Who We Are


Andrea DeShields-Thomas, LBSW

Andrea’s passion lies with serving individuals with disabilities. She is a licensed Social Worker and is the Director of Developmental Disability Services and Guardianship at Adult Well-Being Services. Her 20 plus years experience in the field of Developmental Disabilities began at New York’s Young Adult Institute in the early eighties. After making Detroit her new home she joined the staff at Vista Maria where she counseled at- risk girls. Several years later, the opportunity to join the staff at Services to Enhance Potential (STEP) and Adult Well-Being Services allowed her to use her creativity, social work and supervisory skills to positively change lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Andrea began her tenure with AWBS as a case manager/Intake worker. She later served as the D.R.E.A.M Project Coordinator (supported employment) and Clinical Team Leader until she was promoted to DDS Director in 2003.

Andrea takes pride in accomplishments that directly improve the quality of life for the individuals served and the staff who serve them. Some examples over the years include the implementation of successful supported employment programs that not only give consumers the opportunity to work, but are also considered by CARF to be exemplary and the collaboration with Wayne State University-Developmental Disability Institute to develop and maintain well trained Direct Support Professionals and give them the support needed.

In 2007 Andrea’s efforts and focus in these and other areas earned her The ARC Detroit Professional of the Year Award.

Andrea is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.