April Valentine is the new lead clinical associate for wrap-around services in our Anchorage Child & Family Outpatient clinic.  That means she’ll be planning and over-seeing the skill development groups offered by the team and coordinating attendance with caregivers and clinicians. So far, she jokes, it seems to mean “a lot of e-mails.”

Looking for growth opportunities

April has worked for ACMHS since March of 2019. She came over from another local provider because she was excited about the opportunities for professional growth at ACMHS.  She a bachelor’s degree in social work and is contemplating going back for a master’s degree in the future.

Rewards and Challenges

The most rewarding part of her job is seeing the growth in clients and knowing that she played a role in helping them improve. That can be “little” things. One example: something happens that she knows will upset a client, but then she can see the client take a pause to think through his or her reaction. The most challenging or frustrating aspect of her work is seeing systems fail to meet her clients’ needs.

The Key to April’s Patience

If you’ve ever seen April with clients, chances are you’ve been impressed with the amount of patience she shows.  She says she does a LOT of deep breathing. Even visibly, in front of her young clients, so that she is role modeling for them.  She also reminds herself of something she’s learned at ACMHS: that behaviors aren’t just random, they are meeting a need or a want. Keeping that in mind makes it easier to focus on helping clients learn more appropriate behaviors.

Fun facts

While not typically a sports-fan, April got hooked on fantasy football after winning the first year she played, in a league with a bunch of hard-core football fans.  She’s a wee bit competitive about it and was pretty disappointed with this year’s 3rd place finish.