General Question

Jude's avatar

From what you all know of me here, how do you think I would be as a child welfare worker?

Asked by Jude (32112points) June 8th, 2011

I am thinking about making a switch. I could get into something this Fall.

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16 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

You’re not an obnoxious sack of crap and you generally seem capable of caring about people. You’d do fine.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think for the children in your care, you’d be excellent. I think it’d be tough on you personally.

marinelife's avatar

I think you would be very caring. You would have to build good boundaries about leaving work at work, though, or the job would eat you alive.

You should ask @tinyfaery about this.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I say go for it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Standing up for the rights and welfare of those weaker or less fortunate? Are you kidding me? You’d be perfect!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Like @marinelife said, the job can eat you up, and my friends who have done it say the burn-out rate is high. I’d recommend talking to a number of people already in the field and ask them about the stress factor. I think you would be good at it if you were able to keep your objectivity, and make sure you have a good therapist in your life.

tinyfaery's avatar

You are very sensitive and it takes a certain amount of distance and perspective not to get sucked into everyone else’s problems. I’ve done this type of work for about 6 years total, but I always get burned-out and have to quit. I do keep going back to it, though. I think with proper training you would be a great clinician, but I’m not sure how you’d do at crisis intervention. Crisis intervention requires a strong hand, not a soft heart.

creative1's avatar

Here is the deal, its not a job I would ever take on. It takes a very very thick skin from what you see and deal with on a daily basis. Be prepared for a very stressful and I do mean stressful job. On of my good friends is a worker here and she has only been doing the job now 3 years and is looking to become a worker in another area because its such a tough job to do. You are dealing with parents who are constantly lying to you about taking drugs, abusing their kids, in order ot keep them. You need to make decisions that are very hard to make. The court system doesn’t always go the way you think it should go, and kids are returned when you know they shouldn’t be only to come back into the system shortly later with more issues. You see kids that could have been helped when they were young only turn around and become members of the system because the system failed them. You see children such as my daughter stuck in foster care for 3 years knowing she is better off adopted but stuck for 3 long years. You see kids age out of the system with no where to go. Its a hard hard job!!!!!

janbb's avatar

@Jude you could be great at it but knowing the sensitive and reactive person you are, I would be concerned that it would hurt you too much.

Kardamom's avatar

Because you are so compassionate, you would make a great advocate for children. But because you would have to come into contact with children in squalor, pain and poverty every day, I think it would take a tremendous emotional toll on you (as it would me). On the other hand, I think it would be easier for me (and maybe for you too) to deal with kids than it would to deal with animals. Seeing animals in pain would send me right over the edge into despair and grief. But with kids, maybe just because there is a much higher likelihood of being able to save them, it would be very rewarding too. Plus, with kids, they eventually become adults that are able to care for themselves, and maybe with your help, they would become advocates too.

So you have to kind of decide whether or not you could deal with all of the pain and still be able to feel like you were doing good deeds, without it killing you in the end. You would need to learn how to compartmentalize things. I could not do it.

Jude's avatar

I appreciate everyone answering here and y’all being honest. :)

laureth's avatar

When I was a kid, we were on welfare, and I was also a ward of the court for about a year. I sure wish my case workers had been of your caliber. It would have meant the world.

On the other hand, perhaps over the years of helping people like me, they steel themselves against getting too caught up with their heart, as a defense mechanism. This can make them detached and distanced. It might be necessary for them, but it is hard on us.

Good luck walking that line.

asmonet's avatar

I think you have the capacity to be tremendous.

That being said, I agree with others who have said that you need to walk the line. Protect your own emotional and mental health and you’ll make a real impact.

Berserker's avatar

As far as I’m able to tell, you have the intelligence needed for whatever courses or wtv might be required, and the empathy that I imagine is needed to carry out such a career.
Although in my experience, child and family services didn’t really seem to try and reach those ideals. Maybe I saw it wrong, but if not, I sincerely hope you know what you’re getting into. Either way though, much luck to you. I’m all in awe and respect mode now. :)

aprilsimnel's avatar

Is there any sort of after-intervention work available to do with the children? I think you’d be great at that aspect, and it wouldn’t be as traumatizing and wearing as having to do those sort of interventions.

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