Meet Monica Ballard-Booth
This entry is part of a new series where WVCAN is bringing recognition to everyday heroes throughout the state. Each week through the end of the year, we’ll be highlighting a different team member – CAC staff or allied professional working with a center – who is a hero to us and the kids they serve.
Meet Monica Ballard-Booth. Monica is the Executive Director of Cornerstone Family Interventions, Inc. which includes the Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center. She has been in the field for 21 years.
What drew you to this work? In my former role as a Child Protective Services Supervisor at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, I found a lack of resources that were available to children and families in southern West Virginia, particularly in Boone County, that put them at risk for harm. In response to this need and to minister to my community per Isaiah 61:1-3, I resigned from my job to finish the internship for my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and founded Cornerstone Family Interventions. Prior to leaving DHHR in 2004, I was assigned to a steering committee to help establish a child advocacy center in Boone County. That is when I first became involved with the CAC movement. For me, it’s a ministry because of my faith as a Christian.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? This is hard one – there are so many things I love. Getting to do something I enjoy and I get paid for it. It’s like the motto you’ve heard “when your passion meets a career.” For me, that’s it. And I truly love the team philosophy of child advocacy centers. Everyone doing their small part makes a big thing.
Tell me what an average work day looks like. There is no average work day. I direct the agency and have two programs. I’m generally out of the office two days a week. A lot of my day is spent working with team members and doing supervision, reflective supervision meeting one-on-one with the staff. I have a lot of administrative tasks, too, like grant writing and managing grants or helping with financials. I’m also doing some direct services myself in the role of therapy. I also do a great deal of work with teams – I’m on a lot of statewide teams as well for continuous quality improvement, reflective supervision group, mental health group, etc.
What keeps you up at night? More bureaucratic things like paperwork and reports due.
What motivates you? My staff motivates me – we motivate each other. Also some volunteers and our board. Whenever I’m finding I need extra help, they come in with a smile or say something positive.
What’s the best thing about working as a multidisciplinary team on child abuse investigations? The best thing is that it keeps children from falling through the cracks. If one team member has information, and they’re not sharing with the others, then there’s a likelihood that child’s case will not move forward. But when we are coming together as a team in my counties, they don’t fall through the cracks. If someone has missed a step or gotten busy and something else got in the way, another team member can say, “hey, we need to revisit that.”
Best stress relief. Hiking – but not often enough
Favorite vacation spot. St. Thomas
One gadget you can’t live without. My heater
If you could binge watch something this weekend, what is it? Criminal Minds
Favorite pizza toppings. Bacon, ham, and lots of cheese