Anabel Manzo is a caseworker for developmentally disabled adults in Salem, Oregon. She builds rich relationships with her clients, while ensuring all are treated equally. As a case manager, Manzo likens her role to a telephone operator. “I’m just kind of a hub of information, and I help [clients] solve problems and connect them to resources.” This can include helping people find transportation, a community job, or a provider who can assist with their day-to-day needs.
Caring for her younger sister with Down Syndrome inspired Manzo to enter this field when she was growing up. At first, she set her sights on special education, but after working in the classroom, Manzo found she spent more time doing paperwork than working with students one-on-one. It was her sister’s own case manager who alerted her to an opening at her work.
Manzo loves connecting with people. What’s most rewarding about her job is seeing her work bring positive changes to the quality of life of her clients.
When you see a change in the quality of life of someone that you’ve been working with, and they’re more independent and they’re able to be happier and have what they need — that’s really rewarding, really seeing that difference in their lives. It’s what keeps me going through the hard times. You know that everything that you’re doing is worth it.
Now go in-depth with Anabel in an extended Q & A session!
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