2019 Social Work Appreciation Month

As March dawns, we enter the month of Social Work Appreciation! This year the NASW theme for the month is Elevate Social Work.  The idea behind the month is simple, to elevate the profession, each other, and ourselves. Creating positive and professional depictions of social work in our communities and media is crucial and often an additional task we take on above and beyond our normal tasks. However, this month I want to create space to elevate each other.

Social Worker’s Companion Blog elevate each otherwill again be sending out certificates of appreciation to Social Workers all through out the month of March. If you would like one emailed to a Social Worker you think deserves to be elevated, just send me their first name and email here. Don’t be afraid to request one for yourself too!

Last year, I did one for all the staff I supervise at my agency. This blog also sent out over 50 certificates to Social Workers across the US, UK, India, and Canada. If you are a supervisor and want to make a batch for your staff, just email me and I will send you the fillable version of the certificate.

So if there is a Social Worker who has inspired you, just send me a line and they will get the certificate below personalized and emailed with a note saying that someone recognized them as an inspirational social worker.

CT 2019

So let me know who inspires you- happy March all!

Mandy

The Ordinary Sacred

If you work in a social work role everyday, you witness a lot. You witness the gamut of emotions. You are there with people living through their darkest days. You may put expectations on yourself to fix the darkness.

It’s easy to lose sight of the sacred in every day life, to miss the importance of each relationship and the dignity and worth of each person.

Social workers are my people because we leave it all on the table. Each day I watch my coworkers give the best of themselves until they walk out the door. We are dedicated to the work. We are dedicated to the person in front of us. That is sacred work.

I find that when I don’t seek the sacred in my personal life, I start to struggle. I feel my own darkness taking ground. My favorite poet, Wendell Berry, once wrote that ” there are no unsacred places, only sacred places and desecrated places.” By his account, to see the sacred is merely to open one’s eyes. That can be a type of seeking in itself.

One way I try to “open my eyes” to the sacred is hiking in the hills near my house. The land, owned by a monastery, is an open space for the public. On the top of the biggest hill, about a 45 minute hike upwards, is a shrine on a lookout over the distant hills. The bricks upholding the shrine are full of notes wedged into the cracks, money, and trinkets. The leavings of those before me, offering of themselves. As I sat for a moment on the stones, I was hit by the beauty that others are looking for the sacred too.

Participating in the creation of music is also a big eye opener for me to the sacred. Something about the completely natural beauty of how notes fit together and how timbres blend sets my soul right. Even though it requires more on my schedule to make music happen with friends, it always gives me more than it takes. Here is a  recent song I played recorded with a friend to share with you.

I find experiences like this bring balance and light so I can keep dedicating myself fully to the work of the person in front of me.

Do you ever find yourself seeking the same? What do you find sets your soul right again?

Mandy

 

Don’t Wait For Leaders

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

― Mother Teresa

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot, especially in the last six months. As persons witnessing first hand everyday how environments and system intersect in harmful and tragic ways in the lives of those who lack the protective factors to resist their impacts, social workers are in a unique position in society.

We have vowed not forget those experiencing poverty. As Dorothy Day said

“We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.”

-Dorothy Day

And still I find that I fall into my own insulated comforts again and again. So this quote holds a sting for me. However, this is not a guilt trip…far from it.

It is meant as an encouragement to you social worker. To you who will muster the creativity, partnership, alliances, good will, and imagination of your agency/community/and each individual that may fall to your caseload– to act. I will be there, in my own community, taking action with you.

There is no one to wait for. It is you.

Mandy

Best Practices Brainstorm

Calling all Case Managers, Program Managers, former program participants, or any other persons who have been involved with a Permanent Supportive Housing Program!

I am seeking feedback on the challenges faced and best practice strategies that have been faced and utilized by persons who have been involved with operating long-term supportive housing programs for chronically homeless persons. I currently manage such a program and could always use new ideas. It is a tough program to run, but success is possible! Maybe you are also working in such a program and feel you need support or ideas-let me know your challenges!

Write me a comment or let me know your thoughts through my contact page!

Thanks all!

Mandy

 

 

Reader’s Choice!

The Social Worker’s Companion Blog is here to support those who support others (specifically those in the Social Work field). So, that means this blog is here to support YOU.

So, with that in mind, what do you want to see from the Social Worker’s companion blog? What do you what to read that would support you more in your work?

  • A certain practice technique?
  • Tools for direct client work?
  • Tools for supervision?
  • Stories and connection to support the emotional difficultly of the helping profession?

Write me  comment or send me direct message at Contact

Thanks all : )

Mandy

The New Social Worker Magazine

Hi all,

Sharing below a new article of mine published in the New Social Worker Magazine today. Enjoy and check out the rest of the magazine for some great content! Be sure to comment and let me know your thoughts!

 

Beyond “Fixing” It: Finding Strength in Your Limits as a Social Worker

new social worker