The hard part of being a social worker #fb

Image The hard part of being a social worker is not being able to be the Solution Provider.

You are homeless, and I don’t have a home to put you in.

You’re in mental strife, but all the county approved therapists are booked. Please don’t kill yourself before I can find you a professional to talk to. I can call the PET (Psychiatric Emergency Team) and have them come meet us in my office. It is 10:00 am, we can expect them to come about 4:30pm

You are telling me you want to kill your daughter in law, that you have a plan and you don’t know when, but it is going to go down. But, you won’t tell this to the PET team, you won’t write it down, I can’t do anything with this information, and we don’t offer anger management classes, and did I mention that all the county approved therapists are booked? – also, I am not feeling too good about being confined in a small space with you right now. Please don’t notice as I slide the scissors and other objects into my desk drawer and fondle the panic button.

I can see that your tooth is broken, and I smell the rot from lack of dental care. But I don’t know anywhere that provides free or low cost dental care in this area.

Alas, what exactly do I do all day? What do I produce? What is my benefit to society?

I feel impotent. That smoke is the smell of me burning out.  

3 thoughts on “The hard part of being a social worker #fb

  1. Ahhhhhhh mannnnnn, can i ever relate and i have a major pain in my soul knowing you are feeling this way. The sad thing is we have created this ugly system of how we help others. I personally am going to try and change my little piece of it. You in your position, at work that is, your hands many times are tied, bound to the industries process. I know what you would do if you were not there. I can just imagine, because i know you care. When did we as a society come to think or believe that it is not rocket science when it comes to helping others. The “process” ends of getting in the way or as you are alluding, ends up causing someone to take their life because they are “put on hold” so to speak, well literally, at no fault of yours personally.

    As mad as i get at “the industry” i am glad i operate my own nonprofit and can do it like i want. I can go to someone at anytime day or night when they say they are wanting to kill themselves or the like. We do not take funds from govt entities and so are not dictated that way.

    I still tho have gotten burnt out in simply the struggle to raise funds.

    Where the burnout is, is not from the people you and i help as i am sure you can agree to a degree. But it is largely from the fact that it is more of a struggle getting funds or getting through the “processes” system of things and arguing with people “in the business” in order to simply get them to do their jobs in helping others.

    If the County approved therapists are booked, who do you turn to for help? You should be allowed to turn to anyone who will help, anyone who cares.

    These are people we are trying to help, they are not pencils we are stocking on a shelf.

    I hope and pray for strength for you Sonya!

    Lance Greene / @homelesscrisis / Straight Ahead Outreach-Taking Back Your Life Inc.

  2. I feel your pain, we receive calls all day (from our website), so far we’ve been lucky, but when will the luck end? Soon?, Later?, Next call? It’s amazing how MANY people just can’t find help, the amazing part is that help is everywhere, but due to some bad system an lack or management, people can’t find it, information systems are UGLY (have you tried 211? Specially their website!) What would be the next step for you and your client? You pressing the button, your client running away because now he is scared and he will follow his plan because he is running out of time? Lack of management (not funding! that is another story!) and lack of INTEREST is really changing this situations for the worst (don’t get me started).

    I have to tell you that besides my all time admiration, you just don’t cease to amaze me for your bravery and dedication.

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