Therapist & Case Manager, Foster Parent Recruiter, Treatment Services
written by Larry James
Any of the NDI staff who work in The Dalles or foster parents who have kids working with Melissa Reger-Furler will easily understand why Melissa would be the August Employee of the Month. Many of you may believe she lives at the office though you would be wrong since many days and evenings are spent in her car.
Melissa has been providing Intensive In-Home Family Services for six to eight families a month during the past two years which meant that she was on-call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. If this was not enough she also provided in home services for two Therapeutic Foster Care children which included therapy, case management and skill building.
Oh, then there were the Target and Special Contract kids for whom she provided counseling, case management and family support. Nearly every day she had a meeting at one of the schools and worked with biological parents. Melissa has worked with children and families in their homes in Arlington and Cascade Locks almost every week.
I don’t know how she was able to do all this but she also has taken on what we are calling “The Dalles Project.” We are working to create a new and dynamic presence for The Next Door in The Dalles. Melissa has worked with all of the other NDI programs in The Dalles to ensure that brochures and information are available about NDI programs and services specifically targeted for children, youth and families in The Dalles. For the past month you could find Melissa, along with other staff, at a booth at The Dalles Saturday Market, handing out information and children’s clothing. Reports from people in the community and the NDI staff at the booth have been very positive.
Melissa is dedicated, compassionate, and loyal. She is a strong-willed person who advocates very stubbornly for her children, youth, and families. She is highly respected by many of the DHS supervisors and workers in the state as well as members of The Dalles community. By the way, did I mention that she is also working on becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor and is considering returning to graduate school to become a better child and family advocate?
I get tired just saying what she has been doing. I can not express the admiration and respect that I have for Melissa. She is a children’s champion who makes a difference in the lives of all the children and families she touches.
For these reasons I am very honored and pleased to recognize Melissa Reger-Furler as the NDI Employee of the Month for August.