Hello fellow Social Workers! I’m Wendy Russell Peek, LICSW-S, PIP. I attended UA, Tuscaloosa from Aug. 1986 - May 1990 where I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. I returned to Tuscaloosa after working for the CDC in Atlanta as a Disease Intervention Specialist (that’s fancy talk for syphilis contact tracer), for a residential psych facility for adolescents, and for Bradford Adolescent in Pelham. I took advantage of the Mental Health Concentration offered by the MSW program, and after a field placement on the adolescent psych unit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I received my MSW in 1994.
I began my career as a licensed Social Worker over 28 years ago at a residential psychiatric facility for adolescents, and for sexually reactive youth. I moved to AL two years later to work in therapeutic foster care for two years before transitioning to an outpatient therapy role specializing in adolescents. In this role, I provided individual, group and family therapy, in addition to inpatient psych services on a rotating basis. I eventually made my way to private practice. While in private practice, I provided contract services for a day treatment program for HIV positive clients with substance use disorders. With rheumatoid arthritis and a baby on the way, and COBRA running out, I needed health insurance, so I went to Chilton County DHR as a foster care and protective service caseworker. I left after seven years to head up the Social Work Department in the first state-funded public defender’s office in AL (Jefferson County). I later returned to CCDHR for three and a half years where I was a CA/N Investigator, provided clinical supervision to LGSWs, and taught a Social Work class at UAB before leaving for my current position as Psych Social Work Manager for UAB Center for Psychiatric Medicine (inpatient and emergency departments).