Tag Archives: social work

Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm)

Today’s Daily Prompt challenges us to write the blurp on the book jacket of the book we’d write.  The book I’m in the process of writing is title Welcome to Social Work (I have another blog if you’d like to follow it).


From branch-wielding children and numerous flat tires to heart-wrenching tales and stories of cheer, join a classically dysfunctional woman on her journeys through life and social work.


This is going to need some work…

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An Okay Day.

630am – I hit the snooze button first thing this morning.  I had slept poorly and did not want to get out of bed.  I did manage to get up 10 minutes later; however, I had a heck of a time getting dressed and ready for the day.  After getting some coffee in me I moved a bit better.

745am – I had been messaging my ex-boyfriend’s friend on this mobile app game we play.  I haven’t talked to him since I moved and thought I’d say hi.  I had asked if my ex-boyfriend (see how I’ve moved on to calling him my actual ex-boyfriend instead of “(ex)-bf”?) had informed him that we’d broken up because we both know how my ex-boyfriend loves to share what’s going on <– sarcasm… His reply: Yeah, he told me you were splitting before you moved.  My response: “Seriously? Asshole. I just broke up with him two weeks ago. Geez.  Oh well. Doesn’t matter now.”  Then I continued with a new message: “The more I find out about his actions over the past several months the more heartbroken and foolish I feel.  I’m sorry for bitching at you.”  I cried the whole way to work wondering why he’d even proposed to me in the first place… Why did he ever decide to get so involved if he was just going to be deceitful with me and those around him?

830am – My intern met me at the office.  By that time I’d had two cigarettes and had wiped my face well enough to conceal the fact that I’d been crying for a half an hour (at least I hope so).  We had to drive to a hospital to see a little girl that was being placed in foster care today.  Her story isn’t awful.  Well, she at least hasn’t been through what her siblings had gone through.  This little blessing of a baby was born yesterday morning.  Her older siblings are all in foster care.  Therefore, she is going into foster care.  We were at the hospital for the majority of the day hanging out with the birth mother, the baby, and the foster parents.  I was encouraged to see the foster parents and birth mom forming a positive relationship.

2pm – I finally made it into the office and started on the necessary paperwork for my new placement.

4pm – I called my bestie and we chatted on the phone my entire drive home.  I love her so much.  🙂

430pm – I arrived home.  I promptly received a call from a DHHR office with a referral for three kiddos.  Thankfully they did not want the kids placed in my region so I was able to pass the referral along to the correct office.

5pm – I went upstairs and hung out with my landlady and her boyfriend’s son.  We had a good time.

730pm – I read a very selfish post online regarding my ex-boyfriend’s aunt by his other aunt.  I promptly got ahold of his sister and mother to read the update because I knew they’d been blocked from seeing the post.  We had a good discussion at the snobby aunt’s expense.  And then we talked about my ex-boyfriend’s circumstances and tossed around some reasons for his issues.  We all hope he starts getting out of his dark hole, not so that he’ll want me back but so that he will be happy and healthy again.

9pm – blogging.

Overall, today has been okay.  There have been high and low points today.  So, I’m rating this day as a 5/10.  An okay day.


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Birthday Shout-Out.

Today is my Bestie’s birthday!!  I’m not talking about BGF.  I am talking about my very bestest friend from high school.  We met in the Summer of 1998!!  She is the friend with whom I have had the long relationship ever (other than my family, of course).  Haha.

Bestie turned 29 years old today!!  Oh my goodness… We’re getting to that age where we say things like, “This is the 3rd anniversary of my 29th birthday”.  HAHA!!  She posted on Facebook a bit back about how 29 seems like such a mature and grown-up age.  I couldn’t agree more!

(Sorry if the rest of the post reigns on your parade, Bestie.)

I will be turning 29 next month… Ahh!!  I don’t really know what I want for my birthday.  (Boyfriend, you should pay attention to this next part.)  I think I’d really just like a whole day of spending time with my boyfriend.  I know that sounds cheezy, but he will have been gone for two months, and then I have the agency conference from the 14th-16th of November… Then Thanksgiving will be the day after my birthday…  So I’m thinking a day of whatever my boyfriend plans will be perfect.  (Please do not plan on staying at home in bed all day long. I mean, the bedroom can be involved – hehe – but I’d like to go DO something or many things.  Lol.)

I have great plans for my 29th year of life.

  • Continue to lose weight
  • Get pregnant
  • Buy a house
  • Find a new job

These are all very grown-up type activities!  I say “plans” in the tentative manner.  Nothing is set in stone.  I can’t play God.  I do not determine when/if I will become pregnant.  And, I’m sure pregnancy is something my boyfriend and I will need to continue to discuss before we actually begin trying for a baby.  I can influence my weight loss.  I’m hoping that we can get a bank loan so that we can buy this house outright and not have to deal with the owners anymore (I like the owners, but we’d like to be the owners).  And of course, I’m always looking for a different job.

So I will say again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my BEST FRIEND!!  You are such an amazingly awesome friend.  🙂

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Night and Day.

This is basically a continuation of yesterday’s blog.

So, yesterday my co-worker and I had to drive a bit of a distance to pick up three children in order to place them in a foster home.  We arrived at the designated meeting point about 3 minutes early.  The DHHR worker was at least 15 minutes late.  Go figure.

I can’t tell you how much my heart breaks for these three little ones.  Sometimes placements aren’t that difficult.  And I guess this placement wasn’t as difficult as just seeing the state of these kiddos.  First thing I noticed was the black eye of the 3 year old.  Then I noticed the big bumps and huge gash on the 2 year old’s head.  The little girl looked okay, but who knows.  The next thing I noticed was their stench.  These children smelled so terrible.  They were filty from head to toe and everywhere in between.  Snot and dried tears were caked on their little cheeks.  Their clothes were covered in dirt and who knows what else.  The doctor had said that they had bedbug bites, but to me the marks looked like a rash.

So, my coworker and I arrived back to the office around 730pm.  The foster mom and her mother were there already.  Foster dad was too good to come get the kids, I guess.

Side note: foster parents can be just as infuriating as birth parents.

We get the kids unloaded from our vehicle and the foster mom is like “we don’t have the car seats in yet.”  I go inside with the children to change their diapers.  All three were soaked and one had a poopy diaper.  Their clothes just — **shudder**.  So gross.  The foster mom FINALLY decided to start getting the car seats situated.  My coworker and I had to help her.  And of course rain started pouring down.  By the time everything was all said and done, my coworker and I were soaked, felt dirty, were dirty, and were exhausted.

I got home around 9pm.  I took a hot shower.  I’d like to say I went straight to bed (because that is what I really wanted to do).  After I got PJs on, my roommate and her boyfriend arrived home.  My roommate told me that a man came to the house asking about one of our vehicles.  He said that he’s been “checking it out” and that he’s been “looking around” the place.  CREEPED OUT!  So, I immediately call my boyfriend and tell him.  The guy left his number, but I couldn’t make out the last 4 digits.  I’m tempted to tell the police about the situation…  I locked the doors last night…

Today I got to work, brought my other coworker up to speed on the new children’s case because she will be their social worker.  I then went to do a home visit.  I swung by my house (which really is not at all “on the way”) before heading back to the office.  I got lost because I had never been that way home before and then I got stuck waiting for a train and I had to pee so bad because I had drank an extra large coffee from Sheetz and and and… Oh my goodness.  I just wanted to stay home and sleep!

Instead, I came back to the office and then went Wal-Mart shopping for the office.  Then me and three of my coworkers sat around talking about various families and their ability or lack thereof to be good parents…  I’ve been in the office for a total of 3 hours today at most.  I did manage to finish writing a home study (yay).

I’m going home now.  I may make myself an adult beverage.  Or I may just call it a night and go to bed…

Good day.

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As you know by now, I am a Foster Care Social Worker.  Today I was hoping to leave work around 10 minutes ago (4PM).  Instead, we received a referral and now I have to play phone tag and the waiting game.

Part of my duties and responsibilities at my agency include teaching a class that prepares people to become foster and adoptive parents.  During this class we discuss many things such as teamwork, attachment, discipline, loss and grief, family relationships, planning for change, and a multitude of other necessary components of foster care and adoption.  When I discuss the referral process I state something like this:

The DHHR calls us with a referral.  We ask many questions about the child or sibling group in order to know as much as possible about the situation before contacting our families about the referral.  We ask questions regarding behaviors, education, medical needs, abuse and neglect history, placement history, and reunification plans.  If the child has been in the system for a long time or if the DHHR has been involved with family in order to prevent a foster care placement, chances are that we will know a good bit about the child or sibling group.  However, there are many times when we receive very limited information about the situation.  Sometimes we only know the age and race of the children.  So, when we call you with a referral, we will pass on whatever details we have gathered.  If I state “that is all I know,” that means that I have no further information about the children.

So, today I called a family and said something like, “we have a 21 month old Caucasian boy, [name], who is developmentally delayed.  I’m not sure what ‘developmentally delayed’ means in this situation because the worker didn’t know what kind of delays the child has.  Also, mom is incarcerated, but the worker didn’t know what for.  Dad is MIA.  The boyfriend is very violent towards the mother and baby.  This is all I know.”  Thankfully this family has been through the process enough times to know not to ask, “what developmental delays does the child have? Does he have any behaviors we should know about? What is mom incarcerated for? Where’s the biological father?” etc.

I remember making a referral where I literally knew that there was a boy and a girl and one of them was 1 and the other 2, but I didn’t know which was which (the person who gave me the referral was not the case worker for the children).  That was ALL I knew.  That parent asked me a thousand questions.  I just kept saying, “I don’t have any more information.”

Also, during the classes I teach I stress that we never know all of the information.  We may be told that the child has been neglected, but we may not find out that the child was also sexually abused until 6 months down the road.  Why?  Because a child needs to be know that he/she is in a safe home before confiding such a terrible secret.  We stress the importance of nurturing and loving children.  We stress that positive attention is needed in these children’s lives because the majority of the children in foster care or in need of adoption have a history of abuse and/or neglect.  We have one foster father who really irritates me because I always feel that he is focusing on all the “bad” the child is doing.  I am sure to praise the child for small achievements like a C on a test or a day of no fighting.  Children crave and need praise for the little things so that they know they can do better things.  If they know that they aren’t always bad and that they can do well, then (generally) they act better.

I love the kids I work with.


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Job Searching.

My close friends (and now you) know that I am unhappy in my current job.  I do love the kids with whom I work.  They make my job less frustrating.  I have no problem with the children.  I have problems with my boss, the slut of the office, and the parents (biological, foster, and adoptive).

After I completed everything I intended to complete yesterday at work, I spent time job searching.  I’m not sure how many jobs I applied to, but hopefully I’ll get a call for an interview sometime soon.

The question is: what do I want to be when I grow up?

The answer: I don’t have a freaking clue.

I completed my Master of Social Work degree because that seemed to be the next logical step in securing a career.  I have no idea what I’m good at though.  Some say I’m good at listening – does that mean I should be a counselor?  Some say that I am good with children – does that mean I should be a teacher, mentor, school counselor, work in child welfare?  Some say that I am creative – I do not think I am creative enough to be in any of the fields related to art.  I know I am good at interacting with people.  I do not want a customer-service-representative-type job.

I’ve applied to 12 jobs this month at USAJOBS.  That does not seem like that many, but that’s only one site.  I’ve applied to probably 6 other jobs through other websites over the last two weeks or so.  At USAJOBS I’ve applied to jobs with the following titles:

  • Psychology Aid & Technician – Tuscon, AZ
  • Psychology Technician – Oklahoma City, OK; Clarksburg, WV
  • Social Worker (Community Based Outreach Center) – Junction City, KS
  • Writer/Editer (Printed Media) – Alexandria, VA
  • Social Worker (Suicide Prevention) – Prescott, AZ
  • Social Worker (Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist) – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Social Worker (Inpatient – Med/Surg/PACT) – Fort Harrison, MT
  • Social Worker – Houston, TX
  • Social Worker (Inpatient Primary Care) – Fargo, ND
  • Contract Speactialist – Montgomery, AL; Prescott, AZ ; Newington, CT; West Haven, CT; Lexington, KY; Louisville, KY; Bedford, MA; Leeds, MA; Roxbury, MA; Manchester, NH; Providence, RI; Murfreesboro, TN; Big Spring, TX; Dallas, TX; San Antonio, TX; Temple, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; White River Junction, VT; Huntington, WV
  • Social Services Representative – Harlem, MT

 For the majority of these positions one must have an MSW and be licensed to independently practice social work at the master degree level.  I qualify for the basic stuff.  The problem is that there are a lot of people looking for jobs who have way more experience and expertise in the social work field than I do.

Of these, I would really like to be considered for either the Suicide Prevention Social Worker or the Psychology Aid & Technician (also has to do with Suicide Prevention).  I have a major interest in Suicide Prevention.  I wrote cover letters for those job applications.  When you apply online, generally, cover letters are not required.  Because I know that I will more than likely be surpassed by an individual with much more experience than I, I typically do not compose a cover letter as the online questionnaire is the basis for whether or not you are “qualified” candidate.

But, for the two jobs pertaining to suicide prevention, I wrote cover letters.  Maybe that will boost my chances…  Maybe because I took the time to write a quick note detailing my interest in the two positions I will get more than just a 3o second glance at my questionnaire responses.

So, why the interest in suicide prevention?  My best friend attempted suicide in high school.  That was so scary.  I’m so glad that she didn’t complete suicide.  In the United States, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death.  In my state (WV), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in individuals ages 14-25.  My state’s suicide rate is HIGHER than the national average.  That is huge.


Talking with my boyfriend.  I love him.  🙂


Anyway, job searching.  Yup.

Good day.

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Looking Back.

I don’t dwell (too) much on the past.  I yesterday I wasn’t so much dwelling as recounting how far I have come 0ver the past 9 years.

In May 2003 I moved to West Virginia.  Since that time I have had the same eye doctor.  Yesterday I had an eye exam.  My eye doctor is also my family members’ eye doctor.  She asked me how everyone was doing.

“Didn’t your sister have a baby?”
“Yeah, he’s a year old now.”
“How are your brothers?”
“Well, the one just joined the army and my youngest brother is still in college.”
“Weren’t you still in grad school the last time you were here?”
“I think I was out for a year at that point.  Maybe.”
“What was your degree in again?”
“Social Work.”
“Do you like being a social worker?”
“Well, it beats Wal-Mart.  Haha!  But yeah, over all I like it.”
“What kind of social work do you do?”
“I’m a foster care social worker.  I work for a nonprofit agency.”
“You probably see a lot of sad cases.”
“Yep.  I do.  Makes the kids cuter though.”

When I first moved to WV, I found a job cashiering for Wal-Mart (I think everyone should work for Wal-Mart for at leaslt 6 months of their lives).  During my employment there I attended college, got an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree.  From there I went on to grad school and got my Master of Social Work degree.

In 9 years I’ve gone from a Wal-Mart nobody (trust me, you feel like a nobody when you’re just a regular “associate”) to a Foster Care Social Worker.  I should be proud of myself.  🙂

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