Reflect back on your teenage years. What moments stand out as your favorites? When did you finally feel like an adult; when did you get your first taste of independence? Maybe it was your first job, getting your driver’s license, going to prom, getting accepted into college, or maybe it was making your first purchase on your own debit card. These “favorite moments” not only felt empowering and positive, but they also taught you life skills and started to prepare you for adulthood.
Welcome to our Blog! We post weekly articles written on a variety of topics from a variety of people, including our staff, volunteers, community members, and our parents and youth. The Voices of our Blog are opinion pieces, reflecting the diverse experiences and viewpoints of our community. These articles are not meant to represent the views of everyone at FCNI, our Board of Directors and staff, or present a definitive policy statement, but are designed to be informative and thought-provoking.
When I first started working at Family Care Network I was so excited but also nervous. Very quickly though, I found myself feeling very “at home” here. As I was given the chance to meet more and more of my co-workers, I started to realize that I had been given a wonderful opportunity. My previous work history was largely in retail, and the career I have now is something I always wanted but never thought I could have.
This week I enjoyed one of my favorite parts of my job: celebrating with my clients. As I walked with Reyna* to get the first ice cream of summer break and she recounted the details of her recent middle school graduation, I was struck yet again by her radiating joy as bright as her yellow sweater. We pointed out every dog we saw, made jokes, shared favorite stories, and she talked about her dreams for the future. Her voice was chipper as she thanked the cashier and as she asked me if we could eat our ice cream in the park.
Many a good parent has entered the world of foster care and adoption, only to be blindsided by the complete ineffectiveness of many of their go-to parenting tools. They find that the children in their care respond differently than their friend’s kids or even their biological children. This is “difference” is sparked by TRAUMA. Drug exposure, stress, separation, neglect, domestic violence and abuse all affect the brain, especially during the formative years of development. Trauma has taught the body that the world is a scary place.
There have been many times during my time as a Social Worker where my work has prompted me to reflect on my own personal life, my own challenges, my means, and my own life perspectives. I have been given the opportunity to say to myself, “What would I do if I were in this situation?” or “How would I react to this hardship?” or even, “What would my perspective of life be given these certain circumstances?” My work humbles me. It has allowed me space to appreciate, to reflect, to empathize, and it drives me every day to support and assist others to the best of my ability.