The Social Worker of the Year Award honors a member of NASW/Texas who exemplifies the best of the profession’s values and achievements. In honoring the Social Worker of the Year, NASW highlights superb accomplishments in the practice of social work. The Social Worker of the Year demonstrates outstanding leadership, advocates for clients, and takes risks to achieve outstanding results.
Stephanie Gillespie has an MA in Counseling and a Doctorate in Ministry, completing her dissertation on the Christian Response to Homelessness in America. She later received her MSW from University of Texas at Arlington, although many of her friends and colleagues identified her as a natural born social worker years before that.
Ms. Gillespie serves as the Community Services Manager for the Arlington Police Department. She has proven her dedication to connecting with and serving the homeless in Arlington, supervising the department’s Homeless Outreach Officer, co-authoring the City of Arlington’s 10 year Homelessness Plan, and creating an after school program for children living in extended-stay motels. Additionally, she has developed other community-based initiatives, coordinating proactive community policing strategies in schools that address truancy, gangs, re-entry, and neighborhood restoration issues.
She has volunteered with Mission Arlington for 16 years, and her passion is evident through her many other engagement volunteer organizations including Hope After Brain Injury, Helping Restore Ability, and Rescue Her.
Ms. Gillespie has been a member of Adult Protective Services Community Committee, American Association of Christian Counselors, Arlington Police Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police as a school safety consultant, Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, Tarrant County Re-Entry Council, and has been a respite foster parent.
She has been recognized as United Way’s Volunteer of the Year, Santa Fe Adolescent Youth Service’s Community Hero, Arlington Police North District Officer of the Year, and a Paul Harris Fellow. She has received the Texas Law Enforcement Achievement Award for Community Service, the North Texas US Attorney’s Public Service Award, the Girls Inc. BOLD Woman Award, the State Farm Good Neighbor Award, and is a Woman of Legacy for the Safe Haven of Tarrant County.
Ms. Gillespie’s commitment to ensuring safety and engagement within the community have made a lasting impact on the students, the homeless population, and the community of Arlington as a whole.
Nominated by the North Central Texas-Fort Worth Branch
This write up was originally posted on the NASW Website
Stephanie is a supervisee of Wales Counseling Center, PLLC