RPC Employee Wins Award for Outstanding New Social Worker

RPC staff member Annie Bruno

The University of Illinois School of Social Work Alumni Association has awarded Annie Bruno with the 2019-20 Outstanding New Social Worker Award. Bruno is a Case Worker in the RPC’s Independent Service Coordination program and has been employed with the RPC since 2017, where she provides case management support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Outstanding New Social Worker Award is presented to a recent graduate of the School of Social Work’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program who has demonstrated unique accomplishments in his or her first five years of post-MSW practice. Bruno will receive the award during the School of Social Work Spring Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 4, in conjunction with the school’s 75th anniversary celebration activities.

“Annie is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities,” comments Katie Harmon, a program manager at the RPC and Bruno’s supervisor for two years. “She supports her clients in living the most independent lives possible and has no problem in thinking outside the box in order to assist people in achieving their self-identified goals.”

Harmon also praises Bruno for continuing to demonstrate interest in Illinois policy around disability issues while being forward thinking in identifying the ways in which the state can improve to better support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “Annie’s clients routinely acknowledge that they can count on her for support and information,” she says. “Annie is an absolute asset to our team and the RPC is fortunate to have such an exceptional young social worker begin her post-MSW career with us.”

“I am very thankful and overwhelmed to be presented with the Outstanding New Social Worker Award,” says Bruno. “I feel so humbled and grateful to be recognized amongst a field of peers I admire and am proud to work alongside. I appreciate the School of Social Work’s diligence in recognizing new professionals to this field and helping us to feel welcome.”

The RPC’s Independent Service Coordination (ISC) program helps individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families/guardians access individualized services and supports. It aims to ensure that the variety of services and supports it provides are responsive to the unique needs and desires of each individual, while effectively promoting independence, community inclusion, and self-determination. ISC staff serve as an advocate, resource, and partner for the individual, their family, and others who are important in their lives, including service providers. ISC serves Bureau, Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Tazewell, Vermilion, and Woodford counties.

“I grew up with family and friends in the field of social services and I learned from an early age what I wanted to do professionally,” Bruno concludes. “I feel very grateful that I found such a welcoming professional environment at the RPC that allows me to do the work I love each and every day.”

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