Well, here I am at work...not working obviously. I am closing in on my last days as a social worker with Child Protective Services and getting prepared for new adventures in social work in the school system. I am excited! I am a sad! It's all a little bittersweet!
I've been with CPS for almost 3 years and have really come to love the people I work with on a daily basis. And I've also come to love the community for which I have served during my time here. I've grown a lot as a social worker and have been challenged in so many ways by the work and the clients. It's been a learning experience, and I've faced situations that I never thought I would be able to handle.
CPS is hard work, and it's not for everybody. I am not really sure that it was ever for me, but it's something I had to do. It's experience I had to get. And now I am happy to be moving on...for so many reasons. It's hard to face stressful, crisis-riden situations on a day-to-day basis. It's hard to witness children living in situations that are neglectful and abusive. It's hard not knowing what happens to some of these children and families once the investigation is complete. It's just hard. Period.
I need a change. I need something that is more compatible with my personality. I like to see outcomes. I like to see happy endings. I am not saying that everything in CPS was bad or that everything in the school will be happy and fun, but there should be a definite difference. I will get the opportunity to get to know my clients (the students) for an extended period of time rather than dropping into their lives, making a decision about the abuse/neglect in the home, and dropping out (closing case, transferring case, or taking custody). I will get to try interventions and work with the children on an on-going basis. And the job will be less confrontational...at least not as confrontational on a day-to-day basis.
And I need something that is more conducive to my family life. CPS is not family-friendly...at least not to your own family. My job as a CPS social worker is to be flexible and available to meet the family's needs. That means if a parent can't meet with me until 6:00pm, then I have to change my schedule to meet with them. Now that I have a baby at home, I can't work that late on a regular basis. This job is too unpredictable and has too many restraints when it comes to my personal life. I need to have a more regular schedule. I need to get home to my hubby and baby. And I hope with my new work and new schedule, I will be allowed the opportunity to have just that...more time with my fami;ly while still doing good, hard, productive work during the day.
So...it is bye-bye to CPS. It's been good to me, but it's time to move on. And it seems so appropriate to finish this job as the year comes to a close. I am ready for my new job. I am ready to start fresh in 2011.