Kudos for social worker

Family members celebrate with Brandi Moles, third from left, as she is awarded the Tom Moan Social Worker of the Year award from the state of Oregon. From left, Andie Moles, Randy Moles, Brandi, Joanne Moles, Terijeanne Martenson and Kevin Moles.

Former Grant County resident Brandi Jo Moles has been awarded the Tom Moan Social Worker of the Year award from the state of Oregon, in recognition for her dedication in the field of social work.

The award is named for Tom Moan, who had a long career in child welfare, serving in many capacities from caseworker to deputy director. The annual award recognizes child welfare caseworkers from throughout Oregon who demonstrate exceptional leadership and achievement in the field.

Moles received a name plate recognizing her as a recipient of the award, and will attend a national child welfare conference in Washington, D.C., with all expenses paid, this month. There, she will have the opportunity to learn alongside other child welfare professionals and bring that knowledge back to share in Oregon.

A 2003 graduate of Grant Union High School, Moles attended Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human communication in 2007.

She has been a child welfare caseworker for seven years, starting her career in Gold Beach, and moving to Bend in 2009.

She is currently in her master’s program, receiving her master’s in social work from Portland State University.

Moles serves children and families in District 10, which covers Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook counties.

According to Lois Day, director of the State of Oregon Child Welfare, “Moles is described as a caring professional who is highly organized and motivated to solve problems when working with families.”

Day said court officials, attorneys, court-appointed special advocates and treatment providers have often complimented her hard work and strength-based approach with families.

Moles is the daughter of Joanne Moles of Canyon City and Randy Moles of John Day.

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