National Social Worker Month Spotlight: Ashley Doubrava
It’s hard to get Ashley Doubrava to talk about herself when she’d much rather tell you about all the great work done in the Foster Care program. As she enthusiastically describes her work, it’s clear that she’s in the right profession.
Ashley has been a Foster Care Social Worker at Access for the last three and a half years. In this role, she is an advocate for the boys living in our group home, provides them with one-on-one counseling, and sometimes does family counseling. The counseling sessions aren’t what you’d expect. They happen in the kitchen while they’re making food, and out on the basketball court as they’re shooting hoops. As a former sports counselor, Ashley feels comfortable with any kind of sporting equipment that will facilitate a “session.”
Ashley has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development from SUNY Oswego and a master’s in Social Work from Binghamton University. When she graduated, her brother was a Youth Counselor at Access and suggested that she apply to work for the agency. What she loves most about Access is that it’s such a multi-faceted agency. Her coworkers are down-to-earth, and communication follows a practical path with few barriers.
Self-care is something Ashley takes seriously. She loves to exercise and finds that it’s the best way to take care of herself physically and mentally. She enjoys running, hiking, fishing, and anything involving the outdoors. “Burn out is a real thing,” she warns, encouraging self-care and healthy boundaries as ways to avoid it. Her advice to new social workers is to learn that you can’t solve everyone’s problems, and utilize your coworkers as a sounding board when you need to decompress.
If you ask her about another career she might consider instead of social work, Ashley has a hard time answering the question. She says that she might like to go into law, but that she’d focus more on advocacy than litigation…which is something she can do with a social work degree. No matter how you look at it, Ashley is destined for social work – and she’s fulfilling her destiny at Access.