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Fostering growth in young children

Alison Howerton

While assisting in a psychosocial preschool, Alison Howerton, social worker with Rainbows’ Butler County Infant/Toddler Services, was able to witness the resilience and determination of the young children and watch them grow. “It was extremely rewarding to be able to help foster growth in these small but mighty children and this work that I did early in my schooling led me to knowing Rainbows would be a wonderful fit for me later in my career,” she said.

Alison is a Licensed Master Social Worker, receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wichita State University. Prior to starting with Rainbows in November of 2019, Alison worked in the mental health field for 6 years. She has worked with children and adults providing attendant care, psychosocial rehabilitation, and therapy services. She also has previous experience providing behavioral health services in skilled nursing and health care facilities.

“My favorite part of my job is meeting the families and getting to know them,” said Alison. “Part of my job consists of discussing their day-to-day routines and gathering social information. When I conduct these assessments, I get a chance to have genuine interactions in which I learn more about their family and how Rainbows can best fit into their lives and assist them. During the intake the family will share information about the child’s mannerisms and personality and it is always heart-warming to hear about how children interact with the world around them and brighten the lives of their families.”

Alison is often the first point of contact for families and she starts the intake process to determine if they are eligible for services. “Alison has been such a great addition to the Bright Beginnings team,” said Susan Harsh, Butler County Infant/Toddler Services Coordinator. “She connects well with families initially which makes the process into services less stressful. Alison’s attention to detail as it relates to families and children has proved to be invaluable.”

Alison also completes transitions with children who will be turning 3 years old in 6-9 months. These transitions are related to assisting families with having an evaluation with Part B early childhood services if they are interested in early childhood services. She coordinates with the public schools to hold conferences and get the families all the information about early childhood services to ensure they have continuation of care as needed after exiting Rainbows’ Infant/Toddler Services at age 3.

“My biggest achievement has been adapting to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alison. “I am proud that I was able to overcome the obstacles that came with working remotely and supporting our Rainbows’ families. I have had amazing support from my Bright Beginnings team and we have all banded together to provide the very best services to the families who need us.”

Alison enjoys painting, drawing, photography, and going on nature walks.