Jacobs honored by Department of Children and Families
Office of Clinical Affairs staffer receives award for helping children
By Sandra GrayJuly 14, 2011
UMass Medical School Communications
For her work in helping to place a child who was severely abused by her biological parents into a welcoming adoptive family, Commonwealth Medicine's Lee-Anne Jacobs, LICSW, was awarded the 2011 Jerry Award by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). The Jerry Award, which was presented to Jacobs at the DCF's annual Pride and Performance Awards event in June, was created in 2001 to recognize the extraordinary care, compassion and commitment of an employee who helps children find permanency in safe and loving homes.
As associate director of behavioral health in the Office of Clinical Affairs for MassHealth, Jacobs draws on her background as a licensed social worker with extensive experience in the private and public sectors to help the children in the care of DCF. "My role is to do whatever I can to assist in the difficult decisions that my DCF colleagues on the front lines face every day," she said. "I try to be an across-the-board problem solver."
For the particular case that resulted in her receipt of the Jerry Award, Jacobs was a key player on a team that worked diligently to ensure everything was in place medically, legally, financially and logistically for the child's successful transition into her new family. Jacobs shows the same care and attention to the plight of all children involved in the state's foster care system.
"I play a role in systems change as well as specific casework to improve outcomes," she explained. "The role has evolved as I continue to learn about and understand DCF and integrate new knowledge and contacts into my work." For example, Jacobs has helped a Boston hospital serving children with complex medical conditions move several other children, some who had been hospitalized as long as seven years, out of the facility to live in the community.
"This case was not exceptional," she said. "It represents who I am and what I do, and the joy I take in doing it."