endings

as i wrap up things this year, here are some insights i have gained:

not everyone is going to like me or open up to me or be my best friend. it is just that simple. there really is no need for more explanation than that. i am not friends with everyone i meet. therefore, the same cannot be expected of my client relationships.

everything is social work. too often i found myself wondering what i was doing. in reality, everything i was doing was social work. being with people is creating hope and change in lives. 

case management is about relationships and resources 

we all need something from one another, regardless of what we think: love, support, a kind word, a place to sleep

conflict is okay - stop avoiding it

it is okay for me to be the client sometimes. i don’t see my client’s problems as burdens. therefore, i shouldn’t see mine as a burden either

audios 

new beginnings

joining a new group is so exciting! i have been lacking client contact lately, getting stuck doing a lot of projects and random assignments. 

This week, I am starting to join in on 2 groups - a parenting group and doing childcare for another parenting group. I get to spend one-on-one time with the kids, as well as couple mom’s who I will drive to and from group. 

here’s to more client contact and more connections!

feeling unappreciated?

as a future social worker, i am prepared to continuously be under appreciated. under celebrated. under acknowledged. however, i have learned a little something at my internship. 

at the shelter, i do things like sort closets, clean resident’s rooms when they exit the program, answer phones, and odd jobs that staff have little time for. at times, i feel discouraged that i am actually not doing anything to help the women and staff. 

however, this is far from the truth. the relief i see in the staff when i get projects like these done is rewarding. the small moments with residents at the shelter are rewarding. the interactions with the children and their smiling faces are rewarding. 

so, this being said…

we, even as interns, may not be publicly and openly appreciated. but take a moment to soak in the little moments of the peers and clients you serve.

you will see appreciation. 

refections on sem 1:

ask for what you need, you are a professional in the making

step out of your comfort zone, you learn the most that way

ask people about their stories, sometimes they are just waiting for it

step up and show others what you are capable of

don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep asking them

realize how big the world is than just the little one you live in

sometimes public assistance systems are not designed to help people the best way possible

your personality is greater than you think

the things you do may not seem “social-worky” but they are.

continuously learn, observe, and adjust

keep practicing your interview/interpersonal skills - there is always room for improvement

little things

for christmas, the mom’s sifted through the gift/donation room to pick out presents for their children. i was able to help some of the moms wrap their presents. a mom whom i have never seen smile - was cheesing ear to ear. it was the greatest moment. 

remember the little things

birmingham

this fall, i had the priveledge of visiting a friend in Birmingham, AL. this trip was incredible! being from across the country, i had never been able to step foot in the places in which the civil rights movement took place. i learned that something can be said about history and historical places that are within our tangible reach. reading about the children’s marches or the church bombing in a textbook did not do these events justice. walking through the halls of the civil rights museum gave them justice. standing on the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church gave them justice. Walking through Kelly Ingram Park, where the marches began, gave them justice. reading is power and knowledge, yes. but touching, feeling, seeing, breathing in history brings us a whole different perspective. it can bring an entire new voice to my professional practice. 

un-social worker

we have all run into those social workers who give us future social workers a bad name. as an agency, I feel that it is our responsibility to serve these families with the utmost of respect and to the best of our abilities. as an intern, i try to soak in and model professional behaviors that i encounter in the workplace. comments like: “we have to get her out of here.” or “well, that’s just not how we do things around here.” portray a message to families, women, individuals in general that their agenda is not as important as our own. homelessness is a stressful situation, and one that many people do not choose for themselves. from my personal job and my internship I have learned a big lesson: resident agenda. resident agenda will help us, as professionals, make more ethical decisions. by putting the clients well-being, personal interest, and environmental factors into consideration, our own motivations disappear from the table.