I did a survey a few weeks ago and almost 550 foster parents filled it out. I read time and time again from these parents, that one of the hardest things about their role as foster parent was the lack of communication from social workers.
So today, in honour of National Foster Care Month I decided to write a letter for social workers. I hope it reaches some of them. And I hope it encourages you as a foster parent.
We're all in this together. After all isn't that what community is all about?
Dear Social Workers.
I see you working so hard to keep all the balls in the air.
I see you trying to do your best with the caseload you’ve been given.
I know you do a tough job.
I know you put in a lot of hours.
I know you take the work home with you.
I don’t know what it’s like to do your job.
Just like you don’t know what it’s like for me to do mine.
It often feels like it’s you vs. us.
Social workers vs. foster parents.
But the truth is that it’s us vs the things that have hurt our child.
We’re on the same team.
I think so often we both forget that.
You have your job to do.
And we have ours.
Sometimes we forget that our job is to love and heal this child.
We both want the same things, we just sometimes lose focus of that.
We acknowledge how hard you are working.
And we ask that you acknowledge how hard we are working.
We respect the information that you need from us to do your job.
And we ask that you consider the information we need to do ours.
We acknowledge how hard communication is with such a large amount of players on the team.
And we ask you to be as clear with us as you can be.
While it may feel like we’re worlds apart.
The truth is, we’re in this together.
The better we work, the better it is for our foster kids.
The more attune we are, the more chances our kids will have to heal.
In the busyness of our jobs, let’s not forget that.
It’s hard to be a social worker.
It’s hard to be a foster parent.
We’re a community.
Together we can do so much.
Together we can fix what’s broken.
In our system and in our kids.