Contributed By: Jessica Brumbaugh, LMSW, Evaluation & Program Director at SPCC
Over the years, I have talked with co-workers and friends who also work in the field of social work or a similar helping profession about how their friends and family feel about their work. Similar to first responders, much of what social workers witness and experience on a daily basis goes unseen by the majority of the world. Which puts us in an interesting position. After years of being asked casually, “So what do you do?”, referring to my job or employment, I have learned to choose my words carefully. My husband often jokes that when I first started working in this field, I would routinely bring a conversation “down” within seconds when explaining my job. The truth is, much of what social workers experience every day can be very intense and often leave us with a heavy heart. Other days, we might witness an amazing breakthrough for a person or family – sometimes small but something that seemed impossible just the day before. Baby steps is what we like to call it. And those are the moments that help us to endure the next, and to keep pressing forward toward the next breakthrough.
The social workers here at SPCC (and I include in this term the counselors, the therapists, the case workers, the supervisors) are inspiring. They take on incredible challenges with such passion and determination, despite the fact that the work is not easy or simple. It is complex. And when presented with a new family to help, no matter how heavy the circumstances, they dive right in and give it their all. And they believe in people and their ability to not only survive in life, but to thrive. I read a quote recently:
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” – Benjamin Disraeli
The professionals here at SPCC do not pretend to be the answer. Instead, they set out to help families find those “riches” that reside within and to learn to tap their strengths in ways that allow them to heal and to grow in life.
Below are a few words of thanks and appreciation from those who have been touched by our staff over the years. I wanted to share them as a way to say THANK YOU to the social work staff here at SPCC as we celebrate Social Workers Month.
“I am really able to talk with my social worker to problem solve issues that may arise and having her support has been great.”
“I cannot express enough how pleased I am with my children’s counselor. She has always made my children and me feel comfortable and safe.”
“I can’t believe I have only known you [her social worker] for about a year. So much has happened, and you have been there through it all.”
A past client, now in her 30’s, referred her teenage daughter’s friend who is 16, and just learned that she is pregnant. This past client stated, “She doesn’t trust anyone, but I know she can get the help she needs from your program.”
A past client recently shared with us: “I am working on a Bachelors in Social Work and I work full-time as a Family Advocate for a local Head Start program. I enjoy working with families and a lot of how I work with my families stems from social workers that I had at SPCC. They taught me a lot and I definitely credit them for where I am today!”