March is National Professional Social Worker month and here at the Children’s Safety Center we are spotlighting our social workers and the many roles they play on our team.
Jeni, how long have you worked at the Children’s Safety Center? What is your job role?
I have worked at the Children’s Safety Center a little over two years. I am a therapist and I have the best job at the center (though many argue with me when I say that…). I get to walk with kids through some of the hardest things imaginable- stuff that many adults couldn’t handle- and come out of it on the other side. I get to see the healing. I get to see the kids and their families put the pieces back together. I see the hope for the future. It’s the part that makes the really hard days worth it. I also have the really fun job of supervising interns. I love that part. I love helping future social workers become great therapists and feel comfortable working with, talking about, and doing the hard stuff. Clearly, my job really is the best!
Why did you become a social worker?
I used to want to be a doctor but then one day I realized that healing the outside didn’t matter that much if the inside still hurt and I knew that’s what I wanted to do- I didn’t yet know that meant Social Work. I want to help everyone that I can just be okay with who they are, embrace where they’ve been and move into a future that they want. Trauma has always been my focus- it breaks families, it leads to health problems, relationship problems, and addiction problems and it doesn’t have to. I wish I could just make trauma not be a thing but I can’t so I want to do everything that I can to make sure it has as little negative impact in a person’s life as possible.
Something that people might not know about social workers…
We are really cool. We can do all kinds of things and work in all kinds of places. If you need something a social worker is a great place to start.
What is the best thing about being a social worker at the Children’s Safety Center?
One thing? That’s hard. I need at least two. The first is of course the kids and families that I have the privilege to work with. They are mighty warriors and I feel honored to be in their presence on a daily basis. The second is this team. It’s the best. We are supportive of each other. We complement each other in a way that makes us an amazing team. Teams like our aren’t just found everywhere and I recognize how blessed I am to be on one. Maybe one more? Another thing that I really appreciate about working at the Children’s Safety Center is the support that I/we receive from our director and our board. They are willing to send all of us to trainings and support us when things are hard. I am constantly able to improve my skills and serve my kids better. Our leadership truly supports us in everything we do.
Any advice for someone going into the social work field?
Know yourself, take care of the big stuff, practice self-care, and know that some days are going to be really hard but in the end it’s all worth it.