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Posted Friday, March 25, 2016 by Tiffany Himmelreich

What is the Best Thing About Social Work?

As part of our Marketing duties, my teammate Mae Wells-Kress and I travel the country talking to caseworkers and social workers. In those travels, we’ve asked dozens of people the samefour questions about what it means to be in social work.

  1. Why did you go into social work?
  2. What is the most challenging thing about social work?
  3. What stereotype about social work would you clear up?
  4. What is the best thing about social work?

In honor of Social Work Month 2016, we’re sharing a snapshot of the answers we’ve received each Friday in March.We definitely saved the best for last so we can end this series on a high note! Read the quotes or watch the quick videos below to hear the responses to the last question:

What is the best thing about social work? 

We’d love to hear from you too. Tell us your favorite thing about social work in the comments section below.


"The best thing about my job is that I am able to be pretty intimately involved with families who are really putting the puzzle pieces of their lives back together. I've seen some miracles and that never ceases to amaze me."

- Kaylo Brooks, Child Welfare Social Worker, Crow Wing County Community Services, Minnesota

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"The best thing about my job is things like a 23-year-old who was adopted as an adult by his foster parent who invited me to his adoption and said 'I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be alive had you not come into my life when I was 11.'"

- Lynda Erickson, Family Services Supervisor, Crow Wing County Community Services, Minnesota
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"What always feels good is when I run into parents and they remember me, or if I run into kids and they remember me and they thank me for something that at that time seemed so insignificant but for them it was a big thing."

- Kellie Lowman, Director of Services, Chemung County Department of Social Services, New York
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"I can't imagine doing anything else. I love knowing that we have a hand in making a difference in people's lives and making a difference in children's lives, making them safer and making them healthier. Hopefully they never remember us or never know that we were there. That we have the opportunity to really shape how someone's current situation is and how their future looks. And that's a pretty amazing power."

- Theresa Houck, Child Advocacy Center Supervisor, Chemung County Department of Social Services, New York
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"The best part of the job is just to know that I'm helping someone. I know I can't help all my clients, but I know that if there's one person that I helped a day, and just that voice on the phone saying 'hey, thank you for everything.' It makes a big difference in your life. It really does."

- Song Hang, Ongong Case Management Social Worker,
Burke County Department of Social Services, North Carolina
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"When you see those families that come in that are just so appreciative of the help that they're able to receive it makes your job rewarding."

- Amy Alligood, Income Maintenance Supervisor, Beaufort County Department of Social Services, North Carolina
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"I think the best thing is reunification. You know parents have problems or issues and you can work and help them address them and children get to go home."

- Lisa Gibbs-Lee, Children's Services Supervisor, Beaufort County Department of Social Services, North Carolina
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"My favorite part is to see kids smiling or see parents getting their kids back."

- Roberto Yanez, Social Services Specialist, Dane County Department of Human Services, Wisconsin

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"When you do have a really difficult case and you're working with really difficult parents and all of a sudden at some point while you're working with them the light just clicks on and all of a sudden things turn around. They end up being successful."

- Cheryl Hollifield, Child Protective Services Supervisor,
Beaufort County Department of Social Services, North Carolina

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"You meet people in their lowest points and can see, hopefully, they change from that low to stability, being on their feet, having their kids back, and being happy and healthy."

- Laura Hughes, Ongoing Social Worker, Dane County Department of Human Services, Wisconsin

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"I guess the best thing would be the reason why I went into this, and that is advocating and knowing that you're making a difference in people's lives."

- Keesha Hice, Adult Home Specialist & Guardianship, Burke County Department of Social Services, North Carolina

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"There's just cases I know I'm meant to be here for or meant to have this job. Because you really do have to have the personality to do this job."

- Sharon McKinnon, Forensic Investigation Social Worker,
Burke County Department of Social Services, North Carolina

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"You have someone come in and they are devastated. They are devastated in their situation. And when they leave you have offered them hope."

- Amanda Grady, Income Maintenance Supervisor, Burke County Department of Social Services, North Carolina

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"Being able to help. I mean, we do make a difference. It's not always as much as we want to. It's not always as often as we'd like to, but it makes a difference."

- Nonna Crowder, Child Support Enforcement Agent, Burke County Department of Social Services, North Carolina
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Tiffany Himmelreich Tiffany Himmelreich is the Marketing Communications Manager for Northwoods. Her favorite part of her job is visiting Northwoods customers and talking to social workers because their job is tough and amazing and terrifying and she loves helping tell their stories.
 

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