Staff Highlight: Brenda Barnett, LLBSW, CADC-DP

Brenda Barnett, LLBSW, CADC-DP

My job title is Community Case Manager. I have a limited license in social work and have developed a CADC plan (LLBSW, CADC-DP).

My job entails collaborating with co-workers and clients to achieve our organization’s goals. I see clients mainly in the Home of New Vision office for case management intakes, sessions, and reviews, however; I also go into the community to obtain resources and meet clients where they are at. I have and maintain a working knowledge of resources available in Washtenaw County. With each client, an individualized case management recovery plan is created that is strengths based and aims to empower clients. I coordinate care to advocate for clients and make sure they are receiving the available services they wish to get. I also currently facilitate the chemical education group. I document all client contact, complete filing related tasks, attend supervision, and actively work on my CADC-DP.

I became interested in this line of work for multiple reasons. I originally got my Associates in Science intending on becoming a nurse, however, realized that my heart was not in it. I took a year or two off of school to work to be able to get money needed to obtain a Bachelors Degree. After going through some rough personal experiences, I realized that my heart was in social work and got my Bachelors Degree at Eastern Michigan University. My friend Cheyenne Austin who has worked at Home of New Vision told me that I should do my internship there. I was initially hesitant as I was unfamiliar with the substance use disorder field. I did not think I could work in the substance use field as I have family members currently struggling with the disorder that has heavily impacted my life and personal struggles. However; after interning at the Home of New Vision office and working at residential, I realized that each client who walks through our doors gives me great hope for my family members currently struggling as their bravery sets the example that recovery happens. I am now heavily dedicated to this field and love working in this area. I am working on obtaining my Master’s in Social Work and hope to obtain certification for animal assisted therapy.

The predominant demographic for my clients is adult men and women. I’ve found that age varies greatly. My case load is usually 20-25 per month, however; it has ranged from 10-40 at times.

I have several particular cases that stand out to me, however, with the recovery community being so close knit I do not want to risk describing an identifiable client. Every individual case is important/special to me. Ones that stick out tend to be individuals who started off in very rough places, however; used their amazing strengths and courage to lift themselves into great opportunities such as being leaders in transitional houses or getting their dream jobs. Getting to view their journeys is a blessing.

I would like to say thank you to my supervisors and co-workers for providing the best work environment I have ever worked in. My co-workers’ amazing personalities and friendship make coming to work fun. My supervisors support and believe in me, along with the chance that they gave me inspire everything that I have done, and could not have done it without them.

Photo of Brenda Barnett