Towne Salute: Missy Rhodes
Apr 01, 2018 07:00AM
“I knew that they worked with children and that was my main focus—working with kids,” Rhodes says.
Crossroads Community incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1984. It serves five counties on the Eastern Shore including Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot. Its mission is to inspire, encourage, and teach children and adults with emotional and behavioral needs. According to Rhodes, in order to be eligible to receive support from Crossroads Community, the individual must have a mental health diagnosis, have medical assistance, and be in therapy.
“The therapist [refers the patient] for services at Crossroads,” Rhodes says. “We go out and do some assessments and decide who to link them up with and what services to provide for them.”
When she started with the organization, she assisted with the Therapeutic Mentoring program, where she worked with children in the school system. For the last decade, she has worked as the program support specialist and respite coordinator.
“The Respite program works with children,” Rhodes explains. “It provides a temporary break for the primary caregiver or guardian. It usually happens over a weekend period. It’s on a scheduled basis and the children go to the homes that are licensed through the Department of Social Services.”
Rhodes meets with the children and connects them with the respite providers. She also meets with the providers on a regular basis to schedule visits. She explains that most children won’t get a mental or behavioral health diagnosis until they’re about four- or five-years-old, so that’s the youngest age found in the Respite program. The Respite program supports children and adolescents up to 18 years old.
Rhodes not only coordinates the Respite program, but she also helps as a program support specialist by assisting the program director, as well as the staff at Crossroads Community. Some of her responsibilities include bookwork, office work, working on statistics for the organization, and monthly reports. She also assists in coordinating the awards banquet.
“Working with the kids,” Rhodes says smiling when asked about her favorite part of Crossroads Community. “They’re my specialty. I would do almost anything for my kids. It’s awesome to watch them grow. I’ve seen several grow from age seven to 18, so that’s pretty neat. It’s very rewarding.”
Rhodes has an associate’s degree in early childhood education and is very involved with her nieces and nephews, so it’s easy to understand why she enjoys working with children so much.
“Kids are my main focus. I love my kids—and I do call them my kids,” Rhodes says with a laugh. “I work for them and this is a very nice company. They’re very flexible and work with us if we have needs. They’re very inquisitive about what we’re doing. It’s a great place.”
For more information on Crossroads Community, visit ccinconline.com