When I began to think of how the Social Work Department prepared me for life after college, the first thing that came to my head was professionalism. The individuals in my office come from all types of backgrounds - cultural, educational, etc. I have found that professionalism isn’t always common knowledge, and I am forever grateful for how the department prepared me to always present myself as a confident professional. I fully believe that I am able to love my clients well because I was shown so much grace and love from the professors and staff in the Social Work Department.
Since graduating on May 16th, 2020, I have been working at Dauphin County Children and Youth. I only did the commute from Lancaster County to Harrisburg for a few short weeks before I moved into an apartment in the Camp Hill area with two dear friends, one of whom also graduated from the Social Work Department at Messiah. Graduation from Messiah was only a few months ago, but I have been able to learn so much and take on different challenges within my workplace that I feel like I have been in the field for a lot longer than 6 months.
My job - point blank - is to keep children safe. That is what I say to my kiddos when I meet them for the first time. I ask them if they know what Children and Youth does and I usually get the “I don’t know” or “you take kids away from their families” answer. If the answer is either of those, I correct them by saying “My job is to make sure that you are safe, happy, and healthy. Does that seem like a good job to have?” to which they usually nod their heads "yes" to and then I can begin building a rapport with them. I work with kids and their parents to make sure that every one that is in a care-taking role of my identified child is appropriate and capable of fulling that parenting role, however that may look. I assist families with getting connected to resources in the community for food, clothes, school equipment, furniture, etc. I refer families to programs that help with housing, employment, therapy and counseling, and even transportation. My favorite part of my job is spending time with the children; recently, one of my kids asked me which kind of “superhero” I was because his parents told him that the police officers and social workers coming to the house were superheroes in disguise. It is moments like that in my job that allow me to assist families in getting through all the obstacles in their way so that they can be superheroes in their kids’ lives, too.
Would I recommend the Messiah Social Work Program to future students?:
I would 100% recommend the Messiah Social Work Department to future students because you really do get the 'best bang for your buck.” I cannot imagine having gone anywhere else for my undergraduate degree. If I had, I would not be the young professional that I am today and I believe that I would not have the skills or mindset that I currently possess had I not studied social work at Messiah.