Director of Human Resources and Professional Development
Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services
HR WORKS HARD FOR YOU
Fast fact: D’Ambrosio holds an M.S. in industrial/organizational psychology from Baruch College
Steven D’Ambrosio started as an intern with Sheltering Arms in 2010 and now serves as the director of human resources and professional development. He has facilitated the growth of the organization’s staff by more than 200 percent to support programs serving thousands of New York City children and families in need. His colleagues say he is “optimistic during difficulty, compassionate during uncertainty, and strategic during complexity. Steven is willing to be the positive voice when nobody sees it coming, and will even be the one to shake things up when we're too comfortable with the status quo.”
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
SD: The agency, when I started working here, was a lot smaller. Since that time we’ve tripled. So I’ve always been very proud of my efforts and my team’s efforts at developing the agency and opening new and innovative programs with very unique offerings. It’s always very fulfilling to start something from the ground up.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
SD: A major challenge for us has been our early childhood education department. As a voluntary provider agency, we have a very dedicated staff and that is a very large area of programming for us but the funding we receive really pales in comparison to the Department of Education. That would be a change for the better – really lessening the gap of compensation practices for voluntary providers that run early childhood centers versus the Department of Education. At the end of the day they’re working just as hard. That’s always been something very important for me.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
SD: I think on an internal level, right now for our agency, I think we’ve accomplished so much. What I’d like to do is to maybe further use my expertise in industrial organizational psychology and engage in more metrics for the agency, and more analysis of the data that we have so that it can support our strategy and decision-making. And a fun one – I’m a big volleyball player and I really enjoy working in a support role in social services. Eventually I have this dream where I kind of merge the two, and I start my own organization that serves children in need but teaches them how to play volleyball.
NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
SD: I think folks should know that sometimes even though it’s a little more behind the scenes that we work very very very hard for our employees interests and to support them. It’s not all about disciplinary and firing people.