Meet Stephanie Esteves, Director of Quality Enhancement for our Connecticut programs. Stephanie has a natural affinity for supporting others and building connections. So it’s not surprising that Stephanie’s career path led her to human services.

Stephanie first joined us as an intern while pursuing her undergraduate degree in psychology. She worked as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) for adults with developmental disabilities living in a staffed residence in Connecticut. DSPs serve as mentors, advocates and coaches, helping people with all aspects of everyday life. Passionate about the impact we can make on people’s lives, Stephanie knew she wanted to expand her understanding of human behavior. She headed off to graduate school.

Moving back to Connecticut in 2013, Stephanie returned to us as an experienced Board Certified Behavior Analyst®. Behavior Analysts develop an individualized approach for each person and their supports for learning new skills and reducing challenges. Stephanie served as a Behavior Analyst for our permanency program, assisting children and teens and their foster families. Stephanie quickly moved into a leadership role supervising case managers and ensuring behavioral services resulted in meaningful impact for youth in our care.

In 2016 Stephanie stepped up to lead a statewide initiative for accreditation through CQL, the Council on Quality and Leadership. CQL is a national organization that provides accreditation to organizations that share their vision of dignity, opportunity and community for all people. After guiding the CQL accreditation process to completion, Stephanie became Connecticut’s Director of Quality Enhancement. Stephanie has always seen quality as a product of our own transformation. “It’s challenging our culture, growth, and everything we’ve been comfortable with. Pushing us to reevaluate and assess our services in terms of quality for the individual receiving those services.”

Stephanie knows that person-first services look at the whole person. There is no one-size-fits-all. It’s only through genuine conversation that we discover an individual’s dreams and aspirations. Stephanie is proud that her role in quality, which works to improve systems and practices, has a direct impact on the lives of individuals spreading their wings and reaching their goals. She recounts the case of an individual who wanted to make her own decisions and live an independent life. With the support of her IPPI team this individual now has a job, her own apartment, and just bought her own car.

Stephanie attributes her professional growth to the support and encouragement she’s found working here. And her sense of accomplishment is evident when she talks about our programs and says “I helped build that.” Stephanie truly lives our mission, to empower individuals and strengthen communities every day. And we are honored to have her on our team. Thank you for all you do Stephanie!

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From Direct Support Professional to Behavior Analyst, to Director of Quality Enhancement: Stephanie’s career has taken flight