Empower Social Workers This March

March 1, 2024
caseworker interacting over tablet with child and their father

Every March, the nation celebrates these individuals during Social Work Month. This year’s theme is, "Empowering Social Workers” highlighting the importance of supporting and showing appreciation for people in this profession.  

DCYF would like to thank all caseworkers and those who support their work by showcasing just a handful of stories that were shared to show appreciation for their caseworkers and their daily, invaluable effort to help children, youth, and families thrive.

  • Recently a client reported that a Region 5 Social Service Specialist 3 supported her sobriety and helped her find a place to live so that her children could return home.  
  • A child was taken by their parent during a supervised visit. A Region 1 Social Service Specialist 5 (SSS5) worked with one of the child’s supports to locate the child and their parent. This SSS5 reportedly showed compassion, professionalism, and strength. They spoke kindly to the parent while multitasking with phone calls to law enforcement and others. They were very intentional in their communication, making the parent feel heard and controlling the situation. Their dedication connected the parent with help and returned the child to safety.  
  • A Region 6 Social Service Specialist has been instrumental in creating an office culture of inclusion and support for all staff. Their thoughtfulness, compassion, and help to others has been incredible. They've designed a social committee to create an office culture that promotes support and growth. 
  • Region 1 received a letter from a very happy adoptive family late last year. In Jan. 2021, the couple received notice that a relative of theirs was placed in care and they were looking for kin. Over the next year, the family worked diligently alongside a Social and Health Program Consultant 4 to get licensed to foster the child and eventually adopted them. 

    “[This individual] was present with us 100% of the time, I never felt like they were rushed, burdened or bothered to listen to us, engage with us or help us in anyway,” the parent says. “The way they showed up for us, the listening ear, the judgment free compassion, the kindness and accountability that they showed me was both needed and perfect.” 

    Last month, the family celebrated one year since the adoption and one of the parents has even joined the DCYF team. 
  • One child was worried concerned about how different the food would be in their new foster home. A Region 5 Social Service Specialist 3 picked up food from the child's parent and brought it to them at their new placement. The foster parent shared that the child loved the attention to their culture and being able to stay connected to their mother's cooking.  

It comes as no surprise that social work continues to be one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. Houselessness, opioid use, and the mental health crisis are on the rise and social workers are trained and qualified to support people struggling with these issues. Their help is needed now more than ever. Check out current DCYF job opportunities at https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/jobs.

If you would like to recognize a caseworker whose made an impact on your team or the children, youth, and families we serve, email dcyf.recognition@dcyf.wa.gov.