Tara S., Client Service Supervisor, is the recipient of the 2020-2021 Award for Innovation– one of the highest honours within Circle of Care’s employee recognition program, Champions of Care.
Her passion to help others
Improving the quality of life is always top of mind for Client Services Supervisor Tara S.
“My clients, my colleagues, myself, we’re all in this together,” says Tara. “I just want to help improve the lives of anyone I’m connected with, and ensure they’re happy.”
Her focus on quality of life drives Tara to be creative and knowledgeable in her work, and to always put our clients first.
“I’m not the type of person that likes to leave things the way they are. I’m always pushing to overcome challenges, even if that means finding a new way to get to a solution,” says Tara. “To ensure that, I make it my business to know what’s going on and to identify the constraints on a situation. With that knowledge, I’m better able to help in any way I can. I find my role very satisfying.”
As a Client Services Supervisor, Tara either visits or speaks to our clients and their families by phone regularly, to make sure that the care they are receiving continues to meet their needs.
“It’s not just about overseeing the administration of personal care. It’s about ensuring our clients are safe and healthy in every way,” says Tara. “For example, some of our clients struggle with food insecurity, and helping these clients obtain food is something that also contributes to their continued wellbeing at home.”
In addition to monitoring client care, Tara also provides guidance and supervision to her team of 40 PSWs. She ensures that her team feels supported and confident with their personal support tasks, and she’s one of the first people her team can turn to if they’re facing a unique situation.
To equip herself, Tara leans on her extensive 20+ years of experience from different nursing roles. Over the many years she’s worked in the field of nursing, she’s picked up a wide variety of knowledge and practical experience, which she greatly values.
“I want all our clients to be satisfied with the services we provide to them. This drives me to do my best to lead my team and share with them what I know,” Tara says. “People often say ‘call Tara, she would know.’ I welcome that. I want to be that person with information that I can share. And if I don’t know something, I try my best to learn it, so I can remember it for the future.”
In addition to the knowledge Tara shares with her team, she also strives to build a team environment for her PSWs. To help foster a stronger connection with her team, Tara calls up each of her PSWs on their birthday to extend birthday wishes.
“There was one time where a co-worker called me on my birthday. It made me feel so special, and I knew that I wanted to do that for my team,” says Tara. “I think everybody deserves to have someone acknowledge the fact that we’re all in this world together.”
For many at Circle of Care, Tara’s dedication and unwavering commitment to her clients and coworkers is an inspiration. But for Tara, her fellow colleagues inspire her.
“I’m constantly seeing managers and other staff work late nights, and they never complain or hesitate, or say no,” says Tara. “Many people at Circle of Care always make time for others, even if they’re on vacation, and they never make you feel bad for asking anything. Their commitment and kindness inspire me every day.”
Jumping on board with a new project
In 2020, Tara was the first CSS to engage in a new interval care project for Circle of Care. This care project included changing the scheduling for PSWs within a retirement home that Circle of Care provides care in. To ensure the safety of the clients during the pandemic, PSWs could not move freely between floors and only had clients on one floor.
Tara’s role was to supervise and manage the PSWs during this change while also ensuring the PSWs and the clients remained safe during such a precarious time. Tara saw there was an opportunity to ensure clients were comfortable with new caregivers provided by the retirement home.
“I took it upon myself to create a binder that provided specific information about the client’s needs. It included what their room number was, what their bath days were, how they walked – whether they had a walker or a wheelchair. I also included an area within the binder for PSWs to make any notes about the client,” says Tara. “This binder helped any new staff who were caring for a specific client to learn about the clients’ needs and any details about them.”
This binder that Tara created not only ensured the retirement home staff became knowledgeable about the client, but it also ensured everyone’s safety within that building while maintaining proper care.
“Tara demonstrated unwavering commitment and dedication to making the care project a success in one of our congregate settings,” says Anna, Client Services Manager at Circle of Care. “She worked with community partners and service coordinators to maximize efficiency and provide outstanding service to our clients and ongoing support to her PSW team.”
Celebrated for her innovation
In June 2021, Tara was presented the Award for Innovation. This award is given to employees who are driven to find better solutions in everything they do. Tara, along with previous winners of this award, have overcome many challenges through innovative thinking to find solutions that result in new approaches to current issues.
“I was pleasantly surprised and honoured to win this award, because I wasn’t really expecting to win anything. I just always try to come up with ways to help my coworkers and clients, and I hope to continue to help others,” says Tara.