Do(ing) it Like a Feminist

Post-Grad Girl living in a Post-Grad World.

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The Personal is Political: Life in Social Service

Hello fellow bloggers! It has been a long time (as usual), but the life of a case worker never rests! 

I have been working at my job for 8 months now and it has taught me a lot about myself as a professional and as a person in society. Working in the foster care system is no walk in the park; it tests your mind and your spirit every day, but I am lucky to have such a strong, stable team who push me to keep moving forward. Foster Care also teaches you a lot about the systemic issues that occur within our (NYC) society. So many people say the system is broken, and in some instances they may be right, but sometimes it isn’t. If there is anything I have learned about working in foster care, it is that despite the circumstances that may arise, we are in control of our future; WE can take responsibility for our actions and learn from them. 

There is such a thin line between the personal and the political, especially when it comes to direct work/social service. We work directly with families and often times we are taught not to step over the line into personal territory. Now this is true, as a case worker, it is pertinent not to pass the boundaries, but sometimes it’s hard not to let your personal feelings get the best of you. I have worked with some of the best kids who have been dealt a bad hand in life, but when you pour your heart and soul into working with them, your desire to protect and advocate for them comes into full effect. 

People can go back and forth about the systemic issues that are failing our kids, but in essence, the life of a social service worker isn’t easy. We devote so much of our time to helping reunify families and do right by them, but no one can truly understand how much effort goes into this job. I applaud all my case workers and social service workers every day for doing this type of work and not getting much recognition for it. I just want us all to remember: let us not become jaded from the downfalls we face, but to be proud of the successes we achieve. As Robyn Brown-Manning stated, we are precious care workers. If the work is sacred, then so are we. 

I am proud of the work I do despite the many challenges. Case workers are activists too, even if they don’t recognize it as such. Let’s continue to do the work.