While it is wonderful to recognize the heroes during National Foster Care Month, we must also be aware of the realities of the foster care system and be willing to make a change. A change that will allow the heroes we celebrate to shine, unencumbered by complicated, outdated processes. If we take a glance through the lens of capacity, we will find a starting point so that we can do more good for children and families.
Redefining Social Worker Appreciation: How to create a system of capacity rather than a position of sacrifice
What if, instead of working so hard to appreciate the sacrifice, child welfare leaders took a long look in the mirror to see why social workers must sacrifice work-life balance in the first place? Maybe the question isn't about how we appreciate social workers well. Maybe the real question is how we get off the hamster wheel and create system capacity, so appreciation is reserved for a job well done, not to make up for a personal life lost.
For more than a year we shifted work to a virtual platform out of necessity, and as we safely return to in-person activities it would be easy to sprint as fast as possible back to “the way we did things before COVID-19”. But, what if instead of sprinting we took the time to pause and reflect? Perhaps some of our new virtual practices make child welfare better.