Reba Stramat received a Fayette County Human Service Council Worker of the Year award for her role as a case worker at Fayette County Children and Youth Services.
Uniontown, PA – Reba Stramat has had a pretty good year. In June, she was promoted from a case aide to a case worker at Fayette County Children and Youth Services. Earlier this month, her work with the agency earned her a Fayette County Human Service Council Worker of the Year award, alongside Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Muriel Nuttall.
“It’s very humbling, and it’s hard to grasp that one person can win an award when so many others are doing amazing things as well,” Stramat said.
She said it is hard to understand why she was selected out of the many hard-working CYS employees.
“There are so many people doing so many great things,” she said. “To be selected above them is humbling, to say the least.”
Stramat’s dedication to the children and families she works with, as well as her humility and team-oriented perspective, has earned her this month’s Fayette Faces and Places designation.
Stramat was nominated by CYS contract manager Rebecca Taylor, whom she said is a member of the Human Service Council. She explained that the council votes on the nominees to determine a winner for the annual award.
Having worked with CYS since March 2018, Stramat is part of the ongoing unit, one of four distinct units within the agency.
“When a case cannot be closed within a certain amount of time that (the intake unit) has it, it goes to ongoing. We’ll have it much longer,” she said.
Stramat noted that workers in the ongoing unit are required to see children at least once a month and may also be required to attend court for various reasons.
“In ongoing, we work with foster families as well,” she said. “Last week, I had my first adoption I was able to see through.”
Case workers fill many roles, she said, but the ultimate goal is permanency for the kids in their charge, whether it be with their biological family or a foster.
Stramat said her favorite part of her job is “when I’m able to help somebody be seen. When kids are excited to see me, and they’re like, ‘Okay, I can trust this person.’”
She said she feels everyone at CYS deserves to share in the accolades for all that they do for Fayette County families.
“I accepted the award for everyone in my office (and) their amazing, heartfelt work,” she said.
Stramat said that during her award acceptance speech, she referenced the Jim Henson quote, “When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little bit better for having been there.”
“I said, ‘With this award, I realize I am living my quote,’” she said. “It’s not anything I’m doing specifically; it’s me being me.”
Stramat said it’s hard to wrap her head around the realization that she could win an award simply for being who she is and doing what she does.
“It makes me feel like I’ve been on the right track, and I’m going to be okay if I just be me,” she said. “It’s hard to accept it, but it’s nice to hear.”
To learn more about Fayette County Children and Youth Services, visit www.FayetteCountyPA.org.
Editor's Note: Photo attached (Reba Stramat)
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