During his time in Speh Home, Dion became interested in the process in which our kids transitioned to older programs. He decided that he wanted to experience working with older boys, and applied for a position in Kelly Home, where he stayed for six years.
Despite the common thought that dealing with older boys would be easier, Dion actually found that it brought a set of new challenges.
“You’re meeting young men who are set in a lot of ways, [many] of them have been in situations where they were the adult in their household and they had to kind of fend for themselves,” he explained. “So the level of trust is a lot harder to earn.”
After six years in Kelly Home, Dion again became interested in the transition process, but this time in what happened to our kids when they transitioned out of Mercy Home.
“You know, none of the guys that were transitioning had families and [I] kind of wanted to see one of them on the other side. … [And I] really wanted to keep contact with a lot of people just to see how they’re doing. And [working in AfterCare] allows you to do that.”
As a care manager, Dion has many responsibilities, including helping members navigate their educational and vocational futures, as well as connecting them with resources in the community. He also is able to work with families, which is something he especially enjoyed since his time in Speh Home.
“I love working with the families,” he said. “If you ever [live] at Mercy Home, you’re automatically a member of AfterCare. But who you identify as family is also a member, and that’s what I like—to really pass along resources and assistance that you can give their family.”
Dion’s time in Speh and Kelly homes has also helped him when he runs into them as members of AfterCare. He has the benefit of already knowing their story, he explained.