Name: Rachael Kaplan
Hometown: Newton, MA
Position: School Worker / Adjustment CounselorEducational
Background: I received my bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). I majored in English and minored in Spanish. I got my master's degree in social work at Simmons School of Social Work. I also completed a one-year post-graduate certificate program in Family Therapy at the Family Institute of Cambridge. I have my LICSW (licensed independent clinical social work) and see clients in private practice in Brookline.Years at the NECP: This is my third year here at NECP.
What do you love most about working with the children at the NECP? I love watching them learn and grow. Children I see during the evaluation process can look completely different as learners and as individuals 2-3 years later! I also like that through doing "Friendship Circle" in the majority of classrooms throughout the year, I get to know and appreciate almost every single child in the program.
What's a typical day for a social worker at the NECP? There is no typical day! I am half-time at NECP and half-time with the English Language Learning Program where I work with (mostly) Spanish-speaking families throughout the district. I am at NECP Mondays, half-Wednesdays, and Fridays. During those days I run friendship circle groups, co-facilitate a parent group, and consult with teachers and parents as needs arise. I am also part of many children's teams when they are first evaluated. Through that role, I meet with parents to do Developmental Histories learning about the child through the parents' perspective from pregnancy through the present. This way I get to meet a lot of new parents as they come in!
What do you feel makes the NECP unique? Lots of things. I love the staff here and how everyone loves doing what they do. I also like the social-emotional focus of the school, and the importance put on the children enhancing relationships, play skills, and working collaboratively with each other. The children learn to respect each other for their similarities as well as their differences. My heart melts when the classes come down the hallways holding hands.
What are your hobbies and other interests? I love being with my family. My husband and I have two sons (3 and 6) and have a little girl due in March. We also have an awesome Sheepadoodle named Parker. What did you want to be when you grew up? A therapist! I am living the dream...
What's something that's on your bucket list? I would love to travel to Australia. It is so far though!