Prince Rupert-based social worker, Olga Radzikh, is being featured by the B.C. government during National Social Work Month.
Since August 2016, Radzikh has been working with children and youths with special needs across the North Coast. As a university student in the Ukraine she volunteered with young adults that have disabilities.
“At the same time, I learned about all the barriers that they experience and how life is difficult in a way, but it doesn’t have to be,” she said.
“I’ve just always felt that pull toward social justice and to make things fair, and to make things inclusive and accessible.”
After completing her Masters of social work in Winnipeg, she took the position covering rural and Indigenous communities from Lax Kw’alaams to Gitxaala Nation and Haida Gwaii.
“I feel good about being here because I can see the need in the community. I feel like I’m doing something that actually needs to be done,” she said.
As a children and youth with special needs worker she connects people to funding and resources. For example, there is guaranteed funding for autism in this province. In order for people to access that funding they meet with Radzikh, and she can connect them with funding and services within their area.
In the past couple of years, Radzikh, has worked hard to expand resources in the region. She works with a five-person social worker team, plus their supervisor, who cover northwestern B.C. to the Yukon border. Together they’ve advocated for a new service that was implemented in Haida Gwaii last spring, and Prince Rupert last fall.
“I’m happy to say that we did get a behaviour analysis service here and in some of the other parts of northwestern B.C. that do catch a bit more people, so we have now mechanism to catch the people that would fall through the cracks before,” Radzikh said.
The B.C. government has proclaimed that March 10-16 is Social Work Week to highlight the vital role social workers play in the province to support vulnerable children, youths and adults.
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Shannon Lough | Editor
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