Friday, March 28, 2014

Social Workers

March is Social Work month, so it seems only fitting to post about the people who have helped us along in this journey.

We foster with a private agency. When DFCS can't find a placement in one of their homes they contact the private agencies to see if they have space available. They are still involved so we end up with 2 case workers.

I was completely intimidated by having to meet our DFCS case worker. DFCS gets a lot of negative press. I was expecting incompetence or rude and standoffish behavior. I've never been so happy to be wrong. That has not at all been our experience. It is some people's experiences, but fortunately not ours. We've had 4 different DFCS case workers so far and we've been happy with all of them. They've been kind, helpful, grateful, and easy to work with.

Our saving grace is our case worker from United Methodist Children's Home. Where DFCS caseworkers follow the children, at UMCH the caseworker follows the foster parent. That means we always have the same caseworker. She knows our family. She's become part of our family. She's the one we call when we need something, when we're confused, when we just need to vent. The amount of support we receive is unbelievable. Almost as unbelievable as the hours she works.

I can't think of another job that requires so many hours for not near enough pay or respect. Our eyes have been opened to a lot of things on this journey. Now when we hear a story about DFCS in a negative light, we have a different perspective. We wonder how many kids over their limit they are. I think they aren't supposed to have more than 12, but often have 20. How they often get the blame for decisions others make, including judges.

Realistically, we'll probably run into a difficult worker along the way. Hoping if that happens we are mindful of their job and how busy they are. Hoping we can remember to try to lighten their load any way we can.

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