Month: February 2021

S. Kim Somaroo-Rodriguez, MSW ’01

S. Kimberly Somaroo-Rodriguez has been with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) for over 21 years. This includes direct Child Protective Services, Mental health and Voluntary services specialist. Mrs. Somaroo-Rodriguez was also a supervisor in the bureau of Quality Improvement Division and instrumental in the implementation of the agency’s compliance with the court mandated 22 Outcome measures set forth in the Juan F. Consent Decree.  Mrs. Somaroo-Rodriguez has been a Program Supervisor since 2006.  She provides managerial oversight of the statewide Supportive Housing for Families Program (SHF).  This nationally recognized program provides child welfare reunification/preservation services with permanent housing solutions.  Mrs. Somaroo-Rodriguez has developed new partnerships with several non-profit housing advocacy groups such as is the Reaching Home Campaign, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Mrs. Somaroo-Rodriguez is a longtime member of the Reaching Home Campaign’s Youth and Young Adult Homelessness Workgroup, Prevention, and Coordinating Committees. She is the DCF representative along with six other state agencies on the State’s Inter-Agency Committee on Supportive Housing Next Steps Initiative which provides funding to Permanent Supportive Housing Developments across the state for homeless adults, youth and families. In October 2009, she established the CT Family Unification Program (FUP) Voucher Taskforce to apply and receive federal housing vouchers for DCF families and youth aging out of foster care, which resulted in over 200 new FUP vouchers equaling $5 million dollars in federal housing assistance. In 2012, Mrs. Somaroo-Rodriguez was the Principal Investigator five-year federal grant initiative for DCF involved homeless families. Mrs. Somaroo-Rodriguez work has also included program oversight of Child First an in-home program that heals families from the effects of trauma and adversity. She is also the Chairperson of the Parents with Differing Cognitive Abilities Workgroup, a state-wide partnership among private and public agencies to advocate, educate, and provide resources to professionals working with parents of all types of cognitive abilities.



Z. Riki Brodey, MSW ’85


Born in Hartford and a third generation Hartfordite.  My father’s parents lived in North Hartford, owned a grocery store and some apartments.  My mother’s parents owned a fur store in the city, where grandma, a poet/entertainer entertained her patrons.  My father put himself through Yale and Columbia Business school.  My mother graduated from Dean  Junior College.  Education, cultural arts and civic duty were values I learned from family.

I graduated from Conard High School, class of 1958, attended Wheaton College, Norton, MA. for two years. During the summer I attended Harvard Summer School, where I met a young man who convinced me to transfer to Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, where I graduated in 1962.  He was the man who later became my husband.  We lived in Philadelphia where I taught junior high school.  Teaching wasn’t for me. I then wrote a grant and received money to unite two neighborhoods, a Black community and an Italian community through an after-school tutorial program.  The success of this program excited me.  When we moved to New Haven, CT. I attended Southern Connecticut State University and received a Masters degree in Urban Studies.  Next I worked at CHIF, Connecticut Housing Invest Fund, a nonprofit whose mission was to counsel first time home owners in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.


By this time, I had two children. My husband, a psychiatrist, saw that I enjoyed counseling people and convinced me to get my MSW.  This was one of the best choices I have made.  I graduated from UCONN School of Social Work in 1985, followed by 6 years at Wheeler Clinic counseling individuals and families as well as helping corporations with their EAP programs.

Presently I supervise third year psychiatric residents at the IOL, Hartford Hospital.  My experiences have provided me with in-depth knowledge of people from many backgrounds as well as a solid knowledge of greater Hartford.

I am enthusiastic about serving on the board of the School of Social  Work.  It is my way to give back.

Amos Smith, MSW ’79

Amos Smith is the President and CEO at the Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc., since May 2006. He manages a budget that serves approximately 25,000 individuals covering 5 towns across the New Haven regions. Mr. Smith currently serves as the 1st Vice President of the Connecticut Association for Community Action, a member of the Community Research Engagement Steering Committee at Yale, the Community Advisory Committee at Southern Connecticut State University School of Social Work, the Board of Advocates to the Dean of Social Work at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, former member of Governor Malloy’ Health and Human Services Committee, and lead connector to a new initiative between Smillow Cancer Center at Yale & Community Action Agency of New Haven’s commitment to explore ways to collaborate, serve, support, treat, educate and  improve community engagement.

Amos has served on the boards of Friends Center for Children in New Haven. Institutes for Community Research in Hartford, and the first man, to Chair the Board of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut. Amos was appointed to serve on by the Connecticut Department of Public Health – Human Investigations Committee as a non-medical Advocate and Community Representative.

Before joining Community Action, Mr. Smith served as Director of Health Grantmaking at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF). In addition to his Grantmaking duties, he served as the Principal Investigator for the New Haven Healthy Start project, whose focus is to eliminate infant morality among African American women, improve Maternal and Child Health Outcomes in New Haven. He has frequently demonstrated the intellectual acuity and temperament for addressing uncommon, chaotic, and complicated programs and organizations. He has often worked on issues and challenges that are cross- disciplinary and highly levels of rigor and complexities. Mr. Smith has been a panelist at the first National Institutes of Health (NIH) Summit: The Science of Eliminating Health Disparities with a focus on Health Disparities among Men of Color (National Harbor, Maryland). It is in this area where he has published in The American Journal of Public Health, entitled “Health Policy and the Coloring of an American Male Crisis: A Perspective on Community-Based Health Services.” Amos is a former adjunct instructor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work where he taught required courses entitled: Human Oppression from the African American and Puerto Rican Perspectives. Analysis of Social Welfare Policy and Social Services System.

Power, Passion and Purpose: Understanding Burnout

Jennifer Berton, PhD, LICSW, CADC-II

Tuesday, June 15, 2021Register Now
10 am – 12 pm

2 CECs

$40 – UConn SSW Alumni and Current Field Instructors
$50 – All Others

Trainings on clinician burnout typically focus on balance and self-care, which may increase healthy habits, but often won’t alleviate burnout. This webinar goes to the heart of the three most common causes of burnout, a lack of power, passion, and purpose, and how to build each one.

Learning objectives:

  • explore and evaluate traditional clinical burnout prevention techniques
  • examine the concept of power, what it is and how to build it in oneself and in the workplace
  • investigate passion by remembering early passion for work and how to reignite it
  • consider one’s purpose and how to increase its value to promote job satisfaction