Kimberly Woolery, BCBA
  • What drove you to the BCBA profession?

I have always known that whatever I did in life, I wanted to work with children. I have always been drawn to their honesty and sense of wonder and watching them grow and develop. But to be quite honest, being a BCBA wasn’t my first choice. It turned out to be a happy accident for me. Initially, I planned to do School Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy.

However, two days after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, my dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. This unexpected news prompted me to move back to Jamaica to support my parents, although they didn’t ask me to do so. I was forced to switch careers to a different grad programme that allowed me to do everything online. The irony is that I didn’t know anything about behaviour analysis at that point, nor had I taken an ABA course at the undergraduate level. And to be honest, I didn’t love my first two courses either! However, when I started my fieldwork, everything made sense to me, as it was data-driven. That data drove me clinically to make changes in a treatment plan and told me whether what I was doing was working or not. It all made sense to me. I also found it easy to apply to all facets of my life!

  • How has Golden Care helped you in your career development? 

It has allowed me to balance clinical work and quality assurance, which I have always been passionate about. Quality assurance is such a crucial part of our work that it only helps you become a better clinician.

  •  What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Honestly, the team at Golden Care has been such a breath of fresh air! I have been in this field for quite a while, and very few companies have such a supportive admin and clinical team who care about your well-being and needs. You want to ensure that you are both (the company and the clinician) meeting each other’s needs, so be sure to ask all the questions you have; there is nothing too silly, no matter what stage you are at in your career. The more questions you ask, the more it shows that you care about your future, where you want to work, and the type of company you want to be aligned with.  

  • What do you find the most challenging in your work as a BCBA?

The most challenging part of being a BCBA is that if you’re a highly empathetic human being, things can get overwhelming, and you will burnout fast. You must find a work-life balance and be strict about it. It is essential to be compassionate and culturally responsive and provide the best care for your learners and their families. However, I have also learnt you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, the most challenging is learning to prioritise yourself first, having a cut-off time and ensuring you make time for yourself. It’s also imperative to stay organised while being flexible, knowing that your schedule will change anytime.

  •  What drew you to Golden Care originally? And how has Golden Care changed since? 

I was initially drawn to Golden Care because of the warmth of the Admin and HR Team. I loved that they required me to take a Cultural Training Course as a pre-requisite for onboarding. That was my big green flag. DEI is such a big part of who I am and what I stand for. It’s how I was raised, what I believe in and what I think is lacking in quality care and excellence in the field presently. Incorporating DEI training will only push this field towards excellence and quality care. It’s also ingrained in my personality and how I’ve always practiced as a clinician. I also love that the Golden Care Team is always open to suggestions and feedback. It is nice to be at a company where your thoughts are valued. I also like that you get the opportunity to connect with other clinicians daily if you choose to. 

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?  

My big sister Heather (she is such an amazing mentor, and I am so grateful to have her)  gave me great advice when I was younger. She told me to pick a profession that I loved and that even on those hard days, I would never truly work a day in my life, and she was right! 
My dad taught me that my word was my bond and that you can’t get anywhere without hard work. I’ve kept that with me throughout my entire life.

My parents also taught me to treat everyone with respect and I am no better than anyone else – no matter what colour, class, or creed, whether it’s the man sweeping the street or the King and Queen of a country. 

  • What’s the one thing you’d tell your younger self?  

This seems impossible, but you can and will do it. Also, take some breaks now and then and get some sleep! It’s also okay to say no sometimes. 

  • What is the favorite part in your work as a BCBA/ of working for Golden Care?  

My favourite part of my work as a BCBA is connecting with so many different cultures, personalities, and families. I also appreciate the connections that I have made. I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with others. I have received outstanding mentorship over the years, and it has turned into beautiful friendships that I will treasure for life. I also love connecting with kids even though I am providing services via Telehealth. It always feels like a great accomplishment when they get excited to see me; they can share things with me and tell me about their day or “play with me.” I also appreciate how available everyone is from our Clinical Director Jenn, who is always a call away, our State Director Martha, Ashley & Alexis in HR, to Greg in Billing, Manny & Jennily in Staffing, and our amazing Case Managers Paige and Francies! Everyone is always easy to reach and eager to help daily! I truly appreciate that, and if I forgot someone, please know it was unintentional, but I appreciate you! Akiva, you have created an amazing team!

  • What is your proudest moment at Golden Care/ in your work as a BCBA?
    • It is being recognised with this Gold Star Award! This is so heartwarming!
    • Another moment that comes to mind is getting my first paper accepted to ABAI in 2013.

  • What is one thing that you wished people knew about your job?  

It is a gratifying and fulfilling career but also incredibly draining! At the end of the day, I want to disconnect and decompress. People misinterpret or undermine how much brain work goes into this job and that your brain is analysing many different moving parts regarding clinical outcomes, treatment planning, parental expectations and ensuring you’re providing clinical quality. Although it may not be seen outwardly, it can impact you inwardly. We don’t only support the children we work with but also the parents, the grandparents, the extended families, and the behaviour technicians. In addition, we are responsible for staying on top of insurance requirements, assessments, and reports and ensuring goals are up to date weekly or bi-weekly! So, it is super important to have that balance and time to yourself where you don’t have to think! Also, there’s a big misconception that all I do is play with kids all day, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth!

  • What does the day to day of your job look like? 

My day-to-day looks like conducting assessments, completing reports, conducting supervision with behaviour technicians or RBTs, conduct family treatment guidance, doing treatment planning, updating Care Plans in Chorus, analysing data multiple times per day, meeting with behaviour technicians to ensure they are feeling supported, doing check-ins with families also to ensure they are feeling supported and are happy with their child’s progress. I am also always looking for the best resources and stimuli that would benefit the learners I am working with. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a resource junkie! I also always play Tetris with my schedule always trying to figure out how to schedule my sessions. I am always in constant communication with my team through text or email. I also do quality assurance on Care Plans and check in with Jenn, our amazing Clinical Director, a few times per week. I also speak with the learner’s care team, including their teachers, SLPs or OTs, to ensure we are all on the same page!

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