Misty Bogle - Colorado Child Welfare Life Changer
Misty Bogle, pictured above along side Reggie Bicha, CDHS executive director and Minna Castillo Cohen, CDHS director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families, is with Jefferson County Human Services. She has been with the department for almost two years and was nominated by her supervisor, Jennifer Davis, who shared a truly beautiful story, writing:
Misty Bogle is an intake worker with Jefferson County. She was assigned an assessment with allegations that a father could not provide care for his three young children. There were additional concerns about the abuse of drugs and the family had recently closed a child welfare case. The children's mother was a substance abuser, has untreated mental health issues, and, sadly, not involved with the family. This single dad was working to ensure his kids make it to school every day and trying to pick up odd jobs when he was able. the children attend two different elementary schools, as one of the children has special needs.
When Misty initiated her assessment, she quickly learned the family was extremely fearful of human services involvement and had experienced a traumatic removal in the past. this made her ability to engage the family all the more difficult.
But Misty was determined to take time to learn about this man and his children. She addressed all of the allegations with the father and was patient as he reacted with anger, sadness, denial, and at times, a feeling of hopelessness. During all of this, Misty continued to be transparent and empathic and didn't give up on engaging with this family.
Eventually, it came to light that this family was struggling with severe poverty and had been bouncing between motels for almost a year. When Misty initially spoke with dad, he was in a crisis situation trying to ensure his family would not be evicted from the motel.
Misty learned the family was not accessing all of the services available to them. The father confided in Misty that he was illiterate and unable to complete the necessary paperwork needed to get public assistance. Misty met with the father for an entire day at the division, explaining the paperwork and helping this father apply for food stamps and TANF.
As she continued to work with this father, he continued to have times when he would be angry and verbally aggressive toward her, but she continued to be patient and empathetic with the family, while continuing to ensure child safety.
Misty learned the father had put his name on a housing lottery list and she took the initiative to follow up on the status of this list, to learn that the father and his children had been selected for housing. It was a small success she and this dad were able to celebrate together.
The following week, she learned it was one of the children’s birthdays. During a conversation, she learned he was not able to get his son a birthday cake, and this disappointed him. Misty again took action, getting the father funds so he could purchase a cake, some birthday candles and plates to celebrate his child’s birthday with his family.
I know this doesn't directly correlate to a child safety concern, but this small gesture meant the world to this father and his children. Misty has gone above and beyond what most other intake caseworkers would do to help this father and his children and has persevered when met with anger and distrust for the agency she works for. Her investment in this family is truly amazing and her work with this family has made an extraordinary difference for them.
There are a lot of caseworkers working really hard and doing great things in this difficult field, and Misty is no exception to this. What makes Misty different is her ability to approach families with such calmness and compassion. She sees each family member as a real person, not just as a client. She takes the time to listen to them and to learn what they need.
She partners with them for however long it takes and does what is necessary to help them, no matter what. Every family Misty works with is a little better afterwards because of the work misty has done with them. She is truly a unique and remarkable caseworker and is a model of what our true potential can be in this field.
The Colorado Department of Human Services was proud to present Misty Bogle with a Colorado Child Welfare Life Changer Award at the 2018 Colorado Child Welfare Conference. We know, Mary Berg, Jefferson County Human Services Executive Director, and all of the staff at Jefferson County, joins the Colorado Department of Human Services in thanking Misty for all that she does.