Quality in human services has a direct correlation to quality humans delivering those services, and experienced, committed staff who stay in their jobs over the long term are critical to a strong workplace culture. They serve as mentors to new staff, and establish a consistent trusted presence with individuals supported by LiveWorkPlay and their families.
Anthony Stratton is celebrating his nine year anniversary on March 19! Anthony is a part of our Community Connector and Life Coach team. Although he provides support in a variety of ways, he is known for helping people in their own homes with everything from budgeting to meal planning. Although he is often a man of few words and not keen on tooting his own horn, we managed to get Anthony to share a few comments to help our readers get to know him a bit better.
What is a highlight for you in the past year?
A lot of my work is really about listening to people I support to find out what it is they want in life, what is stopping them from getting it, and helping them go through or go around those barriers. I love when I can help the person find the solution that is right for them, I find nothing makes people happier than when they are able to take greater control of their own life.
Nine years is a long time! What stands out?
Although people come and go, it has been a lot of the same members and their family the entire time, I think that’s a unique closeness that you don’t get in a lot of jobs. And then of course there is the team itself, Allison, Grace, Julie, Keenan, Daniel, and Jen have been my colleagues the entire nine years, but I also feel close to the rest of the team, we are all so focused on trying to be the best we can be to do what we can to make lives better for the people we are supporting. I think it’s pretty unique.
What about the future?
I’m looking forward to seeing how LiveWorkPlay can continue changing the community. I work mostly with individuals with a disability label, but this is one side of the same coin of community inclusion, where we are helping change public perception about the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities. I have also had a lot of interesting professional development opportunities, learning from amazing thought leaders like Al Condeluci, Bruce Anderson, and David Pitonyak. This has made me a better worker and a better person and we have a learning culture where I know more opportunities will come my way!
What do Anthony’s colleagues have to say?
His updates are amazing. He will just matter-of-fact start off a story with something really dramatic, and then walks through the steps of how he supported the person to deal with it, usually with interesting twists and turns along the way. You look around the table and all of our jaws are dropped to the floor, and then he just sort of shrugs. It’s the best.
In the lives of family members of people with intellectual disabilities they’ve all experienced a lot of “let downs” and the unpredictability of life just piles on top of that. Anthony represents the very idea of “someone you can count on” and that gives people a lot of comfort, and that’s one of those really important outcomes with a value that you really can’t quantify.