Sara Halterman decided to work in this field for very personal reasons. She brings those reasons with her in the work she does every day, which means it comes from a truly heart felt place within.
Sara’s son lives with autism. This allows her a unique perspective and also insight into how others with communication barriers express their feelings.
“I picture my son when I am working. How would I want him to be treated? Especially people who are nonverbal, because he is. Sometimes the people we serve may just want to relax instead of going out somewhere. My son, Dominic doesn’t like to go out a lot,” she said.
Sara was promoted to Direct Support Manager over Mosaic’s Croydon Group Home this July. She came to Mosaic from a different agency in 2012. Despite loving the work she was doing for the individuals in service through this other agency, she was not completely in agreement with the agency’s policies and procedures. A friend was working at Mosaic and suggested Sara apply.
“Everything about Mosaic is better than my last employer. The company really does care. I would have stayed at the other place but I did not agree with how the individuals were treated. I do not think they really cared for them as much as they said. Mosaic actually does what it says and cares. It’s a pretty awesome place to work. You can’t discount how your life changes when working with the individuals we serve. It’s really about them,” she said.
Sara’s first two years at Mosaic were spent as a floater. She moved between seven group homes and waiver sites, working where she was needed. As a floater she was able to become close to several people.
“I was the ‘Go To’ person. I was asked about becoming a manager but I liked my job. I wasn’t one hundred percent sure I wanted a promotion because I got to work with a lot of individuals. I was offered an interim position so I tried it. It actually freed me up a little to still visit the people I serve. I like that I can do that now. That makes me happy just like being a floater did. I still have that flexibility and can still see everybody,” Sara said.
Moving from experience as a mother, to working with other individuals with intellectual disabilities is not as easy as it sounds. Sara took that leap however and she has not regretted it.
“I like this line of work, I’ve always been big hearted and gotten along well with everyone. I’m good at picking up on moods and facial expressions. I want to give people the most positive experience in life. So I try to make sure they are happy. When a friend of mine said why don’t you work in this field? I wasn’t sure because it’s different with your own child. But I tried it and fell in love with the work. I really found my niche. I never dread going to work. I’m very thankful I actually enjoy the work I do. I enjoy seeing all of my people and their smiles. It makes the day better. One day I will have to sign my son up for services and I have no hesitation to sign him up with Mosaic.” Sara said.