Workers Assistance Program (WAP)

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Blog, PAL®

PAL® Volunteers Needed for Capital Area Food Bank

PAL® will be volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank multiple times in the coming months and are looking for people willing and able to pitch in a few hours on a Saturday to help out.

Please email Daina or Samantha to sign up.

Saturday, 1/11/14
Sorting donations at the Capital Area Food Bank warehouse in South Austin
1 pm- 4 pm
*Open to HS PAL®s ONLY

Saturday, 2/1/14
Food distribution at Mobile Food Panty in Cedar Creek, TX
8:30 am- 11:30 am
Open to MS and HS PAL®s

Saturday, 3/29/14
Sorting donations at the Capital Area Food Bank warehouse in South Austin
1 pm- 4 pm
*Open to HS PAL®s ONLY

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Blog, YA - Youth Advocacy

Now Hiring: Part-Time Case Managers

Part-time Case Manager - Youth Advocacy

We are currently seeking two part-time case managers to work within our Independent Case Management Services (ICMS) program. The ICMS program, part of the Youth Advocacy Division of the Workers Assistance Program, serves youth currently involved with Travis County Juvenile Probation and their families.

ICMS case managers assist youth and their family members through service coordination, advocacy, coaching, and resource linkages. Case managers have the opportunity to work with youth facing many challenges, provide support, and gain experience in the field of social services.

Case management responsibilities include conducting client and family assessments; working with clients to develop service plans with focus on clients’ goals; referring and inking clients to basic needs, treatment, school/education programs, employment, legal, parenting, and any other appropriate services; coordinating services and conducting ongoing follow up through home/school/community visits; advocating on behalf of clients; providing skills training related to setting goals, decision-making, communication, and problem-solving; assisting clients with community service requirements and job searches; and maintaining documentation and case notes according to program standards.

Case managers participate in weekly staffings and also assist with some field trips and community service activities for youth in the program.

NOTE: We are hiring two case managers and only one is required to be bilingual.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum one year of experience working with children, adolescents, or families in direct service setting.
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish.
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with clients, other organizations, and partner providers.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Knowledge of community resources and ability to work effectively with diverse populations.
  • Ability to use computers, software, Microsoft office, etc.
  • Must have good driving record and valid driver’s license.

To Apply:

Please send a letter of interest and resume to hradmin@workersassistance.com.

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Blog, CTS - Coordinated Training Services, WAP

CTS Hosts 2013 DSHS Prevention Provider Fall Meeting

Coordinated Training Services, in cooperation with DSHS Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division, hosted the 11th annual DSHS Prevention Provider Fall Meeting at the Crowne Plaza in Central Austin last week. Every year, the meeting serves as a way for substance abuse prevention agencies from around the state to network and prepare for the recently started fiscal year. WAP is proud to be able to facilitate this meeting and provide resources for prevention professionals from all around the state. The meeting was held from October 7th – 9th and included presentational on taking environmental strategies to the next level, quality management, forming a regional epi. workgroup, and a motivational address from PAL®’s Tory Gant. 

We want to thank all of this year’s attendees, and we hope that you will all be able to join us next year. 

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Blog, WAP, YA - Youth Advocacy

Thank you!

 

 

We want to send a huge thank you to all of our friends and family members for voting to help Youth Advocacy win a free website from HubRunner. We had votes coming in from all over the city, state, and country, and even as far away as Panama and Colombia. We know when we come into work each day that what we’re doing is making a real difference in our community, and it’s such an important morale boost for everyone to see so much enthusiastic support for the work we do.

Thanks again, and we’ll post an update once the new site is up!

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Blog, WAP

2013 AIDS Walk Austin

Workers Assistance Program is participating in the 2013 AIDS Walk Austin organized by AIDS Services of Austin. Team Workers Assistance Program-Texas HIV Connection is honored to be able to raise money for Austin-area HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.

Since the early 1990s, Workers Assistance Program has been committed to delivering trainings and support to HIV outreach workers throughout the state through the Texas HIV Connection. We at WAP laud the invaluable, and sometimes thankless, service HIV outreach and prevention specialists provide our communities. Far too many people do not know their HIV status due to either fear or ignorance. Organizations like ASA work tirelessly to raise awareness about HIV disease in Austin communities.

To donate to Team Workers Assistance Program-Texas HIV Connection, please follow this link. Remember, anything helps, and you will be directly saving lives with your donation. 

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Blog, Employee Spotlight, THIVC - Texas HIV Connection

Spotlight on a Trainer: HIV Connection’s Mikka Basham-Pavelka

Workers Assistance Program has several programs aimed at providing valuable, educational trainings to AWP customers, prevention professionals, students, and teachers. AWP, HIV Connection, and PAL® deliver trainings on a variety of topics from smoking cessation to hepatitis to peer mediation. Our in-house trainers travel across Texas and the country delivering our trainings and curricula. They are our road warriors and some of the biggest personalities in the office. We hope you enjoy getting to know them a little better.

What’s your favorite snack for the road?

Beef jerky, sugar-free Red Bull, and Chili Cheese Fritos. I may throw in a Dr. Pepper or two just to round out the essentials. 

What’s your favorite training?

One of my favorite trainings was, at first, one of my least favorite — Motivational Interviewing. It was one of my least favorite trainings at one time because I wasn’t very familiar with this particular counseling technique, but it has now inspired me! When using MI correctly it can be incredibly effective and invaluable recourse when working with a client. I also love the respectful nature of this counseling technique and how versatile it is with other counseling tools. 

What’s your most memorable post-training story/interaction with a participant?

I love hearing how our trainings helped them in the field.  I often miss doing front line work, so its very rewarding hearing from the participants that our trainings make an such a positive impact on their clients.  It’s incredibly rewarding. 

What’s the best part of training?

I am very high-energy and I’m not a fan of lecture-based trainings.  The best part of training for me is the interaction between peers and using that interaction as a way to discuss and apply real life scenarios to working with clients. It keeps trainings real and makes the trainings more active and hands-on.  

Cruise control or no cruise control?

Cruise control whenever I can. It cuts down on the unnecessary speeding tickets and the gas bill. (Unless you go over 90, then it’s pretty much useless.) 

What’s the one thing that you can’t live without on the road?

See question about rituals. I hate leaving anything behind I may need for training or personal use.  It absolutely drives me crazy. 

What’s your favorite movie?

Nightmare Before Christmas!! I have loved that movie and have watched it probably 20 times per year since it came out in 1993. I can’t help myself!  I also collect memorabilia from the movie. I should have just said Star Wars, it would have been way less nerdy. 

Favorite place to stop on the road? 

OK. I’m about to give you some life changing information here. Anytime you get to go through West, TX on I-35, stop for baked goods, and I’m not talking Czech Stop. If you like commercialized kolaches and cream puffs then go there, but if you are looking for the real deal with way less traffic go a few blocks past the Czech Stop to Village Bakery. Everything is made homemade and fresh everyday with traditional recipes. It is also so clean. The owner purposely installed an open kitchen so that customers can see the cleanliness of the preparations and staff. 

Do you listen to books on tape, music, or podcasts on the road? If yes, what are you listening to lately?

It depends on who I’m traveling with. I enjoy pop and country music when riding in the work van (aka green machine) with Joseph.  We have dance parties in our seats and sing-alongs. We also count the number of drivers who stare at us like idiots. It’s entertaining. Brad and I usually talk politics, drug policy, social issues, and occasionally, football.  

What do you do on the road between trainings and sleep — free HBO, pool time, practice dance moves?

All the above!  Sometimes, just relaxing in the hotel by myself watching unlimited HGTV is my version of self-care. But, I also try to visit unique restaurants or attractions in the different places we go.  I also have a lot of friends and family spread out among the state. I make plans with them if I can too. 

What sort of ritual do you have before you leave for the road?

I triple check my bags for my essentials. I hate leaving home without something I really need and can’t replace out on the road, like my glasses or some make-up. I also have a bad habit of bringing my 20 lb. kettlebell with me to exercise out on the road. It never leaves the green machine, but I take it every time. LOL! 

What’s your spirit animal?

Miranda Lambert. She’s a small town country girl with attitude and a lot to say, much like myself. I love her.

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Blog, WAP

WAP Participates at the Texas AFL-CIO Golf Tournament

On Wednesday, CEO Terry Cowan, COO Debi Ellison, and CLFC Program Facilitator José Olazagasti represented WAP at the 10th Annual Texas AFL-CIO Golf Tournament at the beautiful Crystal Falls Golf Club in Leander, Texas. 

“Watch the birdie!” (from left to right) COO Debi Ellison, CLFC Facilitator Jose Ozalgalsti, CEO Terry Cowan

The team had the driving ambition to get first, but it was rough out there. An 89 (+17) wasn’t enough to come home with top spot, but they didn’t get teed off. “They tried their best,” would be a fair way to put it. Debi, Terry, and José were good sports about it and would never let a golf score wedge itself between them. 

Dago Garcia and Scott Shipman also volunteered at the event.

This was a great opportunity to participate in an event hosted by an organization WAP is very close to and whose executive officers sit on our board of directors. We are proud of our relationship with the Texas AFL-CIO. So, now it’s time to start practicing for next year’s tournament! 

Thank you to the Texas AFL-CIO for hosting a great event. 

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AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, Employee Spotlight

Spotlight on a Trainer: AWP’s Caitlin Tyler-Harris

Workers Assistance Program has several programs aimed at providing valuable, educational trainings to AWP customers, prevention professionals, students, and teachers. AWP, HIV Connection, and PAL® deliver trainings on a variety of topics from smoking cessation to hepatitis to peer mediation. Our in-house trainers travel across Texas and the country delivering our trainings and curricula. They are our road warriors and some of the biggest personalities in the office. We hope you enjoy getting to know them a little better. 

What’s your favorite snack for the road?

Roasted, salted pistachios? Can eat one-handedly, no napkin or fork required. Eureka.

What’s your favorite training?

Assertive Communication. Just can’t find more good things to say about any one training in our catalog. For me, it’s the seed from which all our other trainings grew. Boom.

What’s your most memorable post-training story/interaction with a participant?

Generally, it’s cool when you get to talk to folks following a training and address a question that has been on their mind, or to sometimes refer them back to the services their EAP offers. It’s good to know that when a training with a work group ends, I have highly skilled colleagues there to assist folks in their individual needs. No one left behind… that kind of thing. It was also nice when an older woman told me after a training, “I want to be like you when I grow up.”

What’s the best part of training?

When – hopefully – you get to see the light bulb go off. While the PowerPoint may always be the same, the shared, collective moments you have with a group, as you discuss some pretty weighty topics at times, is always different.

Cruise control or no cruise control?

No cruise control in my car. My foot gets tired sometimes.

What’s the one thing that you can’t live without on the road?

My chanclas. I have an inherent mistrust of hotel room floors.

Favorite place to stop on the road? 

My grandmother’s house. She lives halfway between Austin and Waco, makes a mean pimento cheese sandwich, and is genuinely supportive of anything I’m doing with my life. You just can’t get that at a 7-11, man.

Do you listen to books on tape, music, or podcasts on the road? If yes, what are you listening to lately?

Sometimes I listen to music; but I’m mostly an audiobooker during long road trips. I’m listening to The Sherlockian by Graham Moore, parallel murder mystery stories involving Arthur Conan Doyle (ca. 1910), and a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast (ca. 2010). It’s great.

What do you do on the road between trainings and sleep — free HBO, pool time, practice dance moves?

If they’re nearby, I like to meet up with family or friends for dinner. There are a few advantages to work travel. Getting a chance to see feed-your-soul folks you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to is one of them.

What sort of ritual do you have before you leave for the road?

I have to clean the whole house. The. Whole. House. Vacuum, laundry, dusting, clean the bird cage… The works. Sometimes I hide candy or gum for spousey to find while I’m gone. You know… so he doesn’t forget about me.

What’s your spirit animal?

I don’t know what a spirit animal is. My Patronus is a macaw.

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Blog, WAP, YA - Youth Advocacy

Workers Assistance Program’s UT Football Parking Lot Fundraiser

If you’re going to this weekend’s huge game against Ole Miss, please consider parking at the AFL-CIO building parking lot. Workers Assistance Program will be selling parking spaces for the Longhorns’ game against Ole Miss on September 14. The parking lot is located at the AFL-CIO Building at 1106 Lavaca St., Austin, Texas 78701 (on the corner of 11th and Lavaca St.). 

All proceeds will benefit Youth Advocacy’s Client Assistance Fund, which helps families pay for basic needs like bus passes, rent, and utility bills. The parking lot will open at 5:00pm, and spots will be sold until kickoff.

Thanks for supporting WAP. Your gifts and donations make a huge difference for families and children in need. 

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Blog, PAL®

Calling all presenters!

PAL® is gearing up for its middle school conference, scheduled for November 2, 2013 at Dittmar Recreation Center here in Austin. The team is looking for workshop presenters for both teacher and student audiences.

Some suggested topics include:
Adult or Student Track:
    •    Community Service Projects
    •    New ideas for cross-age mentoring
    •    Team-building activities
    •    Peer helping ideas for home campus
    •    New training activities (tied to curricular areas)
    •    Ice Breakers/ Energizers
    •    Peer helper’s role in crisis management
    •    Communication with diverse populations (different cultures, age differences, special needs, business situations, etc.)
    •    Topics of concern (eating disorders, suicide prevention, conflict resolution, dealing with grief, dealing with fear, codependence, issues surrounding alcohol/drugs/tobacco, media literacy, diversity, bullying, violence prevention, HIV, etc.)

Student ONLY Track:
    •    Setting the example/ modeling behavior
    •    Setting and achieving goals
    •    Facilitation skills
    •    Bullying
    •    Stress management
    •    Building personal skills
    •    Male Issues
    •    Female Issues

Adult ONLY Track:
    •    Collaborating and partnering with school and community
    •    Evaluating your program
    •    Gaining support from administration
    •    Building your program to meet national standards
    •    Grading strategies
    •    Fundraising & PR
    •    Stress Management
    •    Working with Different Generations or Populations

Click here for a presenter application and more information. Thanks for your interest!

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