Monarch Frontline Hero: Long-Term Services and Supports Behavioral Specialist Octavia Childers
Behavioral Specialist Octavia Childers considers the residents of the 14th Street group home her family. Since 2009, she has worked with residents and been witness to many changes, however, none quite like COVID-19.
In the midst of the pandemic, the 14th Street group home residents were preparing to move as the building had been sold. The group home location was recently purchased by someone who had other plans for the property, forcing Monarch to search for an alternate location. That search was not successful with residents ultimately finding separate living arrangements.
The 14th Street group home was scheduled to close on May 16 with residents moving to other locations to continue receiving services. In the meantime, one of the two residents remaining at the group home came into contact with someone who had contracted the coronavirus. That resident needed to be quarantined before moving.
Residential Manager Regina Love explained that all group home staff members had moved on to other positions or taken other employment, except for Childers. Love asked her if she would be able and interested to stay until May 26 with the resident during a 14-day quarantine.
Without hesitation, Childers agreed. “Without any complaints, she rose to the occasion,” Love recalled. “Octavia is sincerely compassionate and gives 110% to the people we support. She wears her heart on her sleeve and gives of herself.”
Childers took it all in stride, passing the time with the residents talking, watching movies, listening to country music and drawing. “You can tell they are tired of being quarantined in their home but we are all making the most of it,” Childers said. The resident exposed is doing well and did not contract the virus.
“I wanted to be here to help out plus prepare them for the move to their new homes. I didn’t want anything to get lost in the shuffle. I wanted to be here to make sure that transition goes smoothly,” Childers said of the move prompting worry for the residents.
As Childers talked about her experience, her kindheartedness can be heard: “I wanted to be that person there for them. I tell them everything is going to work out. When you have doubts, I am the one you can run to.”
Director of Program Operations, LTSS, Nancy Kaierle described Childers as a special individual who never says, “no.” “She has been a lifesaver in this situation. I am eternally grateful for what Octavia has done and how she truly treats the people we support as her family,” she described. The management staff pulled together to provide Childers with one full day off during the quarantine to give her a break.
The resident that Childers helped during the quarantine will soon be a part of her family. The resident and Childers have applied for an Alternative Family Living (AFL) option. This means the resident will be part of Childers family and live at their home. As a community specialist in AFL, Childers will contract as a provider through Monarch and stay up to date on trainings.