Christine Velez is a clinical social worker at Children’s Hospital Oakland.
What inspired you to pursue a career in behavioral health?
The curiosity and creativity of children, especially their brutally honest observations and questions, inspired me to pursue this line of work. I’m continuously motivated by the healing that can occur when we listen and respond to children’s emotional needs and help them navigate family stressors, loss, and grief. When I use toys, books, and movement in my therapeutic work, I’m also healing my inner child.
How has being in NUHW helped you in your profession?
In my role as a clinical social worker, I make use of the listening and advocacy skills that are vital to collective action and organizing. NUHW has equipped me with tools to support others, both coworkers and clients’ families alike, to identify their needs and pursue tangible changes within historically oppressive systems.