About the Author

Field work with an open heart pascale victorPascale Victor is a licensed social worker with a degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City. Her extensive experience encompasses both direct clinical work and social work administration. She also has experience providing short-term therapy to adolescents, adults, and families, serving as a bridge between her clients and community-based organizations for continued long-term mental health treatment. She was formerly employed as a hospital social worker where she worked closely with psychiatrists in order to provide social service intervention to the youth who were brought to the pediatric emergency room as a result of mental health or emotional/behavioral problems. She has also been employed part-time as a therapist in a consulting agency where she counseled children, adolescents and young adults with regard to their emotional and social development, academic future and career planning. Additional topics she discussed in therapy included discipline, substance abuse, sexual orientation, identity problems and conflict resolution.

From 2002 to the present Pascale Victor has been employed as a social worker for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). There she provides social service intervention to the residents of NYCHA: Youth, adults, elderly, as well as families. Responding to emergency situations and providing intervention in a crisis are part of her responsibilities. In that area she has undertaken numerous clinical assessments and, on many occasions, after assessing their psychological conditions, she has had to hospitalize mentally ill clients. She has provided counseling/social service intervention to clients who were depressed, suicidal, victims of a sexual assault or rape and substance abusers. Her experience includes supervising a staff that assisted residents who required social service intervention; some of the residents were also physically and/or mentally incapacitated. In her current capacity, working within the NYCHA Social Services Department Clinical Unit, has enabled the author to provide assistance to a diverse population who has a variety of needs. In sum, her job duties entail:

  • Conduct home visits to residents requiring social service intervention.
  • Assess the residents’ level of functioning by using a psychosocial assessment tool.
  • Respond to emergency/critical situations requiring social service intervention.
  • Conduct mental competence evaluations to determine if mentally ill residents will require a Guardian Ad Litem at upcoming NYCHA termination hearings in Central Office.
  • Provide short-term counseling to the residents of NYCHA.
  • Provide a linkage between residents and community-based organizations.

Becoming a well-rounded social worker, especially with her current and past experience in the field, has given her a remarkable perspective on what lies behind each client’s door, and exceptional compassion for her clients, seasoned with a realistic understanding of the oddities and unpredictability of human nature.