The “Heart” of Services

by
Daniel Carlisle, FCNI Social Worker
February, 13, 2018 -

As I contemplated what it means to be the “heart” of something, I struggled to really define what that phrase really encompasses. Being the “heart” of something indicates that it is essential, and that progress and life could not move forward without it. This term also suggests that there is a deep emotional driving factor involved in it’s work. And it also has to be something that does its job all the time without fail.

As I applied these thoughts to what is at the “heart” of Family Care Network’s services, I knew it had to be something the spread over a wide array of services. It also had to be something that was shared among a very diverse group of people. The children, youth and families that FCNI serves have to have “heart”. Our community partners have to have “heart”. FCNI staff and volunteers have to have “heart”. The “heart” of Family Care Network’s services has to pump life into everyone involved. The “heart” of services is something that impacts and drives every child, youth, mother, father, resource parent, community partner, mentor, tutor, board member, and staff with whom Family Care Network partners with. I believe the “heart” of our work is humility. Without humility our services cease to live.

Any social worker or therapist will tell you that for change to occur the person who “wants” to change must first accept that they “need” to change. Every child, youth and family that has given Family Care Network the privilege to serve them has come in to services with great humility. It is not an insignificant realization to accept that you “need” to change or that this change is going to require help from others. The people that have most eloquently modeled humility to me are the same people I have had the honor to serve in my work at Family Care Network. Without their humility our services would cease to exist.

Another humble population of people that I have had the privilege to see in action are all the volunteers who keep our services moving forward. In our busy world it is nice to see that people are still able to give when they don’t have to give of their time and resources. Our volunteers are able to put other people’s needs above their own. They are able to humble themselves by acknowledging their prosperity and time are not more important than other people’s needs. Their humility prevents our services from coming to a halt.  

The people I interact with most are at Family Care Network are staff and Resource Parents, and I see their humility breathe life into our services daily. Resource Parents tirelessly give of themselves and sacrifice daily. The type of sacrifice they give can only come from a humble place within them that says, “This child’s wellbeing is more important than my comfort”. Then there is the staff at Family Care Network and at our partner agencies who forgo fame and fortune in their dedication to bring quality care to the families we serve. These same people are also daily stepping up to support one another in a multitude of ways. From volunteering to be on-call because a coworker needs rest, to allowing others to interrupt their work and always responding with a smile. Their humble attitudes communicate to all, “Your needs are as important as mine, please let me help”.  

Every day in my work I see and experience the effects of people’s humility. Their acceptance that they do not have all the answers; as well as their acknowledgment that no one can survive life alone. Without humility there are no services. This is why I see humility as the “heart” of services.