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Name: Wendy Lawsing
Title: Client Advocate for Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services
Years on the job: 2
Wendy Lawsing is the Fox Cities Client Advocate for Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services in Neenah. Her job involves meeting with clients one-on-one for support and running support groups for victims of domestic abuse. She can also assist in getting restraining orders for her clients and make referrals to other clinics in the area.
“Not everybody has a supportive person in their life,” says Lawsing. “I wanted to be that person for them.” Lawsing has been working as a client advocate for almost two years, but she has been working with Christine Ann for close to six years.
This type of personalized work with clients requires an education background in human services. Lawsing acquired her Bachelor of Science from UW-Stevens Point, with a major in Family and Consumer Sciences with a minor in Sociology.
Lawsing has further honed the skills she studied through on-the-job application. She must have advanced communication skills in order to connect on an intimate level with people who are looking for help in unfortunate circumstances. Further, Lawsing must have superior problem-solving skills to help her broad range of clients by knowing and utilizing the surrounding community’s resources. “Not everything is cut and dry,” she explains. “I can’t have the same answer for everybody.”
Perhaps the hardest part of Lawsing’s job is not having any answer for somebody. Since a big part of Lawsing’s job is utilizing the community’s resources, it can be very challenging if the community does not cater to the client’s needs. In some cases, the resources are exhausted and the client is still in need. In other cases, the resources for the client’s situation are simply not available.
Overall, the most important part of Lawsing’s job is to be supportive. “What I think is best for them may not be what they think is best for them,” she explains. Regardless, Lawsing must be supportive of their decision, whatever it may be.
At the end of an emotionally charged day, Lawsing finds much reward in her work. When a referral pans out, or when Lawsing gets a simple “thank you” from one of her clients, she knows that she has done a good job. While she helps to brighten her clients’ day, they reciprocate that light on Lawsing.
—By Cameron Carrus
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