Thursday, July 25, 2013

Living to Inspire

As a former foster child in the foster care system and now a social worker, I can relate to the children that I service within the agency I work for, more than the average individual who works in the same field. I understand what it is like to live in a home where I have to get to know someone who I was not familiar with. Being apprehensive at first living in a strangers home, I always wondered if they genuinely cared for me. As time went on, I learned that some foster parents sincerely cared and some was just there for the money. Aside from dealing with foster parents, there were caseworkers after caseworkers and it was a hard for me to develop a relationship with anyone because they were changing too often. The other issue was being able to trust the workers because everything you say was held against you, which was the way I viewed it at the time. However, there were some who of had an open mind about who I am as an individual.

As a social worker working in the system with experience dating back to high school, I learned and begun to understand things I did not understand when I was in system. One of the major things I first learned was that is such a high turnover rate of case workers within the field of social work. The reason I got involved in working in the system at such a young age is I wanted to learn what the system was like from the inside. So when I was in high school and an opportunity became available to me as an intern, I jumped on it. I wanted to find a way where I could make a difference in families lives, especially teens.  I wanted to find a way to encourage, motivate, and inspire those who I came in contact with. As my journey continues within the foster care system, I learn more and more.  The more I learn, the more I can help the families I service. I can relate to the teens more because I have a better understanding of the system and how it works, outside of my experience as a former foster child. I like to consider myself as the unofficial advocate and many of the teens I have come into contact with, I always to talk to the and get to know who they are. This approach also helps me to develop a connection with them and after they get to know me, they know that I do not judge them for their mistakes but rather keep an open-mind when listening to them talk about their feelings, thoughts, and ideas. I like believe that they know that I will be someone they can come to no matter what the circumstances are that they are facing. I want to be their voice of reason and someone who inspires them by leading by example.

I want my life legacy to be more than a person who was a social worker, I want the people/children I come in contact with or touch deeply in life that I was someone who was for a better life, community, the people, and a wanted to make a difference. My aim in life is to always live to inspire!

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