One of the first people our kids and their families encounter when they first get in contact with Mercy Home is Andre Boada, a case manager in Admissions. This is a big responsibility, but Andre takes it in stride. In fact, he looks at it as a positive.

“I do have the blessing that I’m able to meet them in the beginning,” he said. “I do get to build rapport. We’re the first people [they get] to know and get to be vulnerable with, so I think we’re very crucial to making them feel comfortable [and] to trust that Mercy Home will be providing a great service to their youth.”

Andre began working at Mercy Home nine years ago, when he heard about job openings from his former youth pastor Mario Tamayo and took a job as a youth care worker in Campbell Home. After several years doing that, he decided he wanted to get a better idea of what goes on at the beginning of the kids’ experience at Mercy Home and applied for a job in the Admissions department.

Portrait of Andre Boada

Because Andre speaks Spanish, he has the opportunity to work with many different kids and families who come to Mercy Home, which he enjoys. He also enjoys keeping in touch with the many kids he meets in Admissions during their stay at our Home.

“I’d like to say we’re kind of the cool uncles because we get to hang out a little bit … and we don’t always get to see the stress,” he explained. “We also have been there during crises. I think that helps the youth coming in, know that they could trust us [and knowing] that’s the approach the other teams are going to take.”

Andre’s schedule is full—he has a caseload that’s typically between 20-30 kids who he checks in with biweekly. His typical week includes making phone calls to parents and kids, doing home and school visits, and even going to hospitals when necessary to visit our kids. He also works with third parties, like therapists, counselors, guardians, and others to help with treatment planning and helps host group informational sessions three times a week.

Andre stressed that one of the hallmarks of Admissions is that they all really care about the kids.

“How can you not care for somebody that you’re speaking to on an almost daily basis, specifically when the cases are active?” he said. “When they’re active, I’m speaking to them at least maybe three to five times per week. It’s natural for you to care for somebody that you’re spending so much time with, too.”

Continuing the relationship with the kids after they’re admitted to Mercy Home is equally important, Andre added.

“You want to foster [the relationship],” he explained. “A lot of [the kids] come with abandonment so I don’t want them to feel like they came to Admissions and we just forget who they are. We want to continue building that rapport.”

The entire Admissions team’s commitment to caring for the kids and families who seek out Mercy Home’s support is something Andre loves about being at Mercy Home.

 “A lot of [the kids] come with abandonment so I don’t want them to feel like they came to Admissions and we just forget who they are. We want to continue building that rapport.”

“I really, really enjoy working on this team,” he said. “Families are calling us during crisis, and I think we thrive off that because we still have to support them even though they’re not in our care [yet]. … It just gives you a better understanding as to why our youth are coming and why places like [Mercy Home] are needed in the world, and if anything, we need more of those just because the needs are there, and the demand is there, too. I think that’s what I’ve enjoyed most, I’ve been able to get to know these families during their crisis, while they’re at the most vulnerable, while they’re asking for support, and knowing, I think it comes back to knowing that you’re not alone in life and that there are people that support you. I think I find a lot of joy in that.”

Knowing this, it’s not surprising that Andre said the coworkers and Mercy Home’s family environment are what keeps him coming back to Mercy Home each day. He has found support from his coworkers during his own life struggles and enjoys the professional development opportunities.

 “Families are calling us during crisis, and I think we thrive off that because we still have to support them even though they’re not in our care [yet]. It just gives you a better understanding as to why our youth are coming and why places like [Mercy Home] are needed in the world.”

“Everyone is here, I think, for the right reasons,” he said. “I think everybody’s priority, or their hearts or calling, are the youth and families. I see what we’re doing here, you cannot deny that.”

“I like to say that Mercy Home has seen me grow up because I was a young adolescent [when I came to work here] and now I’m 33, so I know the way they supported me, that’s the same support they’re giving our youth. … I’m happy here, and we’re doing good stuff.”

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