ANONYMOUS SOCIAL WORKER SPEAKS

20 days ago

We are all guilty of complaining about our job, co-workers, and supervisors for one reason or another. In the world of Social Work, these issues are exacerbated two fold, and often cause serious debilitating stress and anxiety. Throughout my journey as a SW, I often interview my cohorts to get their perspective on our career and their ability to cope with the chaos that ensues around every corner? Many SW admitted to attending therapy or taking anti-anxiety medication to cope with the hostile environment that is a continuous circle, repeating each morning when we rise from our modest dwellings.

In Social Work, there is no ending to your duties. When one case ends, another, even difficult case begins. The reminder that each day, there will be a myriad of phone calls bursting through your office phone erases all desire to leave the house to make a difference in the life of child.

I referenced "child" in a singular format instead of "children", excepting the fact that most of these children often return to the home of their abusive parents immediately after reaching adulthood, and many of these foster children perpetuate the cycle when they have children. It is rare to be able to help a child graduate from high school and move on to being a productive member of society. It happens every once in awhile, where a child struggles to graduate, but is successful, and chooses to enter the military, or attend a university. Again, these rarities occur maybe once a year.

There is always an overly dramatized sigh at the end of my work days, struggling with foster parents who are only interested in their reimbursement check, teenagers who try to seduce their teachers, and hoping that the 5 year old psychopath doesn't murder his foster family. Does this sound like the wonders of a long term career? Despite the horrid reality of the job, we all approach this career for some significant reason. Sometimes I forget that reason...

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