Kansas City,
10:13 AM

Social Work Month: Michelle's story

Did you know that Children’s Mercy has more than 150 social workers who serve patients and families across all areas of the hospital, in both inpatient and outpatient setting, as well as offering community-based services, child and family mental health services, and outreach clinics via telemedicine?

Social workers at Children’s Mercy help patients and families with psychological, social, and physical health needs. They attend to patients and families with issues that may impact their activities of daily living and quality of life with supportive counseling, therapeutic support, care planning, community referrals, mental health services, and much more.

Below, read a bit about Michelle's incredible story – one of the amazing individuals our social workers have the privilege of being able to work with every day! 

My name is Michelle Reams. I am a 28 year old, mother of 5. I have been clean and sober since May of 2014. After experiencing my rock bottom, I started my long hard road to recovery. This terrified me because I had just lost my children’s father, was fresh out of my addiction, new to Kansas City, and just had my fourth baby who was drug exposed. I felt like I was in a nightmare but at that moment, I knew it was time to change to save myself and my children.

I entered a drug treatment program at Rediscover, and soon after, I heard about the TIES Program at Children’s Mercy. At first, I was just doing what was suggested to me so that I could keep my kids. I was not open to what the program offered and wasn’t really welcoming a relationship with another caseworker. I was just doing what I was told to do. After a while, I started to see how much burden they took off of my shoulders, and how much love and compassion was shown for my family.

There are just not enough words to describe how much I appreciated having Ms. Ethel as my caseworker. I always felt like I CAN do this. They helped me provide some of my needs, gave me several resources, made sure I made it to scheduled appointments, was there to advocate for me when I could not advocate for myself, checked in with me just to see how I was doing, met with me and helped me develop a better relationship with my children and made sure they were developmentally on track. With the support from the TIES Program, I was able to keep focused on priorities and accomplish the goals that we set together so that I could move forward. They have helped me remove stress and at the same time, manage my time so that I am not overwhelmed. I felt like I could be myself and confident that I could turn my life around.

Before graduating, the TIES Program has helped me be a better mother, get into housing, get my children on track in their development, helped me be able to walk across the stage after getting my GED, gave me a sense of family, and showed me that I am important. My family and I are so grateful to have been a part of this program and hope that any woman is struggling, that they find TIES. You all have played a huge part in my journey to recovery. We have really come a long way!!! Thank you so much!


For more information about social work or the Department of Social Work check out our department page.

For more information about social work month, see the Social Work Month Website.