Wednesday, November 21, 2012

And the Light Bulb Went off...

I had a rather disheartening day in court on Tuesday.  I left feeling frustrated and that I had not been the advocate that I should have been for those I am representing.

I chafed at feeling like kids were sacrificed in order to keep everyone else in the picture happy.

Then today...  I "saw the light" so to speak.  When speaking with one of the supervisors, and trying to explain my thoughts and feelings on the matter and listening to her reasoning I felt worse than ever.  It was explained to me that we were keeping "the law" happy. 

She went on to explain that she simply couldn't operate from "that" place.  I looked puzzled as she said, "When you start a statement with "I feel".  I start mine with, "I think".  In order to do this job effectively, you must divorce your feelings and deal logically.  YOU lead with your feelings and that is okay for you...  and then she realized what she said, and tried to correct herself saying she had feelings as well.

I was and am very offended.  I am not an emotional basket case that can't or won't operate from a logical stand point.  Then the light went off.  I am passionate, I care.  I want what is best for these kids.  I am willing to open my heart to them and work hard for them and their families.  I don't wanna be like her.

I respect her, (maybe not so much today) however, I don't ever want to be able to divorce or put my feelings in a box to the extent that I am willing to sacrifice a child to make the "law" happy or the parents or the attorneys.  Our job is to advocate for these children and stand for them.  I am on my way out, this is true, I pray daily that God will give me the strength to stand strong till I am able to walk away.

11 comments:

  1. You go girl! Caring about kids is a full time job. You have to be caring and compassionate to advocate for those that can't do it for themselves. The best interests of the kids should always come first. Follow your heart honey. I'll be thinking of you.

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    1. Thanks T... It is a tough place, I am committed to giving it my all till I move on.

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  2. Anytime honey. Let me know if you need to talk. I have lots of smileys just for you.

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    1. WoooHooo.. do you see that Rogue? My OWN smiley faces.... You are such a sweetheart. Thanks for making me smile..

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  3. Poor Rogue. I don't think that smiley is ever going to be lived down, but I'm glad it made you smile.

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  4. Hey Dana -
    You advocate for what is in the best interest of the child with caring, compassion, and logic (is it logical to send a child back to parents that are unable to keep that child safe?).

    When you start acting from nothing but "logic", you become the stereotypical hated social worker and are no longer advocating for the child.

    You are a darn good advocate and don't you forget it!

    Blessings,
    Cat

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    1. Your ability to encourage is a gift. One I am blessed by.

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  5. I worked in this same system for 18 years and finally burnt out. Not because of the kids but truly because of the system. Can't say I regret leaving that field because in terms of self preservation (emotionally as well as physically) it was the right thing to do. Nevertheless, I miss that work. It is righteous work, hard work, and unappreciated work. Please know that I have the utmost respect for what you do as well as for your passion. Be sure to take care of yourself.

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    1. I will miss it. I want to leave on top of my game so to speak. My heart is heavy.. but I just need to find a way to make a difference somewhere else.

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  6. Some of my family were CASA workers and others, paid children advocate. It is emotionally taxing, especially when parents seem to change for the better, and then drop back in to their old ways. If you can't fix the parents (many who struggle with drug addiction), it's hard to help the children. Obviously it's better for children if we could fix parents, and let them stay with their parents. I do not envy your job, at all. It's a never ending thing. You also have to work with people who, along side of you, struggle in the same ways, having a difficult time in being supportive. I pray that God will help you and the other advocates. God Bless You and Yours, Belle L.

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    1. My preference would be for the parents to get it together. Children need to be with their parents if at all possible, but if it's not possible then for PETE"S sake can we not move on...

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