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Career Story: Social Worker And Family Resource Counselor For A State Agency

Social Worker And Family Resource Counselor For A State Agency

Job Title: Social Worker

Type of Company: I work at the Massachusetts state agency that protects children from abuse and neglect.

Education: BS, Social Work

Previous Experience: I worked as a child care counselor with emotionally disturbed boys ages 6-13.

Job Tasks: I am a family resource worker. I work with foster homes and adoptive homes in Lowell, Massachusetts. My job is to ensure that foster parents get the support they need to provide for their foster children. Some of the foster children have behavior problems and emotional problems. We help them get to counseling and school activities and to visit their parents and their siblings. Some foster parents have to bring their foster children to medical appointments in far away and we help them to do that.

Family resource workers also plan activities for foster parents like annual Christmas parties, training sessions and support groups. The support groups are held each month in Lowell. One day a week I help place children in foster care, usually on an emergency basis. Their ages range from babies to teenagers. I also help send foster children to summer camp! The department helps teens prepare for college and lots of children want to attend. Some kids go to hairdressing school or a vocational school to learn a trade.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The hardest part of my job is seeing children who have been abused or neglected. Sometimes they are crying and do not want to leave their parents. Sometimes they are angry and mad at the social workers. I feel sad when I see teenagers who have been runaways and do not care about anything or anybody. Some teens have been on drugs or they have been hanging around with the "wrong crowd". Some teens have run away because there is too much trouble at home. I feel sad when brothers and sisters are separated from one another because our foster homes are too crowded. We do our best so the kids can visit each week or once a month.

Job Tips: First, go to college!! College is fun and a wonderful learning experience. Make sure you carefully choose your internships for social worker. Make sure you explore different internships because most school have many to offer. Your internship experience will help you choose what kind of social work you want to do after college.

Additional Thoughts: You have to be really open-minded and patient!!

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