Sunday, February 21, 2010

Our responsibility...

This week has been filled with so much work related drama. Last Friday while I was in another town seeing some of my little ones, a referral came in on a case I had decided I was going to close. Actually three referrals came in on the case.

Apparently the teenage child in the home told some of her friends some disturbing information and they shared with their own parents who called it in. (Which actually makes me very happy! It's very comforting to know that people who are called to action are taking that action.).

The referrals were of a sexual nature... in our town, on-going workers only investigate neglect on their own cases, so one of my favorite investigators was assigned to the case... after placing the children with a relative, having interviews, having a forensic interview at the Child Advocacy Center, it turned out to be false information.

Regardless, the situation really made me question my own abilities... I absolutely want to remain fair, unbiased, professional, objective etc, but in this instant, I felt like I was riding a fast moving train and had no control over where the train was going, where it would stop, what seat I was sitting in and who the conductor was.

I am so thankful for my supervisor who I felt comfortable enough to say you know... I just don't know if I can continue to work this case. He offered me a get out of jail free card, but also encouraged me to take some time to deal with myself.

It's hard to deal with "self issues" when so much other crap is going on... a bio mother harrassing a foster family, another mother up in arms because she missed her visit due to weather, and yet another issue with another family. We need time to process, but people want an answer now. And they want respect now. Sometimes I don't feel respectful. I realize that we are supposed to provide "unconditional personal regard" (phrase stolen from SocialWrkr24/7), but sometimes I just feel things.

I feel disdain and I feel discouraged. I feel disgust and frustration. I lack understanding.

Then again, at times, I feel empathy and warm fuzzies... I am a person before I am a social worker. I am a mother, sister and wife. I am a friend and I am not always confident.

Then some days I am confident and self-assured. I am the master of my own domain; I am quick and productive. No, I'm not bi-polar LoL, but I definately have to continuously check myself...

Am I giving my best, am I honoring the families I work with, am I honoring the relationships in my personal life.

When we get a case that we don't feel we can be objective about, is it our responsibility to give it to someone who is more equipped?

Or to work through it and learn from it? 

Feedback welcomed :)


Paula said...

Just from reading your blog I feel like you are a wonderful social worker. I know it must be very hard for you sometimes when you see children going through exactly what you did. I will say a prayer for you right now and hope that God will make it clear to you about whether you should remain on this case or not.

Babs said...

Thank you Paula, you always say the nicest things :)

Marcy said...

I am an investigative social worker for a group of guardian ad litems. Professionally speaking, when I'm no longer able to be objective I ask to have a case transferred. Whether you keep the case or not, you certainly will learn something. There's my 2 cents worth!

Just found your blog and love it!

Babs said...

Thanks Marcy... if you blog, please feel free to link back.