This article was originally posted on March, 14, 2017 and has been updated by the author.
An average day for a Social Worker is hardly ever average. As with most human-centered professions, the unexpected is expected and challenges come from all directions. It certainly isn’t a job for everyone. But unlike the vast majority of careers, Social Workers are privy to moments of immense joy that can be breath-taking; moments where they get to see, first hand, light re-emerge from darkness, and healing blossom across heartbreak. While social work isn’t for everyone, for those who’ve dedicated their lives to it, these moments are what make everything else worthwhile.
In celebration of this vital and profound profession, and the real people behind the title, we want to share some honest reflections from our Social Workers--sharing why they love the work that they do day in and day out.
“I am constantly aware that we are treading within the sacred territory of individual souls and that we must partner with them on their individual journey by honoring their experiences, having honest conversations, respecting their courageousness and sharing in their successes.” Jamie Stablein, FCNI Social Worker
“One of the most rewarding things about being a Social Worker is playing a small part in a family's journey; building meaningful connections and instilling hope within a family system is both powerful and humbling.” Grace Peavy, Former Social Worker
It’s cultivating change
“What’s most rewarding to me is knowing that on some level and at some point in my clients' and families' story, that I'm effecting change and making a difference. As Social Workers, we don't always get to see the fruits of our labor. However, we are continuously planting seeds for change that may bloom even when services stop.” Andrew Benson, Former FCNI Social Worker
“The little successes in my work as a Social Worker are so rewarding, such as the first time a little guy takes space without going into a full blown tantrum, the first time a kiddo goes to school for a full class period or day, the first time a kiddo communicates their needs without anger. The best moments are their recognition that they were successful and can feel proud.” Jamie Stablein
“I love the ‘ah ha’ moments...when the client or family is feeling empowered, strong and motivated enough to recognize and move towards the changes that need to be made. These moments are unpredictable and usually unforeseen, but also authentic and life-changing.” Andrew Benson
“I get to witness the wins when youth overcome challenges and reach their goals.” Alyssa Barkley, Former FCNI Social Worker
“I started working with a young adult who often felt so low that she wouldn't go to school most days of the week. She was failing her classes, and had a hard time making friends and keeping them. The team supported her with setting up progressively increasing school attendance goals. We also provided her with strategies as to how to approach her peers and engage in fun activities with them outside of school. Her confidence in herself and skills exponentially increased throughout our year and a half treatment. By the time we were closing services, she had near 100% school attendance and was passing her classes and thriving in her English class. She will be graduating this year from high school and plans to go to a local community college next year.” Andrew Benson
“Our clients' ability to be humble and vulnerable in the face of great life challenges is nothing short of inspirational.” Jamie Stablein
At FCNI, we know our Social Workers do the hard work of caring for our most vulnerable people; they step into our families’ homes, into their lives, their crises and possibly their most difficult experiences with an openness to meet these families where they are. Social work not only takes tremendous skill and experience, but it also takes a heart willing to dive in and do the hard work of supporting people in their efforts to dig out of their trauma. Thank you, Social Workers, for seeing the good in everyone and being an inspiration to us all.