Lynn Rathmell & Caleigh Alevy: Mother & Daughter Now CJFS Colleagues
If an adult child accepts a position with an organization where her parent has worked for decades, that says something! At least that’s what we’ve been thinking since Social Worker Caleigh Rathmell Alevy joined the CJFS staff last month.
Caleigh’s mother, Lynn Rathmell, has been an important member of our team since 1994 (with one three-year break). Caleigh grew up knowing that her mother worked to help immigrants from the former Soviet Union find jobs in Birmingham, and that she worked later to provide vocational services to clients from near and far.
Lynn’s current position, which she describes as “the thing I was meant to do,” is Care Manager in our Just Like Family program. In this role, Lynn provides the kind of care and oversight that a family member would provide for older or disabled adults.
On a typical morning, she might accompany a client to a medical appointment taking notes and making sure important questions are asked and answered. Afterward, she would communicate with the client’s loved ones and help put into place a plan for following the doctor’s instructions.
For another client, Lynn might help with sorting mail and paying bills, or she might take the client to the grocery store or pharmacy. “I have an opportunity to use my judgement in the moment to advise people on how they can remain independent and safe in the living environment they choose. Sometimes I help guide family members on how to discuss a needed change with their loved one. It’s different for every situation,” Lynn said.
Lynn is part of a team, including CJFS social workers and others, who ensure that as a client’s physical, mental and emotional needs change, appropriate services come into play – either through CJFS or other community resources. “I’m able to work with people who are devoted to the same thing that I am, which is treating each client as an individual with his or her own needs,” Lynn said.
Caleigh has a Master’s in Social Work and joins CJFS after working for five years in hospital case management. “CJFS has always had a special place in my heart because of the agency’s commitment to serve the Jewish community alongside our senior citizens and broader Birmingham community,” she said. “The Jewish teachings of mitzvot and tzedakah, which I received from my parents, Temple Emanu-El, the Levite Jewish Community Center and community friends, play a significant role in why I became a social worker,” Caleigh said.
Caleigh joins the team as a Clinical Social Worker and Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator. While she is developing her case management and behavioral health caseload, she will work to strengthen our community service engagement and Jewish outreach. “My experience in the hospital awakened me to how complicated it can be navigating life or supporting a loved one, especially if it’s due to a long term physical or mental diagnosis/challenge,” Caleigh said. “No one should have to adjust to or handle this alone,” she stated, “and my role at CJFS will allow me to work with clients in lessening the chance of that happening.”
CJFS Professional Care Management supports individuals and families as they navigate the journey of aging. Our focus is enabling individuals to maintain their independence and quality of life in a stable, safe environment. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205.879.3438.