When I speak about the ‘Power of One,’ I am not referring to the book written by Bryce Courtenay or the movie based on it. I am referring to the profound impact one individual can make that can reverberate exponentially to the benefit of many. This is not some catchy philosophy; it is a fact of nature. When I plant one green bean seed I yield dozens of green bean pods which produce hundreds of seeds. So too, when one plants a seed of care, compassion, concern, hope or encouragement, the same potential for fruition exists.
Tag: social worker
I wanted to write about how significant the relationship between a social worker and foster parent is. I started three other attempts to do so. I tried to make one light hearted and humorous in which I compared myself to a LEGO. Another draft, leaned more on drama. In that one, I actually described the relationship like, “A relationship forged in the fire of the foster care system.” Overly dramatic much? On my fourth attempt, I finally realized why I was having such a hard time describing it.
I love my job! I work with amazing kids, the best colleagues in the business, and fabulous foster parents. Some people have questioned my sanity when I talk about “loving” my job. “It must be so hard,” they say. “How do you leave it at the office?” they ask. For me, it is the people, the kids, my colleagues and friends, and the foster parents and their families who helped shift this from a “job” to a career, a passion--a mission, if you will.
Right now, I am trying really hard to remain on my platform. My tolerance is gone. I am tired, achy, cold and it is taking all my might not to scream. Why all of this frustration, you might ask? After all, I am a FCNI shelter social worker. It's my job--my passion, my calling--to work with children entering Emergency Shelter Care. So why am I so frustrated and exhausted standing here outside of a foster home at 1:30 in the morning?
“The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others.” There is no better exemplification of this axiom than the Social Worker. Social workers are wired uniquely – they are more than caring, they are obsessed with it. They are kind, patient, flexible, adaptive and passionate. Our world, and most of our lives, are made better because of the work that Social Workers accomplish.
It's not uncommon to see two youthful brothers fighting. On the way to dinner, they push each other to see who gets there first. At the table, they argue about who got the bigger piece of pie. On the way to the park, they fight about who will carry the football; it never occurs to them to agree to let one of them carry it to the park and the other back home. There is no interest in "reasonable" solutions; it's all about contention. And sometimes the contention gets excessive.
At 17, Sabrina’s fears about her future increased each day she got closer to turning 18. As a foster youth, Sabrina didn’t have a family to support her or to live with following her emancipation from foster care at 18. And unfortunately, she couldn’t remain with her current foster parents because her mental health struggles had taken too much of a toil on their relationship.
I have wanted to work with trauma-impacted children and foster youth since I was very young. I went off to get my degree in psychology and moved back to the Central Coast eager to enact change in children’s lives, but I never imagined how much this field would change me. In the two years I’ve worked at FCNI, my job as a Rehabilitation Specialist (RS) has consisted of working with kids and families in their daily environment to help them build skills they need to cope and thrive.
In my role as a Social Worker, I work as part of a team to find the best solutions and situations for the kids and families we serve. Unfortunately, during this process, we often encounter heartbreak and disappointment. But when best laid plans go awry, we turn to the backup plans, and sometimes, a Plan B ends up being the best plan of all.
To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, “Social Work helps the arc of the moral universe bend toward a better society.” Social Workers stand up every day for the disenfranchised, the abused, the homeless, the sick, the broken, the dying, the healing, the rejected, the fatherless and the stranger. Social workers are over 600,000 strong in the US alone, and yet, their work so often goes unnoticed and undervalued in society.