Meet Diane Scarritt, Social Worker, LCSW, Epiphany Family Treatment Center
August 11, 2014
“As a social worker, I am wed to advocacy for the poor…I feel grateful for all the stressors with which I do not have to cope as well as the nurturing and support I have received from parents and role models,” says Diane Scarritt. A licensed clinical social worker who has years of experience helping at-risk children and their families, she began her career working in Bayview Hunter’s Point assisting children who had been exposed to violence, drugs, and neglect.
1. What do you enjoy most about working here? I find it really exciting working directly with the moms in recovery because they are so dedicated. It’s a thrill to be working with motivated women who want to do the right thing and improve their lives for themselves and their children.
And, it’s wonderful to see the women held so safely and securely by the Epiphany Center staff. This remarkable sense of protection gives them the opportunity to focus on improving their well-being as well as their children’s. Their recovery time at Epiphany Center is so unusual in that these moms can spend very high-quality time focused on their children. Epiphany Center has an amazing, highly-trained Parent-Child Center staff of caregivers who are the best at what they do. Speaking to 3-year-olds touched by trauma is truly an art.
I feel fortunate witnessing these women doing their best to redo what has not gone well in the past. It’s exciting to see that with support and by taking advantage of resources, these women are getting right back on the bicycle so to speak.
2. Overall, how do you first notice clients changing as a result of their time at Epiphany Center? I can see the kids have grown when they are feeling more secure around adults. They are increasingly curious, exploring their environments. While the moms are not my clients, I can see these women are taking in enormous amounts of information from the parenting education programs and becoming increasingly sophisticated in their relationship and parenting skills.
3. Specifically, within the last few weeks, what “little victories” have you noticed clients celebrating? It’s a good sign when a client asks me to come to their case conference or meeting with them. They often feel afraid of being judged negatively by society for past situational instances, and I can help present the whole picture for them.
4. Do you recall a particular outstanding success story? The change is evident, but generally, it is incremental and takes time. Often, transformations are seen over several generations of one family, as each generation improves a bit on the previous one.
One particular former agency client who had been suffering from terribly sub-standard housing situations, moving from place to place immensely benefitted from Epiphany Center’s support over a 3- year period. A single mother of an 8-year-old, she just got promoted to supervisor at her company, and she secured a two-bedroom house. As a single parent, juggling so many responsibilities, she is doing amazingly well!
5. Do you have a story or moment or memory during your time at Epiphany Center that transformed you? I often go to the San Francisco Department of Public Health and whenever I mention that I work at Epiphany Center, I invariably hear that Epiphany Center is the first choice for women in recovery because the care is so high quality, and the staff carefully follows each woman’s progress long-term. Epiphany Center is such a special, protective place for women. Parts of the building are often so quiet that you can hear a pin drop. I think this is wonderful for the women who had previously experienced so much chaos, and can now focus and recover. For the women, it’s such a blessing to be here as they get their lives together.