For over three decades, Robin Reese has worked with Lucas County Children Services (LCCS) in a tireless effort to protect area kids from abusive and neglectful situations. But according to Reese, if you ask the people closest to her, she’s had a passion for assisting people in the community even longer.
“If you talk to my mother, who is still alive, she would tell you I’ve been doing this work my entire life. And so, I’ve always been a social worker,” Reese said.
“I’ve always had a drive to help people. That’s just what my whole family is about—I have a sister who is a social worker, also. So that’s kind of what we’re about.”
Now serving as the Executive director of LCCS, Reese oversees a staff of over 300 in their efforts to provide protection to children. Nowadays, Reese said that she doesn’t get to work hands-on with the children in her care as much as she used to—being executive director requires a much broader scope and more administrative focus than she’s dealt with in the past.
“Honestly, to make the work do-able for people on the front lines, because social workers are truly first responders,” she said.
“I really try to look at the strength of families, because most families can really guide you on how to help them, if you take the time to really look at it from where their strengths are.”
With challenges such as the opiate epidemic facing area families, Reese said that it is more important than ever for people in the Toledo community to help each other, if we are to protect our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
“Currently, we have almost a thousand kids in care, which is really not sustainable,” Reese said. “So what I say to people is, reach out and help people that are in trouble. We have to become a community of helpers at this point.”
I have always wanted to… make my parents proud.
What do you admire in people? I admire people that see the glass half-full.
What is your pet peeve? Probably just the opposite—when people can only see the negative about people or a situation.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I am a Barbra Streisand fanatic.
What are the words you live by? I tell my staff this all the time—nice goes a long way, and just be good people.
What advice would you give to the younger you? Have fun. More fun.
Who is someone that you’d like to meet? Of course, Barbra Streisand, I would like to meet her. I would have liked to have met McCain, I would have liked to have met Barbara Bush, and definitely Obama.
What inspires you now? That I have the ability to pass on some of the lessons that I’ve learned to people, especially in the social work field. I’ve learned a lot in my 34 years, and I’m in a position now to pass that on.
Who do you most admire? My mother.
Favorite food? Turkey with dressing.
Favorite Movie: A Star is Born.