Why choose a career in child welfare? | UW-Madison School of Social Work

Why choose a career in child welfare? | UW-Madison School of Social Work


What I love best about working with families
is being an advocate for them, being their mouth piece, being able to speak up for them
when they are unable to do so for whatever reason. So when I was an undergraduate, I
took a course called The Child Welfare System and based on that course I was really inspired
to work with families in the Child Welfare System. I was really impressed by the range
of services that were aimed towards this very vulnerable group of people that end up in
the Child Welfare System and from the time I took that course I was pretty much on a
track to work in Child Welfare. I was inspired to work in Child Welfare because I was working
with kids in schools and a lot of times they had so many distractions they weren’t able
to learn or do their work and I figured out that there was a lot going on at home that
needed to be fixed before they could do anything at school or before they could be successful.
So, I really wanted to get in and intervene in the family unit. I would tell a student
who is interested in pursuing a career in Child Welfare to really think about who the
families they want to serve are. What is it that brings you to the field of Child Welfare? Because
even though, when you think about it, CPS, when we think about Child Welfare, we
think about Child Protective Services, and we think about investigations, and we think
about foster care, there’s this huge range of jobs in this field that appeal to a wide
range of interest. So if somebody wants to do direct practice and work with families,
well that’s there. But if someone is interested in doing policy work and wondering how things
function on a macro-level, that’s all there too. I think someone should consider perusing
a career in Child Welfare if they want to see something new every day, if they want
to have unique experiences. I like this work because every day is different and sometimes
it can be sad but most of the time it’s rewarding experience to see children and families coming
together and working together. What’s really great in CPS is that you’re not just working
with kids and you’re not just working with parents, you’re as the you’re working with
the whole unit of the family and you get to see, over an extended period of time, how
things kind of come together, how they might fall apart and then you get to try something
else. There’s never one solution to a problem and I really like how the families always
have the answer, it’s up to us as the workers to figure out how to put those pieces together in a way
that’s going to work for them. You get to work with a lot of different actors and really
collaborate with all these different goals and ideas to keep children safe. So, it’s
really rewarding. In Child Welfare, you’re going to be like so amazed at the resiliency
of children and families and how passionate people are about the work. It’s just truly
inspiring to see people collaborate at such a level that you can like see actual change
happen. So to someone who is considering coming into Child Welfare, I would say be sure you
want to do it because you’re not going to get rich, but you will be able to go to bed
every night knowing that you are actually impacting something in the world. I would
tell students looking to apply to this four year program that it is the hardest job you’ll
ever love. It’s a field were you’re always going to be kept on your toes, you’re going
to be tired, but it’s the best kind of tired that there is because you’re working to make
a safe environment for kids.

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