Rich Niedel, Pathlight’s Program Director for Family Based Living, will receive the Jim Quinn Human Service Award at this year’s Regional Social Work Conference at Western New England University.
The Jim Quinn Human Service Award honors a human service professional who has made outstanding contributions to the profession. The award is named in memory of James N. Quinn, a social worker, child and family welfare advocate, lecturer, and advisor who devoted over 30 years of his professional and personal life to helping those in need.
Rich has been working in Human Services for more than 40 years. He worked as a group home manager in the days when group homes were new. He helped pioneer in Massachusetts the service model known as Shared Living and has been a vigorous advocate for it for many years giving presentations in other states and to public officials. Being one of the founding members of the Shared Living and AFC Conference he has helped to create a valuable forum for education and development. He has helped to recognize numerous care givers and individuals for the outstanding things that they have done in their lives and work. He has been a teacher and mentor to many employees and social work students. He has been an excellent advocate and guardian for individuals that he has worked with. Rich epitomizes what it means to be a human services worker. He gives selflessly to others and helps to create an environment where people feel that they can achieve their best.