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Staff Spotlight: Barb Snow

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Office Administrator—Children, Youth and Family Services

When clients and staff come into United Counseling Service’s (UCS) division of Children, Youth and Family Services (CYFS), the first person they see is Barb Snow. You would be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t comforted by that.

Barb is the Office Administrator at CYFS, which involves a little bit of everything, and a lot of keeping track of everybody. She gets to know the clients who come in each day and provides a safe, calm atmosphere in the front office. Families who come into CYFS are often experiencing stress or anxiety before they even walk through the door. Barb makes it a priority to create as peaceful and quiet a setting as she can. Before UCS’ Psychiatric Urgent Care for Kids (PUCK) program and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) moved to their new location at HOPE House on Monument Avenue, Barb would see children experiencing mental health challenges of all levels of severity coming through the doors of CYFS. Her goal was to keep everyone calm and make them feel welcome.

“The kids get used to you and look forward to seeing you,” says Barb. “We’re trying to make the kids feel comfortable here, so it’s a safe place for them.” As she says, a lot of her job relies on customer service skills and answering phones, but there is so much happening behind the scenes. Supporting clinicians, helping clients navigate the check-in process, learning a bit about everybody to help comfort them and provide a familiar climate for people seeking help—it’s just as important as the clerical work. For Barb, the differences in what to expect each day excites her.  “It’s almost always different every day. You see different faces, you get to meet new people, which I like, and you get to help people, which is one of our core values.”

Barb’s kindness and attention to detail extends beyond her treatment of clients to fellow UCS staff. She has been known to bring food and coffee into the office to brighten the day and keeps an eye on everyone to make sure they are doing okay. This often includes asking coworkers if they ate lunch to make sure that they are not skipping meals during busy workdays. It’s the little things that matter, and Barb personifies that mindset.

“It is inspiring to see how Barb engages with her fellow colleagues, clients, and community members,” says Universal Access Coordinator Jaci Brillon. “She has a calm demeanor when it comes to crisis situations. Barb is very helpful and has incredible customer service skills. When I think of words to describe Barb—funny, compassionate, embodies UCS’s values, and she is a true asset to UCS.”

Outside of her role at UCS, Barb spends her free time with her new twin granddaughters, and of course, her cats. Free time is ‘me time’—reading a book, sitting by a beach, a lake—it’s about self-care when gets a few free moments to herself.

Barb found others who share her priority for caring when she came to UCS. She quickly realized after starting first as a Human Resources temp that she felt welcomed by the people she worked with, and felt her values aligned with theirs. “I feel like I clicked right away at UCS,” says Barb. “The people here are very encompassing to everybody. I’ve felt welcomed as an employee. That’s one of the great things about UCS, we all have different backgrounds, but we’re all here for the same reason, and that’s to help people. Helping each other is a great part of that.”

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