Friday, April 16, 2021

12 Enthralling Quotes on Change

Change can be a difficult thing to face. This is because we are all too comfortable with the familiar and afraid of the unknown.  However, we must realize that change can be for the better. It could be what provides us with the growth we need to move into our real purpose in life. Just remember that life is not easy, and to get to where we need to be, there will be hurdles and obstacles that we may have to face.  But remember that you must stay determined. Here are some quotes about change to encourage you to continue your purposeful journey to reach your goals.

12 Quotes on Change

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." 
-Anne Frank

     "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." - Winston Churchill

     "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin             

"Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right." - Tony Robbins


"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." -Lao Tzu

"Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." -Steve Maraboli

"Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge." -Eckhart Tolle

"Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most." -Fyodor Dostoevsky

"All that you touch

You Change.

All that you Change

Changes you.

The only lasting truth

is change.


is Change."

- Octavia E. Butler 

 "The changes we dread most may contain our salvation." -Barbara Kingsolver

 "Nobody can change who you are, except for you." -Jean Kwok

            "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to  change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Empower and Educate Families

 When families enter the system, they are usually ordered by the court to participate in programs intended to help change their lifestyle. These programs typically include parenting, mental health therapy, and drug counseling, among other programs. The most prominent issues that I face when working with families are connecting them to the previously mentioned programs and essential housing resources.  

Many of the families we serve have limited income. Furthermore, low-income housing is limited or nonexistent, and the programs are not always accessible. Also, there have been many situations where individuals were able to successfully complete the services. However, they could not provide their children with a safe and stable home to return to. This can be very frustrating because social workers are expected to make things happen with limited to no support or financial resources.

Therefore, I work towards promoting social support systems that could encourage families to overcome their obstacles. Families are inspired to build a team of supporters. This can include extended family, friends, and community affiliates. I work with the family to determine their underlying needs and identify what resources are necessary for change. When working with families, it is essential to be respectful of their life stories and listen without judgment. Although there may be a difference in opinions regarding lifestyle choices, my goal is to ultimately support them with the process.

To genuinely support families and create positive social change, social workers need to be effective communicators, willing to put aside personal values and find common ground. We must also keep the safety of the child a priority when doing so. However, we must empower families to share their experiences and encourage them to improve for the better.

Families must be encouraged to be self-sufficient and made aware of the resources available within their communities. It is also essential for them to participate in community activities and become agents of change. Through community fellowship, families can improve their lives and live independent of the system. For example, I worked with a teen mom who became involved in the child welfare system as a minor. Unfortunately, she did not experience having a mother who was empowered and self-sufficient. As a result, when this girl became a mother, she felt that she could not provide for her child. Fortunately, I was able to connect her to a community program that aimed to support and empower families. They assisted families with overcoming barriers. The program provided her with financial assistance, mentoring, free childcare services, food resources, and low-income housing.

Some may say, "That is wonderful; there is your solution."  However, these opportunities are not always available. This young mother was fortunate enough to receive these services when funding was available. Often, resources can be limited depending on government funding. Nonetheless, I still have to empower families by educating them on what it means to be more involved in the community. They must also learn how to access the resources necessary to create change and preserve a stable and healthy life. Through empowerment, families may feel more confident in accessing community resources independently.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Leadership Bullies

Holding the position of a supervisor or leader is a topic that is important to me. I have previously discussed my experience in other blogs about the supervisors I have worked with. It has had a significant impact on me and my work experience as a Child Welfare Social Worker. I believe the role can be an honor and should not be abused.  I also do not believe the position is for everyone.  

A person should have the ability and willingness to modify their communication styles when relating to employees individually. Everyone is not the same in personality and demeanor.  So, all staff should not be treated the same.

Initially, I could not imagine being a supervisor in my agency.  I thought you had to use the power given to bully, manipulate and set employees up for failure. This is because of what I experienced in the agency.  Some supervisors were verbally abusive, threatening, unsupportive, unavailable, and often treated all staff the same.  There was no flexibility in their supervision styles. The easy-going and compliant staff were treated the same as the staff that was insubordinate or challenging. This experience caused added stress in addition to all the other job tasks. 

However, I had the opportunity to work with a supervisor who was inspiring and supportive. Their style of supervision included the ability to be flexible and manage staff according to the situation. I learned it is possible to be respectful to your employees while being an authoritative figure.  This supervisor was compassionate and wanted to help staff practice self-care and to better serve their clients. They were able to balance a variety of skills that were needed to be a good supervisor.  This involved being knowledgeable about the job, listening to staff's needs, effective communication, being available, and teaching advocacy.  The supervisor was also well organized and unbiased.  This made the job pleasing, and as a result, I felt more comfortable navigating through the other bureaucratic obstacles.

This supervisor also encouraged and motivated me to obtain a higher college degree and to follow my dreams.

Supervisors need to recognize their employees' diverse personalities and how it is possible to be flexible in their leadership styles when relating to employees. It must be understood that when appropriately supervised, it is possible to have fantastic working relationships and minimal tension.  This can be done when supervisors cautiously manage the behaviors instead of the personalities of the workers. This is done by accepting personality differences and not letting them affect the leader's ability to supervise. Overall, leadership flexibility can produce productivity and reduce burnout as well as job turnover.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Thriving in the Midst of Stress


During my second year of employment with the agency, I was managed by a verbally and emotionally abusive supervisor. The supervisor was demoralizing and introduced themself as "A Control Freak" and " A Bitch." They were also boisterous when addressing staff. This supervisor usually delegated several tasks with short deadlines. This was overwhelming. I felt that I was being put in a situation to fail. I began to second guess my ability to do the job. I felt pressed to seek other employment outside of the organization to get relief. But was told by a co-worker to, "Hang in there!" The supervisor was not supportive and continued to assert power by threatening to give out negative performance evaluations stating, "Because I can."

I spoke with upper management and asked to be reassigned due to the supervisor's unprofessional behavior.  I was told the request had to be in writing and that I could not state anything negative about the supervisor. I managed to get reassigned to another supervisor.

My new supervisor was incredibly supportive. This supervisor was a great leader and worked with each staff member by considering their independent ability and knowledge. The supervisor was compassionate, authentic, encouraging, and inspired staff to go back to school to obtain their Master's Degree in Social Work. While in the MSW program, I learned about leadership styles and working in the public sector. It was brought to my attention that public child welfare agencies utilize business strategies. They treat the employees like robots assigning multiple tasks. I was able to put a name to the nonsense I experienced at the job. It is bureaucracy.

The organization functions much like a business more focused on hierarchical abuse of power. They are concerned with dictating job functions for monetary reasons. The agency shows a lack of care for social workers. They just want the job done. After seeing how statistics were heavily involved, I realize the focus is more on numbers than working with families.  They monitor a social worker's performance through measured and firm guidelines, data-driven processes, administrative intimidation, high caseloads, and little to no self-sufficiency. It has less to do with the actual hands-on work done with the families. I also realize that the job's humanitarian aspect, which drew me to social work, is a minuscule aspect of the job. It is also apparent that without outstanding leadership, you can quickly drown in this organization.

The one outstanding leader I had ended when my supervisor left the field. As a result, I gained a new supervisor who was prone to dictating instead of providing support. When needed, this supervisor was never available and did not have much knowledge. When able to ask questions, they would always have to seek the answer from upper management. They would only make themselves available when they needed to relay or retrieve information to the higher-ups. The supervisor was also not a good listener and only wanted to be heard.

Another drastic change that occurred was on the administrative level. This change included noticeable bias, much micromanaging, verbal abuse, and intimidation. This was worse than when I started with the agency.

Overall, these changes led to burnout and feelings of defeat. Once again, I found myself seeking to flee the organization for the sake of my health and well-being.

I remember a fellow social worker once told me, "They say they're about the well-being of the children, but what about OUR well-being?" To be honest, I am not sure either is a priority to them.

A previous supervisor once told me, "This job is not for you; you better get out before the pay gets good." Looking back, I wonder if I should have taken heed of this warning. After more than a decade, I am still in the same position.

There must be a solution to this madness… but what?

Do not get me wrong, working as a social worker and helping families can really be rewarding. It is gratifying when you help children remain safe, return home to their families, or be adopted into a loving and caring family. This makes you feel good holding the title. To me, helping people is not a task. It comes naturally.

Why is it so Difficult Identifying our own Strengths?

I became a social worker because I enjoy helping others, seeing people happy, and succeeding. My beloved mother always loved helping others....