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Staff Spotlight - Darcy Maher

Darcy Maher is one of our treatment foster care therapists. As a therapist helping others through their challenges, Darcy understands the benefits and need of personal self-care. She takes care of herself by spending time with her friends who happen to be spread out across the country, which means she gets to travel and explore new places, too. She focuses on her wellness by cooking plant-based meals and enjoys discovering new recipes each week as well as running to take care of physical health and to clear her mind. We asked Darcy a few questions about the work that she does and the reasons she does it.

What is your background in the behavioral healthcare field?     
Prior to joining Cornerstones of Care, I worked as the therapist for Jackson County Juvenile Detention. As the only mental health professional in the facility, I was responsible for providing individual therapy, leading groups, developing a trauma-informed milieu in detention and advocating for the kids on a daily basis.

What drew you into the profession?    
I was first drawn to the field of foster care several years ago while working with families in Tennessee toward reunification. After seeing firsthand the positive impact that a strong support system and trauma-informed, evidence-based approaches could have in assisting families reach their permanency goals, I knew I would always be passionate about this population.

What do you do in your role at Cornerstones of Care?  
My role on the treatment foster care team will develop over time, but I’m hoping to be able to provide clinical consultation when developing treatment plans for the youth and families we serve, in addition to offering therapy services to youth who may not already have an outpatient therapist.

What makes treatment foster care special or differentiates from other types of care?    
One of the key elements that makes treatment foster care different from other levels of care is the support network provided to the youth and families. All youth within the foster care system have experienced some form of trauma and loss, but being able to provide comprehensive, wrap-around services and 24-hour support to those families serving youth with elevated behavioral needs can make all the difference. Foster families implementing trauma-informed care with the youth in their homes on a daily basis is an incredible commitment and can really assist the youth in their homes in building resiliency and overcoming trauma.

What are some ways that people in Kansas City can help you all with the work that you’re doing?       
Anyone in our community who wants to assist with this work has gifts and talents that can be used! There is always a need for those individuals or families who are willing to take the jump to become treatment foster care families or respite options for the youth we serve. I think on a more micro level, community partners stepping up to provide support such as bring meals for foster families, assisting with getting youth connected to recreational activities or becoming a mentor to a young person — these are all valuable ways that someone could get involved and change lives!

Learn more about treatment foster care, what it entails and how to get involved.