Well let’s get right to it ….I’ve been blogging for a couple years now, however, I’ve decided to change things up and create a blog that could be anonymous and hopefully inspiring. I’ve written about personal experiences, work stories, and odd things that pop into my head. Today, I take the first step at a new way of sharing.
I do not feel by any means, that I am a superhero. However, some children I’ve encountered in my life and have told me they think that I am. So for all the CPS workers out there, you know you are a superhero. And here is why…..
First, we are human beings. We make mistakes. We forget things. We have mood swings, personal problems, financial struggles, yet every day we get up and come to “work”. And this work we do, changes lives. Typically our first stop of the day is our desk where we log into our computer, check emails, see the red ticklers telling us mandates are getting close. We dig through piles of paperwork that needs filed, check our calendar and attempt to plan our day. We make a few phone calls and more often than not, an emergency or new case arises and all the plans we made are out the window. It doesn’t matter if we don’t feel well, have a headache, or are stressed that we forgot to pay the water bill this month. We must respond. A child needs us. And though we know, after whatever mess we will walk into today, we will inevitably come back to that desk with more paperwork, dictation and filing that needs done. It never goes away.
But we return to the office after encountering children. Children who are scared, unaware of what tonight will bring. Children who may have been moved out of their home, to a stranger’s home or a family member’s home. Sometimes they are thankful and other times they are angry. But we return hoping that those children will sleep safely tonight. And maybe, just maybe, we changed their life. There is still a long road ahead, for the children and their parents. But for today, they are safe. And amongst all the paperwork, personal issues and stress, we made a difference.
My logo for this site is a photo of a starfish. The starfish story is a perfect representation of what caseworkers do and why. Nine years ago when I entered this profession without a clue as to what it held for my future, I completed 8 weeks of training for the job. The final day our trainer presented us with a picture of our “class” and the starfish story. It’s held true for me for the last decade. Here is the story:
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out ‘Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?’
The young man paused, looked up, and replied ‘Throwing starfish into the ocean.’
‘I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?’ asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, ‘The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.’
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, ‘But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!’
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, ‘It made a difference for that one.’
And so, we come back every single day. To try and make a difference for that one.