Social Work – It’s What We Do That Matters…
It’s Friday morning as Krya walks past Maria at the front desk of Cooper County Family Services. She groans “I’m so ready for this week to be over”, “I second that” Maria replies. Kyra drags herself down the hall to her office where she hopes to get enough seat time to get caught up on some paperwork. After a week that featured three new CPS cases, a failed foster care placement, court hearing after court hearing and the school calling about problems with the Tucker boys again, Kyra thought she deserved a crisis free day.
No sooner did Kyra make it through her emails when Maria paged to let her know that a “young lady” was up at the front and wanted to see her. Kyra grumbles under her breath “what could it be now? Not another referral I hope” as she makes her way toward the front office. She opens the door to see a nicely dressed young lady whom she did not recognize at first but then, she smiled. The last time Kyra saw that smile was about three years ago. That is when the court followed Kyra’s recommendation and returned custody of Amy’s two daughters to her.
You see, Amy struggled with methamphetamine abuse for years. Almost everyone had written her off as another sad statistic who had succumbed to the deadly grip of meth addiction. That is, everyone except for Kyra. Kyra saw in Amy what nobody else could see and she refused to give up on her. Amy emphatically attributes being alive today to the faith and never give up attitude Kyra instilled in her over the 15 months they fought for her to get clean. “I was just on my way to work and wanted to stop by and let you know that today is my three year anniversary of being clean and sober.” Kyra and Amy embraced and squealed like little girls as they stomped their feet up and down. As they released Amy quietly said, “Thank You Kyra” as she wiped a tear from her cheek and turned and turned and headed towards the door. “No, thank you” said Kyra as she turned and floated down the hall back to her office and thought to herself, “that’s what makes it all worthwhile, that’s why I do what I do.”
Social Work is a relatively new profession compared to other professions in the United States and around the world. Social Work arose in the 1800′s out of the desire to meet the needs of individuals with physical or mental disabilities, orphans and the poor. The National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics states that the mission of the profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.
Social Workers accomplish this mission by increasing people’s capacity to solve problems, cope with life’s stress, obtain needed resources, facilitating interactions between people, holding organizations accountable to those they serve and influencing changes in social policies. Simply put, social workers try to make the world a better place by helping to relieve human suffering. If you have a strong desire to help improve the lives of others, then a career in social work is just what you are looking for.