Janeth Barba

Janeth Barba

Director of clinical services

Why did you choose Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area?

I have always enjoyed working at non-for profits and the opportunities to work in programs working with children and families in crisis was what led me to apply. Once I met some of the staff I immediately knew I wanted to work here. The values of the agency and their mission was in line with the type of work I wanted to do.

If you had to give a 2-minute elevator speech on what you do every day, what would you say?

Every day is something different. My schedule is more of a guideline to my work but does consistently include times for direct supervision of staff, community meetings, and trainings. Due to the nature of the programs, I supervise situations that require my immediate attention to either consult, coordinate, problem solve, advocate, or make a decision. My end goal is for clients to receive the services they need for their treatment.

What is the best part of working in the mental health field?

It's both a high challenge and high reward field. The challenges are the complexity of situations and limited resources pushing you as a professional to be innovative. The reward is seeing the progress and end result of people feeling better.

What is the favorite part of your job?

There are many aspects of my job that I really enjoy and it's hard to limit it to top favorite. I enjoy working as part of a team in which everyone has a role and we all come together for a common goal. I enjoy the collaboration with other staff and learning from them.

Who has had the most influence on your work career?

My mom has had the most influence on my career. My mom valued education and when I was growing up I saw my mom in school. We both studied together and my mom always celebrated my accomplishments with praise. My mom strived to be the best she could be and showed me great work ethic. All the lessons and support is what has helped me in my own career.

What is your favorite quote?

"The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways."
- Dr. Russell Barkley

If you could meet someone, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would love to meet the Dalai Lama. I admire his work and continued devotion to making the world a better place. I would love to have a discussion on life and participate in his teaching of a meditation class.

People would be surprised if they knew I ...

...was scared of moths. I absolutely hate them and will take a spider crawling on me than a moth. My biggest fear is one getting trapped in my hair and it fighting its way to get out.

If you could pick a superpower what would it be?

My superpower would be "intelligence". I am a curious person and like to figure out how things work. With my power I would quickly absorb and retain information from anything or anyone with a single touch.

Favorite Food?

I love seafood and will eat shrimp, fish, oysters, octopus, crabs, lobster and more.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

The weirdest thing I ate was cow brains at a taco stand. I was confused on what type of meat I had ordered. It wasn't until I took the first bite that I realized I had made a mistake.

What is the most interesting place that you've visited?

The Dominica Republic is a very beautiful country. The two times I have traveled I found their food to be delicious and island living to be fascinating. I learned about their major crops being sugar cane but also they grow tobacco and chocolate. It is not a rich country and the people of that country are resilient and resourceful.

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