The Caring Force Blog July 2022 Workforce Hero: Shirley Oliveria

| Caroline O'Neill

The Caring Force is pleased to announce that our July TCF Workforce Hero Spotlight honoree is Shirley Oliveria, a Residence Director at Seven Hills Community Services.

1. Tell us about your background.  How did you decide to pursue a career in human services? 

I have cared for my widowed grandmother and ill uncle for many years along with being a single mom raising four boys.  When my former company–Adidas, that I had worked for 20 years–moved out of state, I decided to pursue my career in human services as it’s very rewarding.

2. What does a typical day look like for you at your organization? 

My days usually start at 8 a.m. every morning and I enjoy sitting at the table with our individuals during breakfast chatting with them about their plans for the day.  I then get reports from staff and plan for the day, whether its doctor appointments, family visits, meetings, trainings, or just individuals’ needs. After dinner, I usually make rounds and leave for the day.

3. What is your favorite professional memory?  

My favorite memory was taking one of our individuals to the Westport craft fair and watching her play pig race and duck fishing and winning the biggest prize. She turned to me and said “Thank you for bringing me to the fair. I always dreamed of going to one some day.” The smile on her face was priceless and she talked about this day until the day she unfortunately passed.

4. This question is from our June TCF Workforce Hero Spotlight, Rodrigo Nascimento: How can we, as human services workers, advocate for better working conditions, wages and job security? 

This is a tough one, but I would say continue to attend public events and send letters to the government to voice our need for these critical services.

5. Do you have a question for the next person we spotlight? 

How are you handling the staffing crisis?

Thank you so much to Shirley and all of our wonderful human services workers who bring joy and passion to work every day! We are so thankful for your efforts and for making the Commonwealth a better place.

Best,

Caroline O’Neill

Project Manager

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