As director of foster care at the Children’s Home Association of Illinois, Amy S. Dennison, MSW, LCSW manages all aspects of the department, overseeing personnel management, program development, risk management, compliance issues, budgeting and more. As the head of a large department dealing with high-stress situations, Dennison is known for her organizational skills, quick mind and deep passion for working with troubled families.
Dennison joined the Children’s Home in 2007 as a therapist, providing individual, family and group counseling, as well as crisis management services. After being promoted to the position of assessment therapist, her ethics and clinical skills were quickly noticed, and she was named clinical coordinator for foster care in 2010. A year later, she was promoted to director of foster care—the youngest person ever to serve in this position at Children’s Home. She now manages a budget of nearly $4 million as she oversees the care of 170 foster children placed in more than 100 foster homes.
This year, Dennison was invited to serve on the CWAC (Child Welfare Advisory Committee) subcommittee that oversees Specialized Foster Care, advising the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on programmatic and budgetary matters related to foster care services across the state.
During the recent flooding on the Illinois River, Dennison volunteered for the American Red Cross, spending countless hours at an area emergency shelter. She has also volunteered for many projects through Children’s Home, helping with fundraising efforts for the annual Maui Jim Golf Outing and Cattle Auction, serving on the agency’s Continuing Education Units and Clinical Advisory committees, and assisting the Medicaid and Foster Care Outcomes committees. In addition, she recently volunteered to help develop a crisis response team.
Dennison received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Illinois State University in 2003 and her Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University in 2007. She was nominated for Employee of the Year at Children’s Home in 2010 and 2011. iBi