Carrie Etheridge, MSW, LCSW-C, Director of Social Work, discusses how her passion for social work started at an early age and continues in her career at Sheppard Pratt.
Q: What is your role at Sheppard Pratt?
I am the Director of Social Work and oversee inpatient and day hospital social work programming. I also serve as Senior Social Worker for our child and adolescent inpatient and day hospital programs.
Q: What has your career path been?
I have been a social worker here for six years, but my career at Sheppard Pratt actually started 20 years ago.
I held roles as a program aide at one of our special education schools and as a mental health worker on the trauma disorders unit before I left to attend graduate school. In the six years I have been back, I’ve served as a social worker for our therapeutic preschool and our psychotic disorders unit, and as the senior social worker for the child and adolescent service line. I was recently promoted to Director of Social Work.
Q: Why did you go into the field of social work?
Wanting to help others was instilled in me from an early age. My mother gave me the opportunity to participate in an international volunteer program called VISIONS Service Adventures when I was a teen. I spent a month on a Native American reservation and built a playground while sleeping in sleeping bags in an abandoned church. This experience clinched my desire to do the type of work that I do now. I was fortunate enough to go on another trip in my 20s through Cross-Cultural Solutions, an international volunteer program for adults. I spent a life-changing month in Dharamsala, India, working in a village preschool and traveling throughout the country.
Q: What is your favorite part about working for Sheppard Pratt?
My favorite part about working for Sheppard Pratt is having the opportunity to impact so many lives simply by showing up to work each day. We house a wealth of experience and expertise here that allows us to find the right treatment for each person we serve.
Q: What motivates you?
My daily interactions with the social workers, nurses, physicians, and leadership. It is an exciting time to be a part of an organization that has embarked on a journey of finding new ways to increase the services we provide to our communities.
Q: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet and why?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg—she is one of the most tenacious and interesting people still standing.
Job title: Director of Social Work
years as an employee at Sheppard Pratt
3 words to describe Sheppard Pratt: Evolving, Exploratory, Transformative