By: Bashor Children’s Home

There are many jobs where you can make a living, but not every job gives you the opportunity to make a difference. Social services jobs allows workers to do both. Here are seven reasons you should consider working in social services.

THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT

I love using art to transform children or to elicit the ‘light bulb’ moment. Even a simple sigh of relief to ‘getting it out,'” Menessah Nelson said. Nelson is now the director of Junior Achievement and Lemonade Day in Elkhart County. She’s previously worked for Child Protective Services and a mentoring program for at-risk juveniles.

“It’s that look of pure and utter amazement between two people, like they simultaneously figured something out together. Social work is challenging but when someone in my field speaks of the rewarding moments, it’s those that make the dark days brighter and more worthwhile. Truly, making the difference in just one moment makes it worth the wait for the next.”

MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

Stephanie Czarnecki, a youth care specialist at Bashor Children’s Home, decided to work in social services because she wanted to help young people work toward a better future.

At Bashor, she mentors troubled and traumatized children and develops plans and activities that help them grow. She knows her job is important because she makes a direct impact in children’s lives.

“I like getting to see the growth in the individual clients that we have,” Czarnecki said. “They all have stories and adventures. The most amazing moments are seeing them believing in themselves and seeing a change in themselves that they might not have thought possible.”

IMPACTING DAILY LIFE FOR FAMILIES

“The ability to change the life for a family is something that I never really understood (until working in social services),” said Katie Murphy, who works with special needs kids as a program manager at Children’s Dispensary in South Bend. She’s also a former behavioral therapist at BACA.

“My first client (at BACA) had aggressive behavior 90 percent of the day. We tracked it and after a couple of months, we were down to 3 percent,” she said. “We worked on things that were life changing for these parents. To be able to go to the store and not have your child run away, to be able to sit down for dinner with your kid.”

LETTING CHILDREN KNOW SOMEONE CARES

Michayla Rose came from a rough childhood, so she knew she would be able to relate to the kids when she became a youth care specialist at Bashor Children’s Home.

“Sometimes, I’m the first person the youth meets who truly cares, who doesn’t have any conditions tied to their kindness. Other times, I’m the first person who holds the youth accountable to their actions,” Rose said. “In both situations, I’m helping these kids learn concepts that are essential in life.”

Rose believes that making an impact on individuals is the best way to make an impact on the world, especially when it comes to children.

“I help kids learn how to be better functioning adults. Better functioning adults create a better functioning society,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want a job that literally makes the world a better place?”

HELPING KIDS SUCCEED

“Working directly with the kids is what I like most about my job. The best part is seeing them happy and successful,” Sammie Jones, a treatment coordinator for a foster care agency, said.

“I ensure that all the child’s needs are being met in their foster home,” she said. “I’m also an advocate for them and monitor their overall progress to make sure they’re doing well both in the home and at school.”

She got into the field after her brother died from a drug overdose. Though her days can be unpredictable or stressful, her brother’s memory keeps her motivated.

“The kids are worth it,” she said. “(They) depend on me.”

MAKING COMMUNITY STRONGER

Jamie Rininger, an elementary school social worker in Elkhart, enjoys being a stable, consistent source of support for students.

“If I can be that person that says, ‘good morning, have a great day, make good choices, we care about you,’ for a student that does not have that, then I feel like I’m doing my job,” she said. “We may only see small changes right away, but over time there are huge successes. (Social workers) plant seeds that grow into amazing things.”

For Rininger, social work is necessary to make communities stronger. She felt called to work in social work because of her passion for positivity and empowering people who don’t have a lot of support.

“There are days I ask myself, ‘what am I doing for such little pay and so much stress?’ Then I think of how blessed I am with an amazing family, friends and support system. I have a place to live and food to eat. That makes me feel reenergized to help make sure others have those things too,” she said. “Helping support people in different capacities of their life is very fulfilling. I don’t feel it takes much time for me to help, and sometimes that help means everything to someone else.”

GIVING HOPE TO THOSE WHO NEED IT

“I get to see lives changed on a daily basis,” said Mike King.

King is a youth care specialist at Bashor Children’s Home in Goshen. He wanted to work in social services “to help individuals who are experiencing brokenness and to give them hope.” That’s exactly what he does every day at work.

It can be challenging to work with kids who may have trauma in their past. King tackles that challenge with compassion and is focused on being a source of optimism for the children he works with.

“My job is important because I am able to speak truth and life into individuals who otherwise feel as though they are worthless and have no hope,” he said. “I get to witness individuals leave here as a new person who now has hope.”

YOU CAN MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES TOO. START YOUR CAREER IN SOCIAL SERVICES TODAY. APPLY NOW FOR FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME POSITIONS AT BASHOR CHILDREN’S HOME.

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