Marilyn Cheever - Colorado Child Welfare Life Changer

November 14, 2018


Marilyn Cheever is with Gunnison County and has been for many years. She was nominated by county human services exeuctive director Joni Reynolds. Joni had this to share:

Marilyn became involved in a family’s life several years ago when they were in crisis due to drugs and court intervention. The children in the family were under the court jurisdiction in gunnison county and placed with family out of state. The court case remained open during the next couple of years as the judge wanted to maintain jurisdiction in the case.

Sadly, the kinship placement failed when family conflicts arose and the children were abruptly returned to gunnison with no placement plan.  Marilyn had moved into a new position, but she remained a constant for the children by re-entering the case.  She managed all of the arrangements and, eventually, the children were again in a stable kinship placement.

Marilyn traveled from Gunnison to a town far out on the eastern plains, traveling over 6 hours each way, every month to check in with the children and complete a home visit.  The children, most especially the oldest boy, were connected to marilyn as the constant caseworker who always went the extra mile to assure they had what they needed.  Marilyn provided supplemental support and resources so the children could participate in sports and school activities.

She ultimately transitioned the case to a new caseworker as her supervisory responsibilities became more taxing but remained involved in the case as a secondary point of contact. Unfortunately, that caseworker too resigned and the case needed to be transitioned again, but Marilyn stepped back into the case as the primary assuring again a consistent connection for the children.  

While the children's 2nd kinship placement was not successful, Marilyn was able to secure another kinship placement that has provided stability for the children and allowed them to again remain together and with kin. Marilyn stayed engaged with the family and the case ensuring the children had her consistent caring involvement. At the time of the case closure this summer, the oldest son expressed his gratitude to marilyn, bringing tears to marilyn's eyes.

Marilyn is an exceptional caseworker, she provided the best connection possible for the children through difficult transitions!   i applaud marilyn for her commitment and her outstanding case work and most especially her care and concern for the children!

When asked about Marilyn and this award her coworkers said:

Marilyn cheever has been a great role model for me in child welfare. she always shows empathy, kindness and respect for the families that we are working with, even in the most difficult of circumstances. She stands up for what she believes in and is a fierce advocate for her clients.

Marilyn always sees the strengths and growth in the families we work with, and often has ex-clients reach out to her for assistance. She is more than deserving of this award and i am proud to work by her side.

Marilyn not only cares about the children on her caseload, she cares about the entire family. Marilyn is able to build strong, lasting relationships with families. There have been many instances where families reach out to Marilyn for support even after their case has been closed, this speaks to her commitment to families and community. Thanks Marilyn!!!

Marilyn has had an amazing career in this field. she has truly made an impact in our community by not being afraid to do what is right for families.  Marilyn has selfishly gone above and beyond when it comes to helping a child and their family time after time. The demands of the job can be very difficult at times, but Marilyn has always been able to be there for everyone including co-workers. She is an inspiration when it comes to empathy and caring. We are very proud of her and of her recognition as a true “life changer.” Go Marilyn!

The Colorado Department of Human Services was proud to recognize Marilyn Cheever with a Colorado Child Welfare Life Changer Award.  She was unable to travel to the 2018 Colorado Child Welfare Conference to receive her award because she had a previous commitment to the children and families in Gunnison County.  A special award presentation will take place in Gunnison County later this week.  We know, Joni Reynolds, Gunnison and Hinsdale county human services executive director, and all of the staff at Gunnison and Hinsdale counties, joins the Colorado Department of Human Services in thanking Marilyn for all that she does.

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