APS Specialist recognized by state for outstanding work

APS Specialist recognized by state for outstanding work

APS Specialist IV James Clark speaks with his client Evon Pearson during a follow-up visit. APS Specialist IV James Clark speaks with his client Evon Pearson during a follow-up visit.

It is never a slow day at work for James Clark.

As an Adult Protective Services Specialist IV, Clark works to provide services for abused or neglected elderly adults.

"A typical day, we're making contacts with other service organizations or organizations to try to come up with services for our clientele," Clark said.

But it was his work with Samuel Crawford back in February that got him recognized by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

"The case came in as a physical neglect one, which meant it needed priority," he said. "We needed to see him within 24 hours."

Crawford lived in a hotel at the time and had lost the ability to get out of bed due to arthritis and a compressed spinal cord.

"We were able to get him to the hospital. Later on, he was diagnosed with some other issues, had surgery, got him to a nursing home, which is where he is at this point," Clark said.

Crawford's brother was so grateful for Clark's help, he wrote a letter to the DFPS commissioner, thanking Clark for his service.

"It was great accomplishment I don't think just for myself, but for my coworkers and supervisors as well, just sort of to highlight the work that we do in the community for those that are struggling with things like neglect and abuse," Clark said.

Clark sees three to four clients on average a day, he said, both new cases and follow-ups.

"As (clients are) aging, there's not many family members and friends and things of that nature that are around," Clark said, "and so you may be the only person that they've talked to throughout the day."

On Thursday, Clark went to check on Evon Pearson, a disabled Lubbock resident who needed some mice exterminated.

"He's the first one I ever ran across that sat down at my table and really got concerned," Pearson said.

Pearson, who has been on the kidney transplant waitlist for five years, said the city needs more people like Clark to help individuals like her.

"And that way, they won't have to worry about getting this fixed or getting that fixed...So i thank God for (Clark)," Pearson said.

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