40 Stories for 40 Years: Tiffany McDaniel

by Emily Roberts | Dec 21, 2018

Tiffany McDaniel, Chief Program Officer, will celebrate her fifth anniversary at The Family Place in 2019. She came to us after 20 years of work in child protection and homelessness.

“Domestic violence victims were the one population that was constant in all of my previous experiences and the one population that I thought was the easiest to get lost,” Tiffany says. “I wanted to work in an organization where the mission was focused on the safety of victims as opposed to victimization being a secondary service category. I loved that The Family Place offered services to everyone regardless of their past and present circumstances, and I loved that it was in Dallas, which shortened my commute by about 100 miles a day!”

Tiffany is passionate about empowering all disenfranchised populations to discover and use their voice, but she is especially passionate about victims of domestic violence because of the generational impact battering has on families. Being a victim of and witnessing violence can forever adversely impact a family system, and the resulting effects negatively impact us all. In meeting with victims throughout my years in social work, she has found the worst thing that victims walk away with is the belief that their voice doesn’t matter.

“It doesn’t matter in their homes, it doesn’t matter in their intimate relationships, it doesn’t matter to their children, it doesn’t matter in the criminal justice system and it doesn’t matter in the child welfare system. What then, is the motivation to keep going?” she asks. “When we teach victims to use their voice and to use it until someone listens, we are not only showing them that others will believe in them, but also that they can believe in themselves. Knowing that you matter is one of the first steps towards empowerment. “

One of Tiffany’s favorite quotes is by Melinda Gates: “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” At The Family Place we are teaching victims that they are strong, that their voice matters, and that they should use it without fear as an amazing step towards freedom.     

Tiffany says that she loves that The Family Place is large enough to serve the masses, but small enough to operate like a family.

“We care about the people we serve, but we also care about each other. I love that we have a dynamic, visionary leader who gives the staff the leeway to try new things and who is not afraid to take risks to effect change. I am happiest that we have staff members who show up every day with the hearts of servants and with the desire to do the best for every victim that seeks help from us,” she says. “I am proud to work alongside these folks this is truly a family place.”