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FamiliesFirst Network 2023 Team Member of the Year

Katy McHenry was overwhelmed and humbled to learn she was selected to be FamiliesFirst Network (FFN) 2023 Team Member of the Year.

Hear from FamiliesFirst Network 2023 Team Member of the Year Katy McHenry on why she goes the extra mile to serve her coworkers and the families in our care.

In 2001 Katy started working in Lakeview Center’s Special Populations Network (SPN) program. (Lakeview Center is an affiliate of her parent organization, LifeView Group). She worked on a grant funded program to reduce recidivism of persons with developmental disabilities to psychiatric acute care. She went on to manage the CIRCLE Program in SPN. CIRCLE stands for connecting individuals to rewarding community living experiences. In 2004 she transitioned into a role a FamiliesFirst Network (FFN) where she works today.

katy mchenry ffn 2023 team member of the year
Katy McHenry, team menager process improvement and FFN 2023 Team Member of the Year

FFN serves the needs of abused, neglected and abandoned children. Since 2004, she’s worked in records, data and process improvement departments. One might think working with data is a boring job, but in Katy’s words, “data tells stories, and it can be confusing. My job is to make it tell the story that counts.”

Triggering point for the FFN 2023 Team Member of the Year

Early on, Katy recalls a quote she heard during her team’s daily Line-Up meeting. “A quote stood out to me. It said something like if you are not directly serving a customer, you need to serve those who do.” That’s when Katy realized the magnitude of her work. Katy’s knack for technology helps vulnerable children. She completed a project management course at Cornell to hone her calling.

Katy’s direct customers are FFN case managers. Making all the fluctuating data, algorithms and methodologies into something digestible becomes very useful in the field. The last thing she wants is for case managers to spend their time trying to figure out what data means. “My job is to give them the tools they need to do their job.” Every piece of information is linked to a child who needs help, and Katy wants to make sure it is accurate data to prevent delays.

Day-to-day, Katy meets with stakeholders like Northwest Florida Health Network and other case management representatives. They collaborate to understand the data requirements of their contract including performance measures. Katy supervises a specialized support group that understand the state required software FFN uses to document cases. The team takes care of the complex, confusing elements of the software program while ensuring integrity in the data. “If the data doesn’t help kids and families, it’s no good. Home removal is traumatic. We make sure our case managers, children and families have the tools they need to get back home whether that’s an adoptive home or back home with mom and dad.”

Katy also leads the records team. She believes every person served by FFN deserves to have their information correct and accounted for to move their case along quickly. Permanency is the goal, and Katy monitors performance indicators to ensure the team is on track to achieve that.

Katy said, “Our case managers and boots-on-the-ground team members are the real heroes.” Katy humbly said everyone on the team puts in the effort to help each other, which helps vulnerable kids. “It’s just who we are and what we do.”