Area II Child Welfare staff receive thanks for compassionate, customer-first service
Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) helps individuals with developmental disabilities to lead, safer, healthier, more independent and productive lives. DDS serves more than 8,100 Oklahomans with developmental disabilities, with the assistance of community partner agencies. DDS services are designed to promote the well-being of Oklahomans with developmental disabilities, and ignite hope by empowering individuals and families to fulfill their personal goals.
Becoming an adult is challenging for everyone, especially when you are a young person aging out of foster care without the support of friends and family. For Ember, whose childhood was marked by trauma and loss, this transition left her feeling hopeless at times – like walking into a dark room without a lit candle.
When Ember became an adult, she transitioned to the Robert M. Greer Center. The Greer Center is a short-term treatment facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs. The facility's goal is to treat residents and, when they are ready, transition them to a supervised community placement. As Ember’s confidence and determination grew, she discovered she was ready to enter a new phase in her life.
“We are so proud to provide services that are pathways to hope and independence for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families,” said Beth Scrutchins, Director of DDS. “In stories like Ember’s we get to experience a young person’s goals and dreams coming to reality with just a little extra help. We could all use a team in our corner encouraging us to keep going, and we are so honored to be that team for so many Oklahomans who need us.”
Ember chose to move to Lawton to live in her own home. DDS contracts with providers throughout the state who help individuals live safely in the community, and Ember chose Community Access, Inc. as her support agency. Since transitioning to the community, she has become more independent and lives a more productive life. Ember enjoys meeting new people and her warm, friendly personality naturally draws others to her. She advocates for herself by letting others know what she needs to be successful. She wants to continue to grow, and responds well to positive feedback, traits for which she has recently been recognized while pursuing another goal - employment.
Ember is passionate about baking. She enjoys baking at home and likes to share the cupcakes she makes with friends. While her dream remains to be a baker, she found a fulfilling and enjoyable job at McDonalds. She was even recently recognized as Employee of the Month for her hard work and dedication. Ember’s work ethic is inspirational to others, and her co-workers admire her accomplishments and appreciate her friendship. Her newfound light of hope is burning bright, sparking a path for others to follow.
Ember’s DDS teams includes her Case Manager, Monique Bringman and Supervisor William Mahoney, along with Transition Coordinator, Naheed Khavari. Her Community Access, Inc. Residential Program Coordinator is Latresha Barnes.