February 1, 2017
Most of the Gerard Place parents have dealt with countless traumas in their lives that we can't realize or possibly try to fathom. There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness and terror involved with mental illness. Under the supervision of Karen Kasperek, Director of Programs & Services, and Nicole Ernst, MSW Case Manager, our families receive support, guidance and the empathy to cope, learn and understand their mental illness.
Karen has supervised Nicole for the past six years, " I have had the honor of getting to know Nicole very well both personally and professionally. Nicole has guided many families to ensure a stable, healthy and safe home. It has been my experience that Nicole views life and its challenges from a very positive perspective. She is energetic, dedicated, responsible and a kindhearted person. Gerard Place is incredibly fortunate to have a person like Nicole as part of our team."
Nicole sees hope every day - "Even amidst depression, anxiety, fears and struggles, with the support of Gerard Place, a daily hope emerges in each of our moms to be successful, day by day. Some days are harder than others, some less productive than others, but what we can say for sure is that here with our support and help, they feel loved, cared for, understood and they feel listened to, no matter what kind of day they are having. In some ways, we as staff take on the role of re-parenting them, in ways they were not parented as children themselves. And by doing so, it is our goal as staff to model for them what nurturing and supportive people look like with the hope that it will then transcend positively into how they parent their own children as well."