Youth Development Spotlight: Emily DeCarlo

Emily DeCarlo, LCSW has always loved seeing people, especially children, learn and grow.

“Seeing their resiliency is all the motivation I need,” she said.

Emily joined Family Service of Roanoke Valley as Manager of Community Counseling Programs in November 2016. She oversees community counseling programs in Youth Development like therapeutic day treatment, intensive in-home counseling, Positive Alternative to School Suspension (PASS) Group, and the Parent Aide program. Emily also manages community counseling at the West End Center for Youth, CAFE – Cultural Arts for Excellence, and the Presbyterian Community Center.

In her life before Family Service, Emily worked in a client services organization that focused on domestic and sexual violence as well as a Healthy Families program. Having always worked with youth and young adults, she says that “watching a client become able to manage the trauma they have experienced and become motivated to do different for themselves, their family, and children is remarkable.”

Emily, who is a licensed clinical social worker, finds happiness in the love from the people around her and their laughter. She also lives her life by a quote from Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

A closer look at the programs:

Therapeutic Day Treatment is a Medicaid-funded program for students whose serious mental health, behavioral and emotional difficulties impair major life activities. Participants are evaluated for the service and may receive individual or group counseling.

Intensive In-Home professionals and family care coordinators focus on recognizing family strengths that can be used to build the solutions that will work for each family.  

Positive Alternative to School Suspension (PASS)works with at risk children to break the school-to-prison pipeline. Instead of responding with discipline first, Roanoke City Schools are looking for the underlying issues that may have prompted misbehavior from a student. The hope is that by solving the problem, the misbehavior will cease. Family Service of Roanoke Valley is a partner working on this brand-new opportunity.

Parent Aide gives parents struggling with daily tasks of managing home and child care the assistance needed to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their families

Community Counseling offers group counseling sessions to help students cope with daily challenges associated with disruptive home and life experiences that may affect their performance and behavior in school and other environments. Community Counseling is also able to uniquely address tragic events, such as the death of a classmate that may affect a whole group of students.