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Youth Services Department Holds Annual Employee Retreat

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Youth Services Department Holds Annual Employee Retreat


On July 29, Palm Beach County Youth Services Department held its fourth annual employee retreat virtually via Zoom. This year, the Seeds of Success Cross-Divisional Action Team coordinated the event including coming up with the theme, The Magical World of YSD, virtual activities, and developed themed backgrounds employees used during the retreat to generate a sense of unity.

The retreat began with remarks from Director Tammy K. Fields, who expressed her gratitude to staff for their work and commitment to providing quality service to the youth and families we serve during these unprecedented times.  Following opening remarks, the group participated in a “community meeting" utilizing Mentimeter, a live online polling tool. Employees entered answers to three questions: “What Disney character do you identify with today? What is your goal for today? Who can you ask for help?"

The gathering then shifted its focus to a self-care practice provided by the Palm Beach County Employee Wellness Program. Staff participated in a 15-minute guided chair yoga.

The department's four cross-divisional action teams provided presentations on the progress of their respective goals.  Although the goals and focus of each team varies, they are working towards defining improvements and performance metrics throughout the department.

Donna Goodwin and Holly Carotenuto, program evaluators, gave a presentation on the results of the recent department-wide climate survey. The climate survey was used to gauge employee perceptions about the department's climate, diversity, inclusion, leadership, work environment, and job satisfaction.

Staff participated in virtual Bingo and the Seeds of Success action team announced the Employee of the Year. Congratulations to Dr. Danniella Jones for earning the recognition. Dr. Jones received the award for her dedication to the doctoral internship program and the development of the Equity and Diversity Program. Her contributions have positively impacted the department and community.

The retreat concluded with a year in review video presentation. “The pandemic didn't prevent Team YSD from gathering for our annual retreat," said Fields. “Instead we gathered virtually with everyone contributing to the magic of the event."​