Sheryl Mohr says she felt led to her job as St. Louis Center’s Social Work Supervisor in July of 2019. “I have a son with Down syndrome and 10 adopted special needs kids,” said Sheryl. With a bachelor’s degree in social work and an MBA in health administration, and, “Because life, in general, has given me a lot of experience with this population, I felt called to St. Louis Center.”
Sheryl and her six-person team, in close collaboration with direct care supervisors and the nursing department, are responsible for managing much of the care for the Center’s 70 residents. They schedule appointments, arrange for transportation and accompany residents on their annual physicals and twice-yearly trips to the dentist, as well as whatever other appointments they might need in between. In addition, they must meet strict state mandates with detailed quarterly and annual reports on each resident. “We have huge spreadsheets to keep track of all of the documentation that is needed,” said Sheryl. But paperwork and documentation are only part of the picture.
Because St. Louis Center is truly home for its residents, Sheryl and her staff provide much of the personal support that helps the residents know they are loved and cared for. “We’re here when someone has had a bad day and just needs to talk,” said Sheryl. “Or, they may have a little spending money and want to go shopping. We’re the ones who take them.” Her department also manages new admissions. “New residents, particularly the children, need extra support to help them with the transition to their new home,” said Sheryl. “So on a child’s first day, I’ll stay with them until they go to sleep to make sure they feel comfortable and secure.” She also spends a lot of time taking care of other needs, as well.
“We will sit with a resident who needs psychiatric care and wait for a doctor,” Sheryl said. “We advocate for medications when someone is struggling and they don’t have what they need. We recognize when a resident is walking funny and needs to see a podiatrist. For the residents who are in school, we are in contact with their teachers weekly. During COVID, we made sure the children had their Chromebooks to use each day and were doing their lessons. We’ll help the residents who work with their taxes or take them to the social security office to straighten out problems with their payments. When residents are bored and need something to do, we come up with ideas for a project and get them the supplies they need.” The list is endless, but so are the rewards.
“I most enjoy seeing the residents smile and get excited when a situation that they couldn’t process on their own is resolved,” she commented. “And I love it when they just stop by to ask how I’m doing. The bond with them and the camaraderie is really special. I believe they are equal to us, regardless of their need. Meeting them on their level and seeing their growth is so rewarding.”
Learn more about SLC’s Social Services Department here.