Don’t label my kid


Name: Timothy (Tim) N Petri

Age: 47

Birthday: June 16

College: Daytona State College & University

Major: Communications

Favorite Color: Orange

Favorite Book: Surf USA

Favorite Movie: Fast & Furious 6

Favorite Food: Pizza

Favorite Quote: John 14:6


My legal name is Timothy Jon Petri. I go by Tim. I am a social worker located in the Daytona Beach Fl. area.

For many years as a young man in my late teens I knew I enjoyed helping people. I just had no idea how I would go about doing that. Little did I know, I was living a journey of understanding my own family. The reason I was so anxious to help others who were hurting was because I knew how that felt.


Who am I?

My family unit was not the typical one, as it was me and my mother, and two siblings. My father appeared from time to time after months or years drinking and chasing women. He was kind enough to actually introduce alcohol, porn and other things to me at a very young age and by the time I was 15 I was as much of a drunk as he was.

Mom worked two or three jobs to make ends meet, and the three of us kids really just lived our own lives growing up. I made it through high school and started up at Daytona Beach Community College for my AA degree. I was always working maybe since age 13 or so, even 2 jobs while at DBCC . After I earned that degree, I worked in sales and marketing, but felt something was missing. I just lived and worked and worked and lived.

Early years

In 1991 I was sitting on the couch watching ‘In the heat of the night” with my brother Danny, who was almost two years younger than me. We were watching an episode about a high school boy who had been groomed and molested by a Catholic Priest. Near the end of the show, the young man hung himself, as he was ashamed of what had been done to him, as if it were his fault.

After the show was over, Danny got up and said he was going for a walk. It was about 10pm. I fell asleep on the couch and awoke around 1 or 2 am, and did not see my brother anywhere around, yet his car in the driveway.

I woke my mom up, and she began to weep as I told her he had not returned from a walk. Mother’s instinct I suppose, but she knew more than I did I guess. We both went outside and went different directions looking for Danny.

It was just a half hour or so when I heard a scream, and I knew something was very wrong. My mom found him, lying on his back, with a pistol in his hand and a .38 round  size hole in his head. Wow, I will never forget that night, the 4th of July.

My brother Danny

After a day or so passed and the detectives returned his blood stained clothes to us, I decided to look through his things to see if anything weird stood out. He had just graduated from the University of Florida with a Criminal Justice degree and had applied to the Daytona Beach police department for a job as a police officer. He had also just returned from a weekend Christian retreat recommitting himself to Christ. Nothing made sense.

There  was one thing I had not gone through, an old chest that Danny kept locked in his room. I broke open the lock and was shocked at what I saw. Dozens and dozens of letters he had saved from a high school “mentor” who was mailing him letters all through college. He was his high school priest. He was still a priest locally even on the day Danny took his life. I knew at the funeral, when Father Albert Gondek was the first to arrive and the first to leave that the pieces fit, and it was a cold harsh reality to face.

Looking for answers


My father ended up spending most of his life in prison and we have not spoken in 18 years or so. My mom is doing her mission in life of helping others and teaching a writing class at a local senior center. That is a very brief snapshot of my personal and family life until 1991.

From that July on I knew I wanted to help the hurting, encourage the mourning and be a part of anyone’s life who needed help.

My parents

My Social Work career began just a few months later when I landed a job with Father Flanagan’s Boys Town working in a group home with troubled teens.

I spent a year going to work there when I realized I was ready to move in a home and ended up living in a foster home for 5 years. I had about 25 different teens come and go during that time, some who still contact me today and have their own families now

I have also run a day program for severely developmentally disabled adults, managing and providing on going training for 60 adults with disabilities, and training my staff of about 20 on working with this population.

Social work career start

I spent some years working as an outpatient therapist for a large company called Devereux Treatment Network, where I saw troubled teens and worked with their families on treatment programs.

I was promoted and asked to create and run a mentoring program with a clinical flavor, which ended up being called the Therapeutic Friend program, and when I was done there I had 15-20 mentors hired and trained, and we were serving about 100 kids in the county.

Outpatient therapist

In Brevard county Florida, I was hired by Ramsey youth services to start an alternative school for the most difficult expelled students in the county, ones who had not only been expelled from public school, but kicked out if the next level treatment center for expelled kids.

In about 1 year, I created, implemented, and maintained a student promotional program that resulted in about a 90% overall elimination of any negative type behaviors.

From 18 kids at the start, the school board saw the success and began to send all of the others to me, ending up with 88 kids in all, with about 75% achieving promotion on our program, and about 50% if the students were able to return to their zoned school after a year, as they had acquired the social skills needed to succeed in  public setting.

I was nominated my first year for Brevard County School Administrator of the year in 2003, and the director and board members nicknamed my school “Stonehenge”  as they could not figure out how the same kids who were throwing desks and hitting teachers were now giving tours and calling them sir, and ma’am!

Youth services

I have been hired as a consultant and team builder for both staff and patients at hospitals, such as University Behavioral Center in Orlando Florida. I implemented a staff team building  project to assist the doctors, nurses and support staff to communicate more effectively. I was also tasked with improving client behavior on the psychiatric unit, and created a program for them still in place today, years later.

Although I have been in management/training positions the last decade or so, I also taught school in a program for expelled kids, where I was promoted in a year to Dean of students. This led me to yet another task of implementing programs for all students, and deciding appropriate consequences for students, and staff that I supervised.

Consultant and team builder

I have a mixture of clinical and  non clinical experience. I have worked side by side with psychiatrists helping to rule out or make a diagnoses on a client.

In other roles I have also been on the administrative end of a school board system, and written many IEP ( Individual Education programs) for the population that needed it, and got to work on the non clinical side by focusing strictly on training staff of up to 60 at a time on issues such as physical restraint, verbal de-escalation  and appropriate professional boundaries in the workplace.

More importantly I have worked on the front lines with all the populations I trained others on, which gave me my real experience.

Clinical and non-clinical experience

  1. BulletRecognized by the Orlando Magic Foundation for work with youth, including a private meet and greet with Shaq for me and some of my foster kids..

  2. BulletAwarded Family Teacher of the year while at Father Flanagan's working as a live in Foster Parent.

  3. BulletSelected to be featured in Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV story on the role of a foster parent.

  4. BulletWrote and directed youth of Miami video for Lutheran Brotherhood youth group, shown nationally to all Lutheran Brotherhood volunteers.

  5. BulletNominated for Brevard County School Administrator of the year for my work on the expelled youth project, won 2nd place.

  6. BulletHave been keynote speaker for many youth based and adult based training programs, including Orange County School employees, Respect Teen Volunteer group.

  7. BulletLeader of Train the Trainers in Orlando for people who are preparing to train school staff on working with families’ and children in at risk situations.

  8. BulletHired for consulting for both staff team building and creating different programs for teens in trouble to apply their talents to many projects. Hospitals, schools, non-profits, etc..

  9. BulletNamed teacher of the year and employee of the year in my rookie year in teaching expelled students.

  10. BulletIncreased daily attendance at County senior center in Florida by 100% and was featured in numerous senior publications and articles about getting seniors active and out in the community.

  11. BulletHave written and had many published articles on topics involving social work or mental health for all ages.

  12. BulletHave volunteered and counseled families in need on numerous occasions, worked in runaway shelters and fielded hundreds of crisis calls where immediate intervention was needed.

  13. BulletWas recognized for stopping an attempted suicide in the boys home while at Father Flanagan's.

  14. BulletHave been speaker at numerous senior groups, youth conventions  inner city initiatives to form school- to- work programs for those who were not planning on college.

  15. BulletWhile in college, trained and completed acting courses with James Best, of the Dukes of Hazard as my coach. Featured in several movies, commercials and print work as well as walk on extra work for a television series filmed at Universal Orlando. Later used those experiences to write several scripts and videos promoting the need for rehabilitation for people with addictions, serious mental health issues left untreated, etc.

Achievements and awards