Meet the DSS: Briana Currey, Oregon/Washington
Briana Currey, MSW, LCSW, is America World's Director of Social Services in Oregon and Washington. Her bachelors degree is in Psychology from Texas A&M University (1993), and Masters degree in Social Work from University of Texas at Arlington (1999). Before coming to AW, she worked for Child Protective Services in Dallas, Texas in various roles for 12 years and at Dallas Children’s Hospital as an ER social worker and in private mental health hospitals.
Briana is a Texan at heart, but moved to Oregon with her family seven years ago. She's been married for 19 years and has two sons, Connor (13) and Andrew (11), who have played with children from seven different countries, thanks to her AW families! Adoption has always been a part of her life, as she has two adopted siblings.
When asked how she decided to become an adoption social worker, Briana said, “I always knew I wanted a career where I could work with children and also help people. While working at Child Protective Services I started doing adoption work with children in foster care. I was young and without children of my own so I fell in love with these children. It made me happy to either reunite them with a safe family member or find the right adoptive family for them. When I moved to Oregon I branched into international adoptions. While all adoptions are good, I feel international work helps children who quite possibly would not know where their next meal will come from or would not ever be able to go to school otherwise. Every child deserves a loving parent and a safe home.”
The most rewarding part of her job is seeing someone get a referral, celebrating with them, and then following up with post adoption visits. Briana loves interacting with the family as a new unit, and feels called to support families while they wait so that they can rejoice in God’s plan instead of allowing the wait to weigh them down.
The Oregon office is located in Tualatin (just outside of Portland). Both Oregon and Washington are served, with home study coordinators covering the areas of Seattle, Spokane, and Bend.
Her advice to families considering adoption, including cost concerns, is “Do not feel education is a chore, you can never be too prepared for your adoption and your future child. Read, absorb, and talk with other adoptive families. Create an adoption network for yourself and for your future child. The important questions to ask are how will this change your life, the life of the child, and what is your motivation to adopt. There is a general saying that goes 'with domestic adoption the question is if, with international adoption the question is when' – the answer is really in God’s time. As for the costs I make sure to tell families about the tax credit, grants and fundraising ideas. Cost should never be the reason you do not follow your adoption dream.”
Briana feels that the best part of the adoption process is when families come home, where she welcomes them and makes sure they know she is available for questions and concerns. “I love meeting for the required visits and during that time help families who are struggling or just rejoice with the ones who are in a good place. My families have my cell number and email and can always reach me if needed. Most importantly, just because an adoption process has ended does not mean our relationship has to end. I still get letters and Christmas cards from families that I helped to adopt in the mid 1990s. That is very rewarding and makes me very happy.”