In any profession you have your people who excel at what they do. They feel, in a sense, called to their jobs. They often view it as a mission or fulfilling their destinies. While they may become stressed with the details of their jobs. Overall, they found it and life to be enjoyable and worth doing well.
Then you have the opposite side of the coin. People who are there for the paychecks. They clock out at five and do not think about work again until after their first coffee break in the morning. I have dealt with both types of caseworkers as a foster parent.
Some really care for the children and families they are working with. You can feel of their concern through the methods in which they perform their duties. It is more than a job. It is exactly where they want to be, doing exactly what they want to be doing. Others, not so much, and their attitudes are telling in how they treat the children, birth families, and foster families.
I ran into the second type today and I came away with such a bad taste in my mouth. I had never met this particular caseworker before and was a little apprehensive because his bad reputation had preceded our introduction. However, I thought maybe the kinks had been worked out and believe everyone deserves a second chance, and for that matter, a first chance with me. However, the stories were true, and this man did nothing to improve my impression of him. He found a small problem with some paperwork I turned in and instead of taking it to me for clarification, he went to his supervisor. She ended up calling me and the matter was resolved quite easily (I was right by the way).
Two things bothered me about this situation. The first was going over my head instead of bringing the issue directly to me. Whenever I have a problem with someone I believe in following the chain of command. I never bring in a supervisor until I feel I have exhausted all possible resolutions with the person I am struggling with. Why he felt he needed to take such a small issue up the ladder is really beyond me.
The bigger problem here is the nerve he had to nit pick over such a silly matter. I mean, it was ridiculous to even be concerned with it, but he made it into a problem where none existed. I do not expect a parade from social services nor do I need their praise or admiration for what I am doing as a foster parent. However, I do expect to be treated with respect and dignity and for insignificant minor matters to be handled appropriately or not even handled at all.
I just think my job is hard enough. To go out of your way to look for something to complain about is extremely annoying and seems disrespectful to me. It’s my hope this particular caseworker either learns to be the first type of professional I spoke of or goes and takes his bad attitude to another office.