Department of Family Services

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Michael A. Becketts

DFS Spotlight: Kelly Jackson

(Posted 2023 February)

Meet Kelly!

Position: Quality Assurance Clinical Supervisor, Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Fairfax County Department of Family Services 

Kelly JacksonIn my role, I handle subpoenas and FOIA requests, quality assurance reviews of the notes of the clinical staff, reviews of clinical records and processes, help identify quality assurance risks and gaps, and improve system processes. I’m also supervising the intake coordinator, and I communicate with the county attorney.

I do this work because I always knew I loved and enjoyed helping people. I have this passion for people, for helping others get to their fullest potential. But I thought that help would come through a medical career. I started on this journey at 18 just gung-ho about being a nurse. When I was in my bachelor’s studies, moving toward my desired goal, I had this epiphany: I don’t like blood. My stomach gets upset. My knees get weak.

My college adviser had me take a career test. I tested really high for social work. I said, “No, I’m not taking people’s babies from them!” She said, “There’s so much more to being a social worker. There are so many areas you can work in.” So, I took this social work 101 class and that’s when the floodgates opened as to what I could do. I have two bachelor’s degrees--sociology and social work and I did them simultaneously. I have an MSW and am completing my Ph.D. on the philosophy of general psychology.

My career has run the gamut of what a degree in social work can do. My first internship was in a hospital setting as an oncology social worker, and I just loved every ounce of sitting with my clients and providing support for them while they were going through chemo and radiation. Then I provided trauma support to families and patients at another hospital and did caring, compassionate work as an on-call social worker for the neonatal ICU. I followed this with work in a community mental health setting. And then I went into a group practice. I loved that work and became a clinical director.

I’ve supported military personnel. I created a nonprofit right out of grad school to support those impacted by domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking. When I moved to the east coast in 2015, I took the same nonprofit and created it within a church to support the needs of the community in Columbia, Maryland. I’ve advocated in Washington. I’ve been a public speaker for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helping create their anti-human trafficking curriculum (SOAR to Health and Wellness Training Program). I had the opportunity to speak before Congress regarding human trafficking.

I have done this work for a long time and have done a lot in the field, but I am grateful for my current position and for what I am doing within the division, where it’s not individual work with survivors and thrivers. I am truly grateful for this space. Supporting the clinicians will be an awesome thing to bring to the team.

Working for DFS allows time for a work-life balance. I am writing my dissertation on social worker self-care. I have researched the importance of self-care, understanding what that is, and how it’s not just about doing. It’s a mindset. I’m originally from San Diego, and now I have a reason to travel. My travel is justified for my own self-care. I do travel to warmer places. I love being near the ocean, near a waterway. I like the outdoors. I like sports, hiking, I cycle in the springtime. And being a mom to my six children (four of whom are adults); that’s my other passion.

Join our team to discover why I enjoy working with DFS so much.

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This posting is part of the Department of Family Services' Community Corner where you’ll find timely information about upcoming events, parenting and wellness tips, programs and services, and more! Share these helpful posts with your friends and family. Don't miss out on future postings! Sign up today!

For media inquiries, contact Department of Family Services' Public Information Officer Amy Carlini by email, office phone 703-324-7758 or mobile phone 571-355-6672.

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