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Buncombe County employee Dasha Vasilyev is recognized for her impact on the local foster care community.
She is one of ten social workers in the state celebrated for their contributions as part of Foster Care Awareness Month from the Foster Family Alliance of North Carolina.
Dasha has worked at Buncombe County for over seven years—starting with an internship—and has held various roles with the county, including investigations, on-call, and foster care. She currently works as a Foster Home Licensing Social Worker.
“Dasha is passionate about learning and integrating racial equity into the support and educational work she does with foster families in the community,” Social Work Supervisor Amy Huntsman says, adding that Dasha is a happily married county resident with two wonderful, high-energy toddlers.
Dasha says she was caught off guard when she received a phone call about her nomination.
“The things I was nominated for, such as providing ongoing emotional support and assisting a foster parent with finding a daycare center for a child they are caring for, are my primary job responsibilities. I hardly think anything of it when I answer a call from a foster parent who is struggling and just needs my listening ear,” she says. “The nomination helped me recognize that while these tasks may seem like a mundane part of my job description, to the foster families we serve, it may be just what keeps them fostering a child for one more day.”
She shares that foster parents spend more than 700 hours a month with a child who may have significant and difficult behaviors due to the trauma they’ve experienced, so, to have a foster parent recognize that her support is what helps them continue to foster a child is a great honor for her.
“I also want to share that I could not do this job without the ongoing support from my unit. Any recognition I receive for doing my work is because of my wonderful role models: Heather Hill-Pavone, Vanessa Schaller, Kelly Schaefer, Pamela Suber, Natashia Mendoza, and Amy Huntsman,” she says.
Her journey in the social work field started when she completed a high school graduation project about children in foster care. She partnered with Black Mountain Home for Children and says she felt peace in her heart when she worked with the organization by serving foster care youth.
She was nominated by those who shared the following sentiments:
"She has always gone above and beyond to support the kids in my care."
"Most recently, I had a placement of three small children. During this time my father became terminally ill, and I lost my best friend from cancer. Dasha has been such a support to me as I was going through one of the hardest times in my life."
"My three-year-old was asked to leave childcare due to behaviors and Dasha has made every effort to support us and explore different options for him."
"She is so appreciated."
"I know she is overwhelmed with the stress of social work, and I would love to see her recognized for all of her efforts and hard work."
Congratulations to Dasha on this well-deserved recognition.