Q & A with Elyse Inman, Intake Specialist, Clinical Services Team

Elyse_Inman_Staff Profile

 

Q: What is your role and how long have you worked for PCHAS?

A: I have been with PCHAS since 2011, when I started as an intern on the Clinical Services team. Now I’m an Intake Specialist on the Clinical Services Team.

 

Q: What does an Intake Specialist do?

A: We are on the front lines – handling phone calls and emails from families in crisis. We help connect families with the programs and services that they need, whether that be within our agency or another agency. Calls or emails come to us from a variety of sources, including through the toll free number on the Get Help section of our website http://texas.pchas.org/get-help/.

 

Q: What is your background/training?

A: I graduated from Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work (with a minor in marriage and family counseling).

 

Q: What is the biggest challenge in your job?

A: The biggest challenge I face is making sure that a family gets all of the appropriate resources that they need. It is not always easy to connect them with the right services for their family, but I always make sure they have at least one good option before getting off of the phone. They always know they can call me back and I will do extra research to get them where they need to be!

 

Q: What is a typical day like?

A: A typical day could bring multiple calls where the person on the other end of phone is in complete crisis, in tears, begging for help. Some families are about to give up, and convincing them not to give up is hard

 

Q: It must be tough to be on the front lines handling crises?

A: Intake can be very stressful, emotionally trying. Burnout is high in this field; it’s not the easiest job to do. But at PCHAS, we work as a team; nobody does the job alone. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is true, and we work together and support each other. Not all agencies are like that. Turnover can be very high in this field, often because there’s not enough support, not everyone shares the burden. But at PCHAS, nobody has to carry the burden alone; everyone is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for one another.

 

Q: Can you share an example of a crisis that you’ve handled and the outcome?

A: I worked with a family who had adopted a child from another country. The child had lived in an orphanage for the first few years of her life, and has some emotional issues. The child received treatment at another facility, but was not quite ready to go home, so we worked with the family to help improve their relationships with each other. We will be the stepping stone for them to become a strong, unified, healthy family unit!

 

Q: What do you like about your job?

A: I love serving children and families in need. I love that I get to be the person to listen to a family’s story and help them through crises and difficult times. I am often told that I’m the first person who has really listened or seemed to genuinely care. It is very satisfying to know that I do make a difference.

 

Q: What sets PCHAS apart from other agencies?

A: PCHAS is an amazing place to work. PCHAS offers programs with quality and compassion. Our agency is hyper-focused on quality, not just quantity. We help a lot of people; we help 4,200 children and families a year; but PCHAS staff members take the time to really connect with people and serve them in every way possible. This is not the case at every social service agency; PCHAS is different.

 

Q: It is obvious that you feel passionate about PCHAS.

A: Yes, I do. I am so proud to be part of the PCHAS staff. The people who work here are passionate about helping people, The PCHAS staff is here because they love helping children and their families. No one works here to get rich; and I love that PCHAS is Christ-centered. Our mission statement, “PCHAS provides Christ-centered care and support to children and families in need,” is at the heart of this agency. Everyone, from the president and the board of trustees on down, are very serious about our mission. It’s not just words.