I cannot rave enough about Carla. She was gentle, thorough, and kind from the beginning to the end when we closed our home. Even afterward, I have been known to call her about things, and she is still just as impressive.
This woman has a gift. I’m so thankful to her for her help, wisdom, and love in getting us through that horrible experience. Then, she was so gentle when we moved into our next (and last) placement.
Placement #2 Social Worker
We accepted another placement in March of the following year. Honestly, we were apprehensive and very guarded. I feel, at times, I did my kids an injustice because I lived in fear of them leaving at any moment.
The kids’ social worker was phenomenal to work with on their case. When she called us about this placement, she laid it all (well, what she knew) on the table. She made no demands of us, no “contact me daily with updates or else” type of things. Every time there was a court date, I knew about it and attended. Rarely did I ever have to testify, but when I did, she thoroughly prepared me.
We walked in as a united front against their perpetrator. We cried with the birth mom as she lost custody. She listened to me cry when I had had enough of her behaviors and didn’t know what to do. She heard and encouraged.
Again, I’m in awe of her amazingness. Now her supervisor was a piece of work, but you can’t control the stupidity of others.
Our mandatory classes were taught by a professor of social work from Murray State. She was precious. I’m not going to lie, it was like watching paint dry taking these classes, BUT she always brought candy.
I think the only time I struggled was not with her but with the content of the class. We took our regular PS-Mapp classes, Care Plus classes, and Sexual Abuse classes. The first set was boring. The second set was eye-opening. She just brought me chocolate in the third set and told me to eat my feelings. It was tough. For everyone, us, other couples, and Gail. Just a tough subject.
She was so accommodating to my husband’s work schedule. She went above and beyond to help us even though he could not be “in” the classroom. Gail worked with him one-on-one, and that sacrifice is one that I appreciate.
I have so many friends in this field. Some work in schools, some in offices, and some in counseling. All of the people I know are phenomenal at their jobs. It is easy to hyperfocus on the failing system and the workers who don’t care. Yet, there are ones that do care and work so hard.
The foster care system is a very flawed system from the beginning to the end process. It is easy to come in, do a job (poorly or selfishly), and go home. The people I know tell me it is NOT easy, they work hard, and their hard work is affected by their supervisors, judges, or the court, and they don’t leave their job at work. They always bring it home and sit with it.
Do you know how hard it is to “sit with” such trauma, abuse, and neglect? I can’t imagine, but I know how hard it is. Whether they work with children, adults, or the elderly is hard.
Now, that is a crap job. I know of one investigative worker like the person I documented yesterday. She needs to be fired. She is not in this for the good of the children, their parents, or the foster parents. She saw the bullshit, ignored it because she was all about numbers and removal, and ran with it. Destroying lives as she went.
However, I know 3 and 1 investigative officer. The officer I adore. He and his family are why kids begin to feel safe and loved. Another one is one that was so gentle and kind when her services were needed. So thorough. I’m so sad that she moved on to another position.
Then there are two that I wanted to dislike. Yet, I didn’t. See, some good investigative reporters can see through the smoke of false reporting. They do their job, they are thorough, but they see through the bullshit.
They made it easy to talk to, be honest with, ask questions, and help with resources. When they walk into a place, they know these are good people in extraordinary circumstances. Again, they see the false reporting, and after the first report, the reporter is documented! They SEE the lies and will not stand to see a good family drug through the mud.
We have had more good than bad experiences being involved in the system for 15 years. I’m so thankful for the good ones. Kids, adults, and the elderly deserve a voice that speaks clearly for them. Those accused deserve to be heard as well. Those investigators also need to sort through the false and factual claims to preserve the family unit. In court, it is pounded in your head that reunification (if a child is removed) is always number 1. The courts want the nuclear family to remain intact. They want to see the birth family succeed, get help, ask for help, heal, and so forth. That is when the case is substantiated.
Then there are the cases that are false, and a good worker sees that. They do their jobs gently and with class. Yet, they know the truth. There are “revenge” calls where a person seeks revenge on a family. There are the “well-meaning” calls where they think something is going on but don’t know for sure. Then there are the downright lying ones. Lastly, there are real calls, and someone needs to step in and intervene. Good investigative social workers can distinguish between them all.
Thank a social worker today, a counselor, or an investigator; pray for them, their safety, and wisdom. Pray that the system begins to work and children who need help are also helped—those who falsely accuse answers of their choices.