Catholic Charities Names New Program Supervisors

FULTON, NY – Program director Kevin Slimmer has announced that the agency has named Mike Savona and Andrea Burritt supervisors of their respective programs.

Slimmer, who directs Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Caseworker, Parent Education, Victim Intervention, and Kinship programs, said that the new positions will help the agency better meet the growing need for its services.

Andrea Burritt and Mike Savona of Catholic Charities of Oswego County have recently been promoted to supervisory level.
Andrea Burritt and Mike Savona of Catholic Charities of Oswego County have recently been promoted to supervisory level.

“Due to the increased demand for services offered through our Caseworker and Parent Education programs, we have had to expand these programs. The knowledge, experience and professionalism that Mike and Andrea bring with them will be prove to be a valuable asset as they oversee these programs and provide guidance and assistance to our caseworkers and parent educators,” said Slimmer.

Senior caseworker Savona, who received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from SUNY Oswego, worked at the Oswego YMCA as the fitness center director and Latch Key program director before joining Catholic Charities of Oswego County in 2000.

For the past nine years, he worked as a caseworker and has experienced a wide variety of cases.

As a caseworker, he worked with families that have a child or children in risk of being placed in foster care, or may already have a child in foster care.

“Our goal as a caseworker is to assess the families’ needs, develop an effective service plan and ensure that the families receive the services and assistance they need from the appropriate service providers in our county. We work to lower the risk of foster care, and in the event that they have a child in foster care, have that child return home if at all possible or locate an appropriate living arrangement with another family member or relative,” he explained.

Catholic Charities’ caseworker program currently has six caseworkers that are each serving up to 14 families to keep up with the demand.

All Referrals come from the Oswego County Department of Social Services.

“Our case workers are the ultimate ‘middle man’ between the agencies and the families which they work with,” explained Slimmer. “They see that the family receives whatever help they need, be it parenting education, mental health issues, or other counseling. They also work with lawyers, the courts and the probation department as they deal with crisis intervention and advocate for the family. Our caseworkers are responsible for the family’s service plan and strive to see that the children are in a permanent environment that is safe and nurturing, be it another relative or a foster home.”

Savona has seen a lot over the years.

He has enjoyed meeting and getting to know the service providers at the various agencies that he deals with and is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with the six caseworkers he will now be supervising.

“I will be working closely with each of the caseworkers, providing them with assistance and guidance as needed and reviewing their cases to see that we are adequately meeting the families’ needs,” he said.

Burritt received her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from SUNY Potsdam.

Prior to joining Catholic Charities as a caseworker in April she had worked at Oswego County Opportunities in its Options Program and at the Caring Family Network in North Carolina where she worked with children, adolescents and adults with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Burritt, who has previous supervisory experience, is looking forward to working with the Parent Education Program and the challenges it offers.

“I am excited to be working with our Parent Education Program. It is a great program and I really enjoy the ‘hands-on’ aspect that it provides. Our parent educators have the opportunity to meet with the families they work with in their own home so they have the chance to see how the family functions and how family members interact with each other. As supervisor for the program I will be able to share my knowledge with our parent educators, go into the field with them, and introduce them to some new techniques that will help them successfully address some of the issues that they may be dealing with,” she said.

Burritt will also be heavily involved in the programs parent education classes.

Offered several times throughout the year, Catholic Charities’ parent education classes provide parents with valuable information that helps them effectively parent their children.

Burritt will be developing additional curriculum for these classes and is looking to introduce a new parenting class that will specifically address issues associated with raising children from birth to one year of age.

For more information, call Slimmer at 598-3980.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.