Each year, Partners’ Senior Management Council nominates dedicated staff members to be highlighted in March for National Social Work Month and to spotlight different staff stories explaining why they decided to pursue a career in the field.
This year, one of our spotlighted individuals for Social Work Month is Shamael Ali, MSW, a Partners’ Supervisor for the Home and Community Based Alternative (HCBA) Waiver Program.
Shamael was inspired by her mother, who was a Social Worker in their home country of Sudan. Her mother’s work focused on helping communities in impoverished and underrepresented regions, as well as neighboring countries with financial limitations. From the numerous stories told by her mother, Shamael saw the positive impact of what social workers do for individuals, and it pushed her to pursue a career in social work herself.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz, and then attended Cal State Northridge for her Master of Social Work degree. Shamael was introduced to Partners in Care Foundation in 2014, when she was placed with the agency to complete her second-year internship as a Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium (GSWEC) student.
As an intern with Partners’, her field experience included conducting home visits with recently hospitalized participants who were at risk for re-institutionalization and providing them with resources to keep them safely at home. She impressed staff members as an intern and received high praise for her attentiveness and reliability from participants she worked with closely. After graduating, she was hired as a full time Care Transitions Coach and now holds a leadership role in the agency as a HCBA program supervisor.
Shamael has been employed with Partners’ for 9 years and views her work as impactful and rewarding. As a social worker, she provides services and supports for medically fragile, older, and low-income populations, and as a supervisor, she oversees five other care managers to ensure they are providing effective care to the individuals they serve.
Outside of her professional career, Shamael has always been passionate about helping those in need. Even as a university student, Shamael put her efforts into volunteering and fundraising. She started and coordinated fundraisers for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation that brought in about $600 and free HIV oral testing for over 50 students at UC Santa Cruz.
Shamael recently earned her License of Clinical Social Work (LCSW) after passing both the California Law & Ethics exam and the Associate of Social Work Boards exam, and accruing 3000 supervised experience hours, which was sponsored by Partners. As an agency, we value the great work that staff members, like Shamael, are doing to improve the health of our participants and we offer various opportunities to grow as not just a social worker, but a leader in the field and community.