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Sherin S., Social Worker, is the recipient of the 2019-20 Award for Collaboration – one of the highest honours in Circle of Care’s employee recognition program, Champions of Care.

Positively Impacting Older Adults in the Community

Sherin’s desire to devote her career to working with people started on a volunteer humanitarian trip to Uganda in 2014. While in Uganda, she helped build a medical clinic for a local primary school in a remote village. The following year, after a second humanitarian trip where she assisted with building latrines for an isolated community in southern India, she had solidified her decision to devote her career to positively impacting vulnerable people. She enrolled in a Master’s degree in Social Work soon after, completed a third humanitarian trip to west India, and started her career in social work.

Since joining Circle of Care in 2018, Sherin has worked largely with a senior population in need of assistance navigating complex legal, medical and financial systems. Being connected with a social worker like Sherin can help these individuals achieve their goals and guide them through what is oftentimes the most challenging and worst times in their lives.

“I am so rewarded by getting to see the impact that I’ve made in a client’s life. Increasing their quality of life through tangible, real solutions makes me really happy,” says Sherin.

The importance of in-person interactions

On top of the challenging and complex situations our social work clients find themselves in, the recent pandemic has caused additional roadblocks for these clients. The abrupt transition to virtual care has proven to be difficult for clients without access to a computer or stable phone.

“This experience has reaffirmed the significance of in-person interactions,” says Sherin. “It’s highlighted the meaningful impact that I, along with my fellow social workers, make through our daily work when we’re face-to-face with people. Often, we are their only source of support.”

Supporting a complex client in need

Recently, Sherin assisted a client through a difficult situation. This particular client was facing the daunting task of looking for new housing after his partner had passed away, while also managing the grief that comes with losing someone so close. Without the second income from his partner, he could not afford the rent of his current home, and had no immediate family for support.

“This particular client was at elevated risk for suicide due to his grief and other mental health issues. And he also required complex medical care,” Sherin said.

Sherin provided supportive counseling to him while guiding him through this challenging time in his life. She found him a new housing unit and worked with the LHIN to set him up for home services to assist with his medical care. She arranged his medication with the pharmacist, and worked with his doctor and psychiatrist to help him with his mental and physical health.

Recognized for her collaborative efforts

In May 2020, Sherin received the Champions of Care Award for Collaboration for her work on such a complex caseload in collaboration with our LHIN partners.

“Sherin exemplifies the competencies of a Social Worker in the community setting and across settings. Her ability to establish an effective and meaningful therapeutic relationship as well as effective synergies in inter-professional collaborative practice was evident from our very first interaction,” said Sabrina Cestola, Float Care Coordinator West Sub-Region. “She supported one of the most challenging client situations in my caseload and I am immensely grateful for her knowledge, judgment, expertise and kindness.”

The Award for Collaboration is presented to an employee who seeks and embraces meaningful partnerships that contribute to the Sinai Health vision of being an integrated health system and realizing the best health and care for people with specialized and complex needs.

“The Champions of Care program is able to capture the great work we do on a regular basis and really recognize it,” says Sherin. “It encourages me and the rest of my colleagues to continue to do amazing work.”