At Catholic Charities, we love highlighting our workers like Erica Harris! Especially when we receive heartfelt letters like this one from clients.

“As foster parents, we have found Erica Harris to be a kind, patient and brilliant advocate for our family. She is open, honest and has mastery of active listening. She is the reason we have continued to foster. She has worked alongside us as we were overwhelmed by expectations, behaviors and ongoing needs in our home and with outside providers. She has advocated on our behalf and supported us in finding language and communication styles to best serve the children in our home and advocate for our own family values and culture. Erica excels at seeing the best in others, and was sent straight from heaven in support of ensuring foster children experience a healthier and better world.”  – Jacqueline, CCWM foster parent

Please read our interview below with Erica, to learn more about her role at CCWM and the impact we are making, as an agency, on families in our community.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have been an employee at CCWM for 1 1/2 years. I am native to Grand Rapids and graduated from both GRCC and GVSU. I also obtained my Masters in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University 3 years ago. I have always worked in fields with children and families including teaching preschool, nannying, and ABA therapy with children on the autism spectrum. I love working with people and kids are my favorite kind of people!

What is your position at CCWM and what clients do you work with?
I worked as a Foster Care Specialist for 9 months and have been a Licensing Specialist now for 9 months. I currently manage 23 foster homes in my department.

What are two or three things that everyone should know about your role?
We always try our best to make sure children and families are the best fit for placements to minimize placement disruption. Also, the foster parents make my role easy as they really care about the kids and open their homes and follow all licensing rules to continue their license through DCWL.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 
Whenever a child gets a forever home or a long term placement as they achieve reunification with their legal parents, it is so rewarding knowing that child was provided love, support, and safety while in our care.

Is there anything else you want to say/talk about? 
Until I was 5 years old, my own parents were foster parents and it was a great memory for me. I loved having so many “brothers and sisters”. One day, I too will become a foster parent!