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Selemena Vito Faumuina
Selemena Vito Faumuina began her career as a child protective caseworker in 1991 with the Department of Human and Social Services, American Samoa Government. Over the years, she has become an outstanding caseworker and the backbone of Child Protective Services. She has worked tirelessly to help victims of abuse and their families deal effectively with traumatic events. She is highly respected by both staff and clients because of her skill and dedication.
In her dealings with other agencies involved in cases of abuse - including law enforcement and medical personnel - Ms. Faumuina's thorough and compassionate approach has won their admiration. She has shown an exemplary sensitivity to the differences between mainland laws, which govern the exercise of CPS work, and the traditions, expectations, and behaviors that comprise Fa'aSamoa, the Samoan way of life. Her understanding of the English and Samoan languages and cultures has afforded her a great advantage in working with clients. In a Samoan community, a CPS worker must have a demonstrative understanding of the cultural norms and values if he or she wishes to make a personal or professional crusade concerning the welfare of children. Culturally, most parents would scoff at anyone besides family involving themselves in personal affairs like child rearing and disciplinary practice. Ms. Faumuina has learned to overcome such challenges and work effectively with families.
Her supervisors and colleagues characterize Ms. Faumuina as a pro-active worker because of her willingness to accept extra responsibilities and go the extra mile as a case may require. She has a strong sense of commitment to the care, safety, and protection of children. Ms. Faumuina always demonstrates a high professional standard of practice and ethics in her work performance. Because of her unique expertise, she is always asked to take the highly sensitive and complicated cases-which she takes on with a sense of intensity and vigor.
Ms. Faumuina is an active member of the Prevent Child Abuse Samoa Association, a non-government and non-profit group that promotes community awareness and prevention.