Michelle ShieldsDirectory of Advocacy Services
Director of Advocacy Services
Michelle is the director of a new division of Family Support Services- Advocacy Services. This division was created after consideration of the current challenges we face as a community and agency, the direction we want to grow in, and to take advantage of the talented staff we have in place. This new department has a focus on intensive advocacy and partnering with survivors as the expert in their life in creating lives free of abuse. It encompasses our 24-hour helpline, Safe House, Housing, SANE response, and main office advocacy.
Michelle has held many positions within FSS, including the volunteer coordinator, Safe House Manager, Director of Emergency Housing Services, and now this new position. Michelle has been instrumental in creating and implementing innovative programs that are focused on delivering services to domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault survivors from a holistic trauma-informed perspective.
Prior to becoming a Licensed Masters Social Worker, Michelle spent time as a dental assistant, preschool director, and tech on a med surgery floor, and started to obtain a degree in nursing. But her passion for underserved people and wanting to be a part of social change shifted her focus to social work. She is enthusiastic about eliminating barriers, oppression, and faulty beliefs around domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. The value Michelle lives by is that “sometimes the greatest thing you can do for someone is sit with them and bear witness to their suffering and remind them of the value and strength they possess”.
Michelle received her Master’s degree in Social Work at Arizona State University (ASU) in 2011 (advanced standing), with her undergraduate degree in Social Work also at ASU in 2010 (magna cum laude). She previously held positions as the Director of Domestic Abuse Programs in Tucson, AZ, and as a medical social worker. In a collaborative effort with the University of Arizona, she was recognized in published research for creating access for survivors of Domestic Violence to women’s health screenings and education on healthy relationships.
Michelle has three grown children and one grandson. All her family has moved to call Amarillo home, and she spends time with them as often as possible. Michelle and her boyfriend love living in the “country” with their many miniature schnauzers.