We at Families as Allies are happy for Dr. Linda West as she announces her retirement from Mississippi Families for Kids and her 40-year career in social services. At the same time, we recognize that her courage and leadership will be sorely missed in our state.
Dr. West served as the founder and executive director of Mississippi Families for Kids for 28 years, building an extraordinary legacy of helping place children in foster and permanent homes to “promote stronger families and a more engaged and informed community.” Mississippi Families for Kids works to move kids from foster care to adoption through a number of different programs, while also teaching young children coping and social skills, supporting caregivers who are raising the children of their family members and offering many other programs aimed at supporting children and families on their journeys together.
“Leaving my beloved Mississippi Families for Kids evokes mixed emotions,” Dr. West said on the organization’s website. “You can’t invest 40 years into a profession and not have some emotions when leaving.”
“I hope over these last forty years I have encouraged and motivated some of my students and colleagues to reach heights I never did. I realized early and throughout my career that being a role model for others was tremendously important. Therefore, I have tried to be one for my staff, patients, clients, and students. A real sense of responsivity has always been at the center of my career. I end this chapter of my profession to look forward to the next chapter of my life, which will include lots of rest, relaxation, reading, and travel.”