Rebecca Levin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Qualified Supervisor with The LJD Jewish Family & Community Services (JFCS). With over six years of experience in the field of social work, she leads a team of therapists dedicated to supporting parents who, for various and complex reasons, cannot effectively and safely parent their young children.

Working with the families facing mental health and other challenges requires a support system, one in which High-Risk Newborn plays a crucial part, along with The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Family Assessment Support Team (FAST). With a focus on child safety, services like counseling and case management enable Rebecca’s team to address the unique needs of each family.

In this edition of Staff Spotlight, we introduce Rebecca and highlight her experiences in HRN.

Q: How long have you been an employee at JFCS? What is your role? Have you had any past roles at JFCS?

Rebecca: I started working at JFCS in March 2017, which would be six years. My role is High-Risk Newborn (HRN) supervisor and I supervise six therapists. I started as an HRN therapist, worked my way up to a senior HRN therapist and, later, a supervisor.

Q: How did you find your way to JFCS?

Rebecca: As I was looking to grow in my career, one of my primary goals was to obtain licensure in my field. Fortunately, that opportunity came with the position that was available with JFCS.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working with JFCS?

Rebecca: I enjoy being able to visit my clients in their homes and see the progress they’ve made. I appreciate seeing them make changes that result in them becoming better parents and bettering themselves too.

Q: What is your favorite memory from working at JFCS?

Rebecca: I had a client for a whole year, which is very uncommon. We typically have clients in HRN for 3-6 months, but due to the needs of her case, we kept her on for a full year. She dealt with immense difficulties – she experienced nearly two decades of prison time, went into prison as a teenager, and dealt with significant abuse both as a child and an adult. Despite these obstacles, she was able to find resources and support through JFCS, rebuild her life, and transform it into one where she could provide for her three children.

Q: What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in your work at JFCS?

Rebecca: I would say my greatest accomplishment is my overall growth in my field, how I’ve been able to stay within HRN and work my way up. I started as a therapist, advanced to a senior therapist, then a supervisor.

Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

Rebecca: I like to enjoy time with my friends and family. I also enjoy woodworking. It requires you to focus, slow down, and really “be in the moment.” It’s great for your mental health.

Q: Why should people invest in the JFCS mission, “Helping people help themselves”?

Rebecca: It’s important to know that a little goes a long way. For example, giving a little bit to a program provides a lot of crucial things such as safety materials: car seats, doorknob covers, cabinet locks, all of which can prevent infant deaths. There’s a phrase a lot of people use: “pick yourself up by your bootstraps.” High-Risk Newborn provides the bootstraps for people to pick themselves up. I believe providing these “bootstraps” can truly help people help themselves.

In essence, Rebecca’s work has one goal: to ensure children are safe while keeping families together. Rebecca continues to “provide the bootstraps” and truly empowers the families she works with.