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Jocelyn Mejia

2024 Allied Professional Award
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Jocelyn Mejia | Allied Professional Award
Social Worker, Imperial County Department of Social Services, Children and Families Division
El Centro, California

Jocelyn Mejia is a social worker with the Imperial County Department of Social Services, Children and Families Division in California. She has worked in child welfare for 8 years, and currently works on complex and Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases in Imperial County, a border community in a rural area adjoining Mexico, the State of Arizona, three California counties, and a Tribal reservation. 

Ms. Mejia has been instrumental in ensuring that the youngest victims of crime are treated with love, respect, and care. She crafts innovative service plans for the rural community, which help families with intergenerational victimizations reunify safely and in a trauma-informed manner.

Remarkably, she has participated in novel case plans where she crafted bi-weekly reports over 6 months, writing more than 24 reports in a single case period, which is far more than is common in most child welfare plans. 

This practice allows the judge and court partners to maintain constant attention to the case, increasing the safety of children in care. It also allows the juvenile court to recognize and anticipate pitfalls in children’s victim services such as changes in therapy or placement failures. Further, Ms. Mejia has increased victim safety in several high-risk cases with firearms components by referring victims to local domestic violence organizations. This practice vastly increases safety for children and reduces potential lethality.

It is important to note that Ms. Mejia doesn’t just increase options for child victims in her community. She creates them. Often children in the community feel like there is no hope left. Ms. Mejia’s work is vital in her rural community because of her expertise in identifying services for victims, both child and parent. In this regard, Ms. Mejia has worked on some of the most challenging cases, including child victims with complex trauma, disabilities, and victimization by human trafficking. Often the services identified for these child victims of extreme need are found through the tireless efforts of Ms. Mejia herself.

Ms. Mejia provides unwavering advocacy, support, empathy, and cultural humility to a rural southern border region where temperatures reach 120 degrees in the summer and options seem limited. Ms. Mejia has made the community safer, and helped thousands of victims rebuild their lives and families.

2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this tribute video about the Jocelyn Mejia, 2024 recipient of the Allied Professional Award.