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Staff Spotlight: Chris Graham, Child Welfare Specialist

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In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Chris Graham is sharing some insights on his role as a Child Welfare Specialist with Adult & Child Health. Read below to learn more about how his work is improving the lives of local youth, the advice he has for parents and caregivers, and what keeps him moving forward during challenging times.

Let’s get to know the child behind the adult! What is something you loved during your childhood?

I was big into the NFL and still am to this day. I loved being able to watch football on the TV and became a fan of the Packers after the first game I watched where the Colts played them.

In what ways do you see your work at A&C helping to improve the lives and safety of local youth?

I see my work improving the lives of local youth by the rapport I am able to build with those I work with. Them having another person to trust and to talk to through different situations allows them to feel more comfortable and confident to handle situations that I have taught them or guided them how to do.

As someone who works in child welfare, what is one message you’d like to give to parents and caretakers?

One thing I want caregivers to know is that everything takes time and it won’t be a struggle forever. Sometimes what we think is easy isn’t so easy for others, it’s important to remember that any issue a child is going through takes time to learn, practice, and process how to get through the issue.

When your work gets particularly challenging or heavy, what keeps you moving forward?

What keeps me going is that even though we can have a terrible day and a bunch of bad things can happen in a week, there is always a success to celebrate. There is always someone who has achieved something that before in the past, others may have thought would not have been possible.

What are some of your favorite moments or success stories from your work?

A favorite moment of mine was watching my first adoption ceremony in court. It was touching to see how many people cared about my client and how happy they were to be adopted by the foster family they were with.

Any final thoughts?

Working in Child Welfare is hard and long work. It can be quite a journey to work with a client, but the reward of seeing them achieve a goal or finally use a skill that has been taught and see them realize the benefits they gain from using them is awesome. This is my first job working in this field. When I started, I didn’t think it would be something liked. It has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had the privilege of working in. The work we do to help children who have experienced abuse is so important and can change the outcomes of their future. Just thinking about that makes me want to ensure I provide them the best services I can possibly give.

Learn more about the ways Adult & Child Health is involved in building safe and happy childhoods here.

More To Explore

Sarah Miller, PMHNP-BC

Sarah Miller works with the addictions team, general psychiatry for adolescents and adults, and the competency restoration team. She is board-certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties are working in addictions and with people who experience serious mental illness.

Miller graduated from Indiana University with a psychology degree and went back to school for nursing. She received her nursing degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked in a nursing home and also spent time working in a group home with adolescents. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

She enjoys hanging out with her family and her two dogs, and going to sporting events.

Joanna Chambers, MD

Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November 2021. She graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her Doctorate of Medicine in 1996 and completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience, she currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine where she teaches Clinical Psychiatry. She is certified in Addiction Medicine and has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Organization as well as a sitting member of many medical association boards. Recently, she has won the Residents’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 from Indiana University and has received “Best Doctors Award” in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Dr. Chambers is incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine. She is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.