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National Social Work Month: Lisamarie Vanmeter

Mar Wed, 2023, See more: Staff Spotlight

Lisamarie Vanmeter was born in in Brooklyn, NY but raised in Tallahassee, Florida. She considers herself a Tallahassee native.

Lisamarie went to Florida State University for both her undergraduate and master degrees. While in her last semester of undergrad as a Family and Child Sciences major, she took an intro to social work class and fell in love. “I knew while sitting in that class that this was the field I should have been in the whole time.” Lisamarie took a short break after graduation and went back for her MSW. “It really hit home taking a child maltreatments class that Child Welfare was ‘my calling.’ There were signs along the way, such as playing counselor with all the neighborhood kids and problem solving their conflicts. Growing up, my family also utilized community resources to survive. During my education journey, it didn’t take me long to realize that my family was very close to being served by ‘the system’ and without community support my sister and I could have led a much different life. In short, I want to be that support or spark for change that my community invested in me.”

Lisamarie remembers “there was one youth that will always stick with me from my time in dependency. This young man was challenging in every way but the reward was tenfold. One evening he was struggling, nearly disrupting a placement and his behaviors were escalating. Through rapport building and discussion, he admitted that he should have protected his little sister from the abuse she endured. I told him in plain language that nothing was his fault. We hugged it out and I whispered those words to him a few more times. It could have possibly been the first time he heard that or that he believed it. This young man continued to grow and found his forever home at age of 16.”

Lisamarie’s advice for any new social workers would be to “practice advocacy in everything that you do. Advocate for yourself, clients/customers, colleagues, and remain flexible as outcomes aren’t always what you had hoped for but it tends to all work out.”

In her spare time, Lisamarie loves baking and reading. On the weekends you can find her at the park or library with her young children, (three and seven years old).

Lisamarie has done great work at NWF Health. We recognize her hard work and appreciate her dedication to our agency.

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