After serving Family & Children’s Services (F&CS) for more than 40 years, as of Oct. 1, Claudia Arthrell moves forward to the next chapter in her life – retirement.
“There is an old adage that some people attain their highest selfhood in a long career of worthy service. Others do it in a single hour, a single gesture, a single act of goodness. For Claudia Arthrell, all are true,” said Gail Lapidus, chief executive officer of Family & Children’s Services. “Her initiative always dazzles me. Her kindness toward others is contagious. Her energy and ability to relate to so many different kinds of people is inspirational. Throughout her years at F&CS, Claudia always breathed life into our values and collaborative culture.”
Claudia was the Senior Program Director of Professional Services at F&CS and has also served as a therapist, supervisor, program developer, and local and national trainer.
Claudia has been instrumental in the growth and development of F&CS’s Helping Children Cope with Divorce Program, which was recognized nationally for its outcomes and best practices. She has led the Tulsa community through times of crisis and is a national certified Psychological First Aid Trainer. Claudia has overseen the Tulsa County Family Court Program with Judge Mary Fitzgerald, and both have received statewide recognition for the program’s priority for assisting families as they go through divorce. Claudia also supervised an innovative federal grant in the child support arena that provides counseling, education, mediation, and parenting planning for many parents trying to be present in their children’s lives. Statewide, F&CS is one of the few agencies offering ongoing parenting, divorce and relationship classes in the Tulsa Metropolitan Area with continuous scholarship funding so no participants are turned away.
For 25 years, Claudia enjoyed writing her “Teens N Tweens” column in Tulsa Kids magazine as well as having a weekly spot with Glenda Silvey on the “Families First” segment of the KOTV News on 6 noon news. She has received awards form the Oklahoma Marriage and Family Therapy Association as an Outstanding Clinician and was awarded the Pinnacle Award by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women as well as the Mental Health Association of Tulsa for her contributions to the Tulsa community.
Claudia has maintained a private practice in individual, marriage and family therapy and is a collaborative divorce coach, discernment counselor, mediator, and life coach.
“For Claudia, culture isn’t just a sign on the wall, a values statement on our website or an award for years of service,” Lapidus said. “It is something she lives every day in order to engage employees to bring their best selves to work. She puts people first, guards our culture and celebrates our successes. She works diligently to transfer this knowledge from one generation to the next so the essential ingredients of our core values never get lost or forgotten. We honor Claudia for a remarkable, long career of worthy service.”