DENHAM SPRINGS — The walls in his office are void of pictures, and his desk is scattered with only work-related paperwork.
Instead of spending time decorating his new office, Kelvin D. McCoy has gone right to work since Sept. 2, when he took the helm as new director of Livingston Youth and Family Counseling.
LYFC is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing and resolving problems through affordable, professional mental health counseling.
For the past week, McCoy, who has worked with law enforcement agencies, attorneys and judges during his 26-year career as a licensed clinical social worker, has been reviewing the agency’s own laws and ensuring they are in compliance with state laws for agencies that provide similar services.
A native of Peoria, Illinois, McCoy received his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1986 and has worked with young people and families in a variety of settings, including community mental health facilities, group homes, day treatment programs and private in-patient facilities — dealing with both behavioral disorders and substance abuse, he said.
He is well-versed in mental health, said Hector Villarreal, licensed clinical social worker and former co-worker. In his new role as the director of an organization that has served residents of Livingston Parish for 30 years, McCoy aims to bring some of the many community programs — such as sex education classes to area schools and mental health training for law enforcement officials — he started in his former roles to Livingston Parish.
“Maybe we can prevent (children) from coming here later,” McCoy said. “Maybe we can give teachers the ability to see how to intervene, to get help for students or to prevent situations (among students) to escalate.”
He also plans to promote the agency and let residents know how he and his staff or licensed social workers can help and begin taking insurance, including Medicaid, he said.
Kelvin is a good fit for the agency, whose mission it is to help families prevent and resolve problems through affordable, professional mental health counseling, said nurse Eleanor Reinhold. “He is knowledgeable, experienced and caring about the patients and families,” Reinhold said.
He is “pleasant to work with, a true team player,” she said.
In addition to developing sex education programs for youths in pre-kindergarten through high school, McCoy presented a program to schools that aims to keep children safe from child predators; co-chaired Concerts of Concern for HIV/AIDs consortium; and co-developed an ADHD-specific clinic, he said.
McCoy has a “client-first attitude” and “is sensitive to clients by taking their cultural attributes into account, something that’s often forgotten by some therapists, and what can possibly make or break a successful outcome in psychotherapy,” Villarreal said.
He was appointed to the National Association of Social Workers Texas Committee to review and make recommendations on laws for services being provided in Texas and those affecting children and families. McCoy worked with senators and representatives to review and update laws on Medicaid and other laws in the state Senate and House, he said.
“He knows the laws and regulations along with payments sources,” Reinhold said.
McCoy said he also wrote job qualifications and duties based on regulations and laws both state, federal and those monitored by the board of social work examiners and Joint Commission, for Valley Health Systems in Las Vegas. In his private practice in the Rio Grande Valley, McCoy served the Department of Family and Protective Services and physicians in the area.
“This included Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services,” McCoy said. “(We) did some testing for mental health issues, custody interviews or court-ordered treatment.”
He also worked with physicians on some of their elderly patients who had early stage Alzheimer’s or failure to thrive issues, he said.
McCoy is a lifetime honored member of Biltmore’s Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals as of 2008.
While his goal is to initially serve all of Livingston Parish, McCoy said, he would eventually like to extend the agency’s services to neighboring parishes.
“If they need help, we want to be able to assist them,” he said.
“We are committed to providing education about our mission and its impact on our community,” McCoy said.