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Staff Spotlight: Devin Dittrich

Meet Devin Dittrich (right), Director of Programs for Foster Care in our Cook and Joliet offices.

What is your job title & how long have you been an employee at OHU?

I am currently the Director of Programs for Foster Care for our Cook and Joliet offices. I have been with One Hope United for almost 15 years (March 2018) and started off as a Foster Care Case Manager, moving my way up to Foster Care Supervisor and now Director.

What sparked your interest in this career field?

Prior to coming to One Hope United, I worked as a Medical Case Manager at a skilled pediatric nursing facility. Most of the children that lived at the facility were involved with DCFS as they had been victims of severe abuse and neglect and could not live without intense nursing and medical intervention. This was my first glimpse into DCFS. It wasn’t until a couple years later, during my graduate program, that I met someone that worked for OHU (then Central Baptist Family Services) and heard of an opening at the Joliet office. I felt complacent at my current job and knew that there was no room for growth as a case manager and I wanted to be challenged more. The rest is history!

Why are your programs so important?

Under the umbrella of my program we have 3 Foster Care teams, a Licensing team and an Adoption team. The Foster Care teams are charged with working with families that have allegations of abuse, neglect or dependency in which the children were removed from their home. They help change people’s lives and make difficult decisions to improve home environments for children and reunite families.  The Licensing team works just as hard to education, recruit and license relative foster homes and non-relative foster homes for the children to reside either temporarily until return home or long-term, through adoption or guardianship. If a child cannot be returned home, the Adoption team has specialized knowledge and skills when it comes to writing in order to ensure that a child’s history and current needs are reflected in the documents required for Adoption or Guardianship. Each position is equally as important and every worker works just as hard as the next for the purpose of ensuring that every child we work with has a safe, stable and forever home, via return home or adoption/guardianship.

Can you share a success story or something you are most proud of doing in your role?

Over the years there have been so many success stories with the families we serve and all for different reasons. These successes can be measured by way of return homes, adoptions or even just stabilizing a child in a placement or helping a parent achieve sobriety. The one common theme for these success stories is that they all had dedicated, passionate workers that cared just as much about a positive outcome for the family as the family themselves. The workers are what I am most proud of, and the way that they handle situations that most people would run from is what makes me truly proud of what I do and who I work with.

What are you most excited about as far as the future of your role?

There have been some changes over the past year with me stepping into the Director role and although it’s not always easy– our team has become very strong and supportive to one another.  I am looking forward to using that supportive teamwork component to expand our involvement in the community and build more partners outside of OHU.