Even before the pandemic hit, such a thing as a ‘normal’ day didn’t exist for a targeted case manager (TCM). In one day alone, a TCM can attend an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting, work on updating files, contact charitable funding sources, and meet with a new family to discuss their child’s needs. One activity that is guaranteed is documentation of the work completed daily. Otherwise, each day brings different activities and new tasks to complete.
Due to COVID-19 and the switch to remote work last year, these services look quite different with virtual or telephone meetings, but the Targeted Case Management team continues to help families access necessary resources and services to help their child be successful, update files, and complete documentation.
Emma Low, Targeted Case Manager, started working at Rainbows when she was pursuing her bachelor’s degree in social work at Wichita State University 8 years ago. She will have her master’s degree in May from Newman University and is in the process of applying to take the licensing exam so she can be a licensed master’s level social worker by the end of the year.
“My favorite part of the job is being able to learn each child and their family’s story,” said Emma. “I love to hear about their accomplishments and see them grow. I originally provided center-based and in-home care when I first started with Rainbows and now I serve some of those same children through TCM. It is amazing to see how much they have grown, and still be involved in their lives, just in a different way.”
“Emma has a vast knowledge of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) world,” said Lindsay Kral, Targeted Case Management/Autism Program Coordinator, “and is always willing to help train new staff. She shares her knowledge and also her genuine compassion for the families and children we serve.”
“Blarney Breakfast is one of my favorite events” said Emma. “I am definitely not a morning person, but I always leave the event very happy. It is incredible to see how much support our city shows for Rainbows every year. Not having the in-person event last year really made me realize how much I love participating in it. I’m excited to be a part of this year’s Blarney Breakfast To Go event!”
“Rainbows has affected my personal life in so many ways,” said Emma. “I have learned that patience is very important and that not everything is black and white. Sometimes you have to think outside of the norm; whether I am trying to communicate with the child or even trying to help a family understand the services. These have carried over into my personal relationships as well. I also credit Rainbows for helping me meet my fiancé, Marcus, who was a lead teacher for afterschool latchkey at Kids’ Cove and Camp Woodchuck.”
When she’s not working full time at Rainbows, completing her practicum, attending classes/ doing homework, and trying to prepare for licensure, Emma enjoys baking, music, and animals. She bakes cookies, bread, etc. for family and friends. Before the pandemic, she loved attending live concerts and already plans to attend one next February. She also loves to spend time with and spoil her pets. One day she would like to open a rescue/ shelter that employs or allows work experience for individuals with an IDD diagnosis.