Amanda Williams only knew a bit about Homeland Center when she applied for a social worker position. After getting the job, she quickly realized that she was in a unique place.
“You can tell when you’re in a place where administrative staff has been there a long time,” she says. “They’re committed to the mission and the organization and upholding the standards of excellence and quality care.’’
Amanda joined Homeland in December 2020, quickly finding her place as a friend to residents and a help to family members. As a social worker on second-floor skilled care, she helps develop care plans, guides families through the health care system, and whenever she can, visits with residents to hear their stories and share their days.
Before joining Homeland, Amanda was a social worker for an aging-in-place service in York, helping the low-income elderly with the needs of daily life – making grocery runs, helping pay bills, assisting with Medicaid enrollment.
“Sometimes, we were their only family,” she says. “In those moments, you could see the smile on their face with the simple task of going to the grocery store for them.”
Still, she wanted a job where she could have a more significant impact. She found that at Homeland.
Amanda has always wanted to work with the elderly. Even while growing up in the Montgomery County town of Souderton, she often volunteered at nursing homes.
“The elderly have so much to offer and so much life experience,” she says. “Getting to talk with them, hear their stories and help them — it’s very rewarding.”
Amanda earned a bachelor’s degree at Elizabethtown University and a master’s from Marywood University. After three and a half years in York, she came to Homeland to work because her soon-to-be husband (she’s a newlywed now, having married in March 2021) lived in Harrisburg.
Family contact is an essential part of her job. When families schedule visits, they can turn to Amanda for help. They might call with requests as simple as assistance in finding a loved one’s favorite shirt or blanket. If they have questions about a loved one’s care, she conveys it to the nursing staff.
After the recent death of a resident, she recognized the impact that she and her colleagues have.
“The family was so grateful that I was a phone call away,” she says. “I could answer their questions and calm their minds about how their dad was doing. It’s never an easy time, but they showed overwhelming gratitude for the staff.”
When she’s not at work, Amanda and her husband love spending time with their 3-year-old German shepherd, Kona.
At Homeland, Amanda appreciates the guidance she gets from her supervisor, Director of Social Services Daniqwa Buckner.
“She has been a great teacher and a great mentor,” Amanda says. “Our unit managers have been very helpful and don’t mind explaining things. Everyone is willing to help you with questions. They’re very supportive here.”