Meet Kara Faso, Senior Family Intervention Specialist in Columbia, Tennessee

Kara FasoMeet Kara Faso, Senior Family Intervention Specialist in our Columbia, Tennessee office. Kara has been with the company just over a year and is an exceptional asset to the team.  Work alongside Kara in Columbia to make a difference in the lives of families and children and families by visiting http://www.youthvillages.org/jobs and search Columbia, Tennessee.

Have you always lived in Columbia or did you relocate?
I am originally from New York but I have lived in Tennessee for over 5 years now. I lived in Cookeville while I was pursuing my master’s degree. I moved to Columbia when I was hired with Youth Villages over a year ago.

Did you always want to work with children and families?
Ever since I was little I knew that I wanted to be in the counseling field. After my parents’ divorce, I knew that working with children would be my calling.  Once I began the path of counseling and working with a wide variety of different clients, I knew that children and families would be my area of focus.

What is the best part about your job?
Working with the youth would be my favorite part. Some of the youth that we serve with are close to giving up or don’t know what else to do. Being able to work with the youth to decrease behaviors is very rewarding. Knowing that you played a small part in that change makes the job worthwhile. One of the other great things about working for Youth Villages is the flexibility and that is what initially “sold” me during my first interview. I like being able to mold my own schedule. Because of my great time management skills, I could easily prioritize my schedule and get my work done at my own pace when I was an in-home specialist, which made the job much easier.

What is most challenging about your job?
I would have to say working with a family or youth that is reluctant to services. Establishing good engagement with the family is most challenging. Some families are resistant to services and don’t trust some providers but once you establish a strong rapport, the rest falls into place. I love that in the Intercept program we can help so many families that initially feel like they’ve done and tried everything. That challenge is what I personally love about my job. We work with youth and families that have severe behaviors and emotional issues. So, when we first meet a family they are usually pretty defeated. The challenge is getting that family to see that they can make a difference in their own lives without relying on others as much. Once you see that “light bulb” go off with families, it is the best feeling ever. Helping parents and families recognize small successes is just as important as achieving the bigger goals.

Any exciting office events that your team participates in?
Here in the Columbia office we take time to have a little fun! We have team builders to bring the office together and to break up the stresses of the day. We have amazing clinical supervisors, regional supervisor and director that take time out to bring the teams together as one. That’s what makes Columbia such a strong, united office.

What do you like about the Columbia area?
Columbia has that small town feel. It’s located close to Spring Hill which has a lot of shopping and restaurant choices. The other great aspect is that it is located so close to Franklin and downtown Nashville, so it’s easy to head down to catch a concert and dinner on a Friday night. There are also a few rivers so canoeing is also an option on the weekends.

What advice would you give to someone starting out at Youth Villages?
I think the best advice would be to rely on your team members and supervisor. We work as team and work even harder to make sure that one teammate does not fall behind. It’s easy in this field to become overwhelmed due to the severity of the cases we deal with. But making sure that you are reaching out to your team is very important. It’s always nice to know that someone else knows where you are coming from or acknowledges that you are working hard.

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