Impact Stories

March Highlight: Ashley Shepard

marzo 25, 2024

Ashley Shepard, one of our Grief Care Coordinators, talks about her journey working in the field of grief.

In honor of March being Women’s History Month and National Social Worker Month, we are celebrating our social workers who make a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve at Judi’s House.

Meet Ashley Shepard, MSW, SWC, one of our Grief Care Coordinators. Ashley is one of the first points of contact with families seeking services at Judi’s House. She helps families understand and connect to Judi’s House programming. She also conducts assessments, and connects families to additional resources in the community.

“My journey to Judi’s House started in Houston. I was completing my field internship for my master’s in social work at Bo’s Place,” says Ashley. “I fell in love with the work and began looking for opportunities to grow my clinical skills in Denver. Bo’s Place connected me to Judi’s House and all the pieces fell right into place.”

Ashley tells us that it is important that we have specifically trained counselors to help children navigate grief because “grief is not a one-size-fits-all experience.” “Trained counselors can support in identifying various signs of grief, can help address the specific needs, and provide targeted support to each family member,” says Ashley.

Ashley tells us it is incredibly important to have self-awareness and know why you want to enter this field of work. “This can help guide and ground you throughout your journey,” says Ashley. “Self-awareness can also connect to self-care/self-nourishment well. Knowing what you need, when you need it, and why you need it can help you avoid burnout and be able to support others in their grief journey.”

The number one thing Ashley wants to share with those grieving a death loss is that your grief is valid.

“There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and it’s perfectly okay to feel a wide range of emotions. From sadness and anger to confusion and even relief, says Ashley. “Allow yourself to feel what you feel, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.”

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