The Role of Social Workers

March is National Social Work Month in the United States. In honor of this, here is a brief look at the role of a social worker in child welfare.

Caseworker, adoption worker, case manager, licensing agent— social workers in the field of child welfare have various titles. Though the focuses of their jobs might be different, the role of the social worker remains the same: to “protect vulnerable children and help families in need of assistance” (Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor, n.d.).

2 Women meeting and planning, social worker

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Bad Call

Does she stare at me or is it just my imagination?

She is with her sisters. They look remarkably alike. All of them look at me now. Do they know who I am?

One of her sisters has a baby sitting in the shopping cart, but my friend doesn’t have her kid with her. Was the child removed?

Months ago, that one day when it happened- I didn’t even know she lived there. But I saw. And I knew her. And she walked into her house, so then I knew her address.

I am a mandatory reporter.

So I called the intake worker at social services to make a report. Funny, I knew the worker who answered, which made it easier in a way. Still, my hands shook as I held the phone.

I hated phone calls anyway, but that one could have consequences.

Back home from the store, I snoop on Facebook. Turns out she no longer has her child in her custody.

This really just boils down to the selfish question that haunts me, like her gaze does every time I see her at the store. Does she blame me for losing her child?

And why do I even think that? Social workers and judges are the ones who actually deal with angry parents everyday.

But little me? That was my first report and I am a scardy cat.