As part of our “Get to Know Groundwork” series, we've been spotlighting members of our amazing team. This week, we’re getting to know Caitlin Feasby, who joined Groundwork Ohio in July of 2023.
Before joining Groundwork, Caitlin worked as a music therapist and bereavement coordinator in hospice care, developing and overseeing bereavement programming throughout the country and serving grieving clients around the world. By implementing innovative technologies, approaches, and solutions, she prioritized making mental and emotional support services widely accessible, particularly for those in impoverished and rural areas. Caitlin’s experience ranges from clinical practice to advocacy work with a focus on fostering equitable access to vital mental health services.
Caitlin earned her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Ohio University and her master’s degree in social work from Cleveland State University. She is a licensed social worker and board-certified music therapist.
Check out our Q&A with Caitlin to learn more about why she’s a passionate advocate for young children and families in Ohio!
Q: What drew you to early childhood policy research and advocacy? Tell us more about your "why!"
As the oldest child and grandchild of a large family, I have been interacting with and caring for babies for as long as I can remember. From a young age, I had a front-row seat to witness how quickly infants and toddlers learned to navigate the world and I treasured being part of that process. Professionally, I have worked with pediatric hospice care teams and spent many years in children’s grief programming, with a particular interest in the ways trauma associated with grief and loss influences childhood development. I am turning now to early childhood policy research and advocacy because I believe in the importance of influencing systemic change to promote a strong start in this life. We can do better to support Ohio’s infants and children and I am here because I want to be part of the solution.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received or a lesson that you’ve learned that has helped you in this work?
"Hope is a verb with its shirtsleeves rolled up"
Although pursuing systemic change is an arduous process, it is worth every ounce of effort to help our systems improve. Hope is both the foundation for positive change and the pulsating current that motivates me and drives my work forward.
Q: What's your motivating word for 2023?
My word for 2023 is GRATITUDE. Whether taking a minute to look away from a screen and enjoy the view or reflecting on something good in my life, a moment of intentional gratitude can change my whole outlook.
Q: When you aren’t advocating on behalf of young children and families, what do you enjoy doing?
I love to read and often have multiple books in rotation at once. I also enjoy baking unreasonably fancy desserts, practicing piano, gardening, and going for a run to balance my mind. Though most of the time, you can catch me soaking up quality time with my fiancée and our two dogs. As a family, we love hiking, backpacking, and camping anywhere and everywhere we can pitch a tent!
Q: Describe a scene from your vision of the future for Ohio’s youngest children and their caregivers.
As a society, we are in the practice of fully recognizing gaps in our systems and policies for early childhood development, and actively prioritizing tangible solutions to grant every child the opportunity to rise to their fullest potential from the start.