Candace Staker joined the Rainbows team as the Family Support Services Coordinator in December 2016. Candace is a licensed master level social worker (LMSW). She received a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in Family Studies and Human Services and a master degree in social work from Wichita State University.
“I have always worked with people in the social services in one capacity or another,” Candace said. “Serving people has always been my passion.”
During her foundation year practicum at Wichita State, she was given the opportunity to work with Rainbows’ Mental Health team as a practicum student.
“During this time I learned and gathered as much from the team as I could about early childhood development and mental health. The experience was wonderful and impactful,” said Candace.
It was during this time working with Rainbows’ Mental Health Services that Candace first experienced Rainbows’ mission in action and learned about the children and families reached through local services.
“I worked with people who embody Rainbows’ Mission and Guiding Principles, and witnessed the positive impact Rainbows has on the children and families who are served. It was because of my time with the Mental Health team that I wanted to return as an employee of Rainbows United,” she said.
Before becoming a practicum student at Rainbows in 2013, Candace spent her professional time working with adults. However, it was during this time as a student when she discovered her love for working with and learning from children. When the opportunity opened for her to work with children again at Rainbows, she knew she wanted to pursue the chance.
“There’s a certain joy a person gains from working with kids that you don’t quite get in other fields,” said Candace.
Her role at Rainbows as the FSS Coordinator is fun and full of variety. “No two days are the same at Kids’ Cove,” she said. “Each day I get to see the kids and the staff; they keep me on my toes and it’s truly a fun environment!” Her first week on the job, Candace took part in a scavenger hunt, balloon tennis, and dancing. “Where else can you work and do such fun activities as a professional? Our normal at Kids’ Cove is to have fun,” she said.
Outside of work, Candace enjoys baking cookies, spending time with friends and family and reading fiction. She also enjoys gardening and anticipates an excellent vegetable garden in the coming summer at home.