Updated: Sep 14
#EmployeeSpotlight Meet Valerie McClellan, Division Director of Adoption Permanency Department. Valerie is a licensed Certified Social Worker with over 20 years of clinical experience. She is originally from the Delta, born and raised in Cleveland, Mississippi. Valerie hasn’t lived in the Delta in over 25 years but will always call it home. Valerie is from a large Italian family with 5 siblings.
Valerie has been with Southern Christian for almost a year. She has been a trauma therapist and administrator for over 20 years. Valerie says, “What draws me to this organization is everyone’s dedication to helping others. Coming to SCS was somewhat of a change but not really. All children who have been through the foster care system, even if it ends with a beautiful new family, have been through the trauma of losing their first family, however it may have happened. If there are challenging issues, we get to support the family and child in working through those issues and developing a lifelong healthy attachment. Meaningful work is a strong value to me. I get to do that here at the Adoption Permanency Department and Southern Christian.”
Valerie spends lots of time reading and researching information on adoption and trauma, reporting and supporting the activities that go along with the Adoption Permanency Department. She sees clients who are either in the process of adoption or who have been adopted and has the opportunity to help them work through the challenging issues in their lives.
During Valerie’s free time, she enjoys gardening and doing whatever her granddaughter wants to do. She has a passion for animals and has 5 rescue dogs and cats. Valerie loves visiting with her daughter and granddaughter, feeding and loving on her animals, remodeling the guest house, spending relaxing time with her husband, and trying not to get caught up in the millions of chores that always need to be done.
If you ask Valerie what’s your favorite part about working for Southern Christian, she would definitely say the people, always the people. Valerie loves the dedicated people that she works with and the clients she gets to walk with on their journey.
Valerie has a special prayer that speaks to her heart. “May God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change – the courage to change the things I can – and the wisdom to know the difference.” Valerie believes, “In working with traumatized individuals, I struggle with accepting what I cannot change. Everyone is on their own journey, even if they are not ready to make the changes that could enrich their lives. They have the right to walk their own path, whatever that is. That’s the lesson my mother taught my siblings and me.”