The On Call Adoption Worker

What Does It Mean To Be “On Call”? We will look at the on-call support staff at Adoption STAR and meet two of the social workers that are often available after hours.

At Adoption STAR, most of us are in essence always “on call” simply because of the nature of our role with clients. However there is a formal “on call” policy and we thought it would be helpful to share some of the components involved.

Shannon Boeheim, MSW

Shannon Boeheim, MSW

Shannon Boeheim Bio

Shannon is as an Adoption Social Worker and Family Advocate in the Adoptive Parent Department. She works directly with prospective adoptive parents in the traditional domestic adoption program as well as assist clients throughout the process of an international adoption.

Employees rotate on a monthly on-call system, with one staff member being the primary (first on-call person), another being the second on-call person and a third person, being yes, you guessed it, the third on-call staff person. On-call reflects being available during any after-work hours such as evenings, weekends and holidays. On-call telephone calls would be what we deem “Emergency Calls” and to us they include all pregnant and laboring women as well as women who have recently given birth or who are parenting a child or children and are requesting adoption information, assistance and/or adoption counseling. Pregnant women include all women who are at any stage of their pregnancy, including just a few weeks pregnant. Birth mothers who have placed and are in need of post-counseling support are also considered emergency callers. In addition, other emergency calls may include a prospective adoptive parent client who identified a pregnant woman and needs immediate assistance, a newly placed adoptive family in crisis, prospective adoptive clients preparing to respond to an after-hour or weekend potential placement, a crisis of an adoptee. On call employees are responsible for carrying a cellular telephone at all times.

Because of the frequent emergency level calls received by the agency, prospective adoptive parent calls requesting adoption information or the status of their file or case cannot be deemed emergencies.

Alecia A. Zimmerman, MSW

Alecia Zimmerman, MSW

Alecia Zimmerman, MSW

Alecia is an Expectant Parent Social Worker with Adoption STAR. Alecia attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and then her Master’s degree in Social Work. Prior to joining Adoption STAR she worked at the Homeless Alliance of Western New York and Parkside Community Association.

During the week and especially prior to the weekends, professional staff members supply the first and second on-call staff members with potential situations that may arise after hours or on the weekend, including but not limited to names of clients due to give birth, phone numbers, names and numbers of adoptive parents matched or who have pending adoptions, those awaiting interstate compact approval, etc.

Besides managing the calls received during one’s on-call period, the on-call employee knows that s/he is will be required to go into the office or a hospital or a client’s home, if needed.

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