Monday, July 26, 2010

bringin home the bacon...

... is not something I do. As a social worker bringing home anything except a heavy heart is rare. Today at work a co worker was saying she makes more in mileage then she does in actual pay! I found it amusing because if I know mileage is available I am the first to volunteer to drive! :)

Seriously though, what do we as social workers bring home. I used to bring home a bad attitude about stupid people that liked to boss me around and accuse me of "wanting to save the world". I brought home free stuff donated by the local superstore. I should have left it there because if Wal-Mart doesn't want it... neither do you! I brought home stories, depressing news, and a lack of faith in society.

I guess its more important to ask what do I bring to my clients. Before I enjoyed just bringing a smile. A non-judgemental look. Good news about court. Now I get to bring toys, trips to Incredible Pizza (Laura doesn't like this place because she worked on a patient who got shot next door- fun sponge) I get to bring them on trips to see their parents! I get to bring my iphone 4... kids get pretty excited about the new racing game I downloaded! I bring a fresh face of hope and wishes!

Overall we can ALL bring something to work... It could be as simple as a smile!

What do you bring home from work? And what do you bring to it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So I've jumped right into my new job working with kids in foster care. Today I was informed of the seat belt regulations and how much a kid needs to weigh before he/she can ride without a car seat... so needless to say I was cruising down the road with a booster in the back seat. As I drove I thought again how great my jobs have been to work with kids who need good role models. I had never had a booster seat in the back... normally I am handing out belts to saggy jeans, blaring music I don't necessarily enjoy, or trying to hide my pack of gum from the pack of wolves jammed in my car.

Today I felt a new sense of responsibility... a five year old. I thought about how amazed I was to be doing this job and how bad I felt for a five year old to be taken from his/her home. I thought of all the things I worry about as an adult don't even touch the surface of being taken from your parents, siblings, and home. Here I am. Raised by amazing parents, taught in great schools, and educated by loving teachers, friends, and co-workers. Now I have the opportunity to help him in his life. WOW.

We chatted about the weather. He named my car the Silver Sponge because if I keep it clean I could sell it for 100 45 60 9 thousand dollars. He told a co-worker, after burping in her face, that he heard that when a boy burps in a girls face that means he likes her. Then he said... see you Tuesday!

I love my job.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Over the past several years I have had the honor to serve in Kankakee IL as a social worker, advocate, mentor, tutor and friend to many. My recent marriage to Laura E. Baldauff-Hoots lead me to Indianapolis. I had a job, then I didnt, so I went and found another than the first job wanted to talk about a job again. Needless to say I spent the last month unemployed and humbled.

Success in my life has been measured by clients, mentor kids, friends, and networking. If I judged success so far in Indianapolis by how I judged it in Kankakee County I would consider myself a failure! I finally realized why I needed a month off... I needed to see, again, that I cannot save lives, I cannot change paths, I cannot force my wishes on others. ONLY the individuals I work with can do make changes and I have the HONOR to help them with whatever they need through their healing process and battles!!

I sat on a lounge chair, couch, and golf cart for the last month and realized I needed to save myself... I was burnt to a crisp. Don't get me wrong... I am not complaining, but realizing how much of myself I put into my "work" aka life. The other SW peeps out there completely know what I am getting at, we are beautiful, strong, amazing, and caring people. We will never get the credit we are due for how much we care, BUT that doesn't bother us. We love what we do and the people whose lives we come in contact with are changed by what we do. I knew I had the privilege to help people, but forgot to help myself. My soul was broken, hurt, and more passionate than ever. My mind was tired, running, and fearful. My will to change the world was stronger than ever but my faith in the goodness (word?) of the world was non existent.

So the last month was a free break... something I would have never wanted but a high power knew I needed it! I start work on Monday and I am pumped. I am excited for the opportunity to work with children and develop more friendships in Indiana.

So I say all of this, to remind myself and the other people workers out there.... its ok to chill, its ok to take a break, but you better come back because we need you!