Caregiver Praises Clerk for Being Efficient, Caring

Lonnie Woods, an Intermediate Supervising Typist Clerk in the Central Clerical Foster Care Approval and Payments section of Revenue Enhancement, has a big job to do.  Not only does he supervise 24 clerks in four units, Woods oversees the Foster Care and Adoptions Assistance Hotline support staff who handle payment issues, medical card issuance, rate changes, request for adoptions assistance and related budgetary issues in support of Children's Social Workers.


To succeed at his job, Woods says you have to have good communications skills, motivation, patience and professionalism while being friendly at all time.  If you can explain to a caregiver the situation and its limitations, said Woods, they may not like what they hear, but they will accept it.  The bottom line is to "try to smooth out the rough edges" and to remedy the situation as soon as possible.  "Always ask questions and always call back."


Recently, DCFS Director, Dr. David Sanders received a letter from a relative caregiver who described her interaction with Woods:  "Mr. Woods is one of the most efficient, caring, and professional managers I have dealt with in the Department.  As a grandparent, it is most comforting to know that you are relating to a person, whose utmost concern is how to facilitate the process and be supportive during a time a crisis.  Mr. Woods personifies that individual."


Woods, who describes himself as a County "lifer" employed for 36 years, has seen many changes since starting his career just two days after graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School.  Through the years, Woods has kept active in union activities.  Currently, he is a Union Shop Steward, a member of the Labor-Management Committee, and a part of the Department's clerical redeployment workgroup.  Most of Woods' career has been involved in customer relations.  When asked what has sustained him through all these years, Woods noted, "I'm a people person."