Forty Under Forty: Stephanie Circosta

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Stephanie Circosta

Social Work Supervisor

The Children’s Village

 

HIGH CASELOADS AND COMPLEX NEEDS

Fast fact: Circosta holds a master’s degree in social work from New York University


Stephanie Circosta supervises social workers and caseworkers who treat children placed in the foster care or juvenile justice systems, some of whom suffer from psychological or emotional issues. She has also just welcomed her own rising star with the birth of her son Jacob William Circosta on June 8.

 

NYN: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD?

SC: I think I always wanted to be a social worker, but I don’t think I even knew what it was. I just knew that I wanted to help people. My mom will joke and say that even in high school, I would stick up for all of the kids who were getting picked on or I would always back up the kids that needed more help. When I went to college, I got a degree in psychology and women’s studies and when I graduated I got a job working at a domestic violence shelter. Through that job, I met a lot of different people in a lot of different positions. I met nurses, I met people from the ER, attorneys, so it kind of opened my eyes to what I wanted to do.

 

NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.

SC: Personally, it was getting my clinical license because I took a long time, I postponed it a lot. And honestly, when I got pregnant, I realized I gotta do this before this baby comes. I had one young man that I was working with and I really tried to do a lot to get his family involved, so I was working really closely with his aunt, his sister and his mom. We really wanted to find his dad, so we worked closely with somebody at our agency called a family finding specialist. There was a lot of anger and resentment and problems. The kid was kind of stuck in the middle. I really did try to do a lot to change the family dynamic and when I realized that wasn’t really working, helped him to figure out how to manage that for himself.

 

NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?

SC: Caseloads are really high for social workers and caseworkers. I think that the kids and the families that we service need a lot more than we’re able to give them. I think the demands are really high. The caseload for kids in the juvenile justice system is significantly lower than the kids in the foster care system.

 

NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?

SC: The understanding of how important family is, and not just mom and dad but really getting other people involved: doing family trees and helping kids remember aunts, uncles, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, old teachers and old coaches to get them more involved in the youth’s life. 

 

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