Social Worker Appreciation Month 2022
Did you know that March is Social Worker Appreciation Month? While it is only one month, we celebrate social workers all year round. Without social workers, Together We Rise wouldn’t be able to reach as many children in foster care. Without social workers, the world would be a darker place.
Today we chatted with a marvelous social worker from SCO Family Services named Laura Cabrera. For the past two years, she has worked as their Case Planner and is familiar with Together We Rise because of a monetary gift given to one of the well-deserving foster families she works with. To help us celebrate Social Worker Appreciation Month, Laura shares her experience as a social worker supporting the foster care community.
Why are Social Workers Drawn to Helping The Foster Care Community?
People get into social work for various reasons. Many have personal connections from their past or just found a calling to help people. We asked Laura why she choose to work with the foster care community, she shared,
Working with foster children has been rewarding. While the fieldwork can become difficult at times, the satisfying aspect has been witnessing vulnerable children achieve permanency; whether it be with their adoptive families or their birth families.
Laura believes that the greatest need for children in foster care is safe and nurturing environments that promote development. Helping coordinate this is an important part of her work and fighting for that inspires her daily. She says,
I get up and do this every day for the children who have been placed in less than ideal situations that they cannot control. They deserve to have someone in their corner fighting for them daily. At the end of rough days, I come home and hug my own children a little longer and think about all the children in the world that may not have a pair of loving supportive arms wrapped around them.
How can People Help Kids in Foster Care?
Together We Rise advocates that anyone can help children in foster care. When we asked Laura how people can help her response focused on motivating people to foster. Considering that is such a large part of her work, her response is touching. Laura says,
People can help foster children by becoming foster parents. Opening their hearts and homes with the intention of providing children with a safe and healthy environment, whether it be temporary or long-term. An ideal foster parent will have the ability to promote and support the child’s permanency goal in collaboration with the agency.
We couldn’t agree more with her take on permanency. Having a long-term placement that promotes safety and works with social workers to reach goals is the dream. Especially considering the fact that,
Some children stay in foster care longer than they should or are expected to.
Finding Joy in Social Work
Social workers see the darkest parts of humanity. They are there for people during some of the lowest points of their lives. Laura looks to the positive moments to find strength,
The highlights of my career thus far have been witnessing birth families acknowledge their errors while working in partnership with the agency to learn from their mistakes. Being present for adoptions has also been a joy. I cry each time, along with the families.
Redemption is a beautiful part of the foster care system, there are so many people working hard to gain custody of their children back. Children enter foster care under no fault of their own and it is wonderful when kids get the happy ending they all deserve.
Some Words of Advice for Future Foster Parents
Laura was kind enough to leave us with some words of advice for those looking to become foster parents. She says,
Potential foster parents should understand that it is not easy as it is a big responsibility. Fostering a child does not always lead to adoption if that is the end goal of the foster parent. Most children enter care with baggage based on their trauma. As a foster parent, you have valuable input in the child’s day-to-day care. The child’s caseworker is the best point of contact, form a good relationship with them and work as a team on what is in the best interest of the child. Support the child’s needs as best you can and work in collaboration with the agency.
We would like to thank Laura for all the amazing work she does to help children in foster care. Her experiences resonate with so many others working directly with children in care. We wish her and all social workers the best during Social Worker Appreciation Month. Know that Together We Rise considers you a friend and champion for foster youth.
If you’d like to help children in foster care, please consider participating in a service activity with Together We Rise.