County Caseworker (Children & Youth) Video Transcript

 

 

 

 

Mylah

I got into Children and Youth Services by accident.

 

 

Nicole

I wanted to do something where I felt like I was making a difference.

 

 

Mylah

From an outsider perspective I thought I was going to come and save the world.

 

 

Nicole

I love it.  Some days a little more than others but I always at least like it.  Because we have the opportunity every day to be something different for these people. 

 

 

Mylah

Every family has their struggles but every family is trying to do the best that they can. 

 

 

Crisabel

Living with my mom wasnít all bad you know.  Yeah she had some anger problems which she needed to work on but not every family is perfect. 

 

 

Mylah

The stereotype is that the families we serve are inner city, very poor.  The reality is that they are from all walks of life. 

 

 

Michelle

I had the perfect life.  And it completely fell apart the day that they took my kids. 

 

 

Nicole

The hardest moment is when you have to pull a child off of their parents.  Even when you know that it is the right thing to do at the time and you know that it is for their best interest they donít know that.  And itís horrible. 

 

 

Crisabel

Like my mom had her good days and her bad days where the abuse was just too much for a child. 

 

 

Nicole

Thereís no worse feeling than ripping a screaming kid off of their mom or dad.

 

 

Michelle

I stood for probably 2 Ĺ hours in my front yard at midnight fighting them to not take my kids.

 

 

Nicole.

Thereís no way to ever feel good about yourself when you leave work that day.  As a person I think you would definitely break down and have a moment.  I think the moment that you stop having those moments of caving is when you need to leaveÖwhen you need to get out. 

 

 

Mylah

I wasnít prepared to see so many young mothers with so many children that donít have the supports of their father, the fathers of their children who are living in rodent or roach infested homes.  Children who have been victims of sexual abuse.  You canít un-see and un-learn and un-experience the relationships that you build with people and you canít help but be affected by their lives. 

 

 

Michelle

My caseworker, I was very hard on her.  I was very angry. 

 

 

Nicole

In any situation there has to always be one person that is cool, calm and collect and that always has to be you.  That always has to be the caseworker.  You can never let yourself get out of control because once you have, the situation has lost control. 

 

 

Michelle

Screaming, yelling, challenging

 

 

Nicole.

The parents are our main component. If we donít have them as an ally and weíre not helping to advocate for them then we canít get to the kids. 

 

 

Crisabel

I didnít have nobody to turn to.  I was over maybe 15, 16 homes.  Thatís including group homes, foster families, residential treatment facilities, independent living homes.  Somebody should have been fighting, but when the system is over populated with kids, I just got the short end of the stick and just was blown off about it.

 

 

Nicole

We are supposed to typically have between 10-15 cases.  Weíre usually running between 20 to 30.  My family becomes second to strangers, a lot.  And thatís kind of, when you first meet your partner or your spouse, thatís kind of one of the first things you tell them is you will not be first probably for the majority of our lives together.  That, you know, strangers and their kids will be first. 

 

 

Mylah

Every day is different.  You can make lots and lots of plans but your day is highly dependent upon whatís going on with your families. 

 

 

Nicole

We do everything.  Urine screens, you go in and watch people pee to see if their hot for a urine test.  Lots of paperwork.  Safety assessments, risk assessments, structure case notes, safety plans. You do present danger checklists when you go in to see a family.  You do home checks, home studies, transport families to appointments, transport them to their jobs, transport kids to school. You do school visits, team meetings.  I know lots of us have been spit on, called lots of colorful names, threats to our families, threats to our vehicles.  Thereís people that definitely not pleased that weíre in their lives and in their business and trying to find out whatís going on with their children. 

 

 

Michelle

The second caseworker really stepped up and she did her job and she said listen, Iím here.  I need to be on your side. 

 

 

Nicole

Keeping a family together is our number one goal and thatís the best feeling is to be able to keep them together. 

 

 

Mylah

There are enough rewards in the job that it keeps people focused.  Itís okay if you donít see change today or tomorrow.  It will come.  And there are times when you donít see it.  You know youíve done the best that you can and you hope that what youíve done has made an impact in the future. 

 

 

Michelle

I lost my house, along with my daughter. I had nowhere to live, so I went and lived with my brother and my mother and at that point, I realized what a positive influence my caseworker was being. 

 

 

Nicole

You do it because you know that youíre going to plant a seed.  Because you know that they may not thank you now, they may not reap the benefits of whatever that you are helping them do now, but you planted a seed to make a difference.  You may have said one thing that theyíve never heard before and theyíll remember that ten years from now, and that may be where they draw their strength from to get better. 

 

 

Michelle

There have been some very low lows. Weíre now almost 2 Ĺ years later.  I lost everything and to rise up and to slowly start rebuilding that feels amazing.  

 

 

Crisabel

I never had a person tell me that they actually wanted me to succeed and when I actually did, tell me that theyíre proud of me.  You know those things that a kid always wants to hear because you donít always hear it from your parents. 

 

 

Nicole

If you have a need to help someone and a need to make a difference in your community you will definitely feel that.  Not necessarily all the time, but a lot of time you will feel that reward. 

 

 

Mylah

I am by far a more well-rounded, accepting, and patient person because of the work that I do.  Not necessarily because those were all the skills that I brought to the job whenever I started here. 

 

 

Michelle

Iím very thankful for the people who are from Children and Youth who are in my life and Iíve met some amazing people there who want to do good and want to make things change.  And change is always good. 

 

 

Crisabel

I definitely think there are the reasons why Iím so successful now.  I graduated from college.  I have my high school diploma as well as my associateís degree in criminal justice.  Iím working on my bachelorís degree now in homeland security.  I think I definitely came a long way.  Iím very driven and have the ability to be more.  So watch out if Iím President.  Gotta be the first woman. 

 

 

Nicole

Itís not about you and itís not about being thanked and itís not about being this martyr or this person who saves everybody. If youíre coming into this to fulfill your own needs of feeling like youíre this great Mother Theresa, then you need to get out because thatís going to fade real quick too. 

 

 

Mylah

This job has changed me.  Families and children need you.  Because it is noble work that we do and it means a lot to a lot of people.