Q: Do you have any advice for the clients you work with?
Shannon: I see the most success when a parent realizes that the child must always come first and both the child’s welfare, as well as their own, is paramount.
Shannon Bolter is one of the many dedicated employees at KVC who makes a tremendous difference by teaching adults the practical parenting skills needed to stop the cycle of violence and trauma. Our dedicated staff is committed to improving the lives of children and families in the community.