Making a Difference – Even if We Never Know It

I have a love/hate relationship with my job for many reasons – the first one being I don’t even like admitting to the fact that I am a caseworker for child protective services. Nobody likes caseworkers – they automatically bring up a lot of negative feelings and stereotypes. I like to think that I’m helping children who can’t help themselves and that I’m making a difference in families’ lives, but sometimes it can get really discouraging. There’s laws and regulations we have to follow, so we can’t always give the families what they truly deserve. Sometimes we’re so overloaded with cases that other cases have to get put on the back burner. Sometimes we are dealing with crisis after crisis on our cases and we have to put our own families on the back burner. Sometimes our clients let us down over and over so many times that we think there may never be hope for them.

But we, as social workers, aren’t in this profession for the thanks. We have to remember that it is our calling to serve our clients. We are the people who are there in their worst hour. We may never know the impact we have on a client (or anyone we meet for that matter), but that makes it all the more important to treat them with kindness. Leave a lasting impression. You make more of an impact than you know – do you want it to be good or bad?

image

I once had a client (a teenage girl) tell me that a former caseworker had made a comment to her that no foster parent would ever want her because she eats too much. WHAT?! My heart broke for this young woman. I wanted to strangle the caseworker who had said this to her. This teenager, who already struggles with depression and self esteem issues, will likely go on to have body image issues and that comment will ring in her head for years to come.

I would love to hear your stories (good and bad) about your experiences with child protective services. I am trying my best to be conscious of how I interact with my clients and how I can make a tough situation just a little bit better. I’d like to think that even if I don’t hear about the good things now, they come down the road.

Advertisements

Credentials

image

I graduated last weekend with my masters degree. I should feel accomplished, right? Relieved? Excited? All of the above?

….but I don’t feel any different.

Maybe it just hasn’t hit me yet. I’m done with school FOREVER. One thing I am looking forward to is having more time to spend with my husband. We got married last August, right when I was switching from a part-time to full-time student. It will be nice to have the time to focus solely on on our marriage! (I was going to say energy, but I certainly don’t have any of that to spare.)

Even though school is done, I do still have one more test to study for – the licensure exam. In Pennsylvania, once you get your MSW you can take the licensure test to become an LSW. That’s my next goal!