It’s National Social Worker Month! And we want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those who work incredibly hard in this field. Social workers do much for their clients, always going above and beyond to meet their needs and help them in their journey toward healing, including the social workers at The Guidance Center. We thank them and all our clinicians for helping the children in our communities be healthy and happy.
We reached out to our social workers and asked them the following questions:
- How did 2020 impact your work as a Social Worker?
- How do you stay positive?
Please read their responses below!
“I think 2020 showed inequity, and how poverty exacerbated the pandemic we are in. It also showed me the importance of advocating for the clients we work with at TGC. I’m grateful this agency has like-minded individuals who are finding ways to lessen the intensity of this pandemic. I stay positive by reminding myself true change does not happen overnight. I stay positive when my clients show up to work on themselves despite all the things stacked against them. They inspire me.”
~ Kristen McNeese, LCSW
“2020 was challenging in so many ways. As a social worker, I found myself having to balance my work/life more than before due to working from home. I found myself scrambling for different interventions to use online and feeling overwhelmed with the changes happening at work, but also with our day to day life. The best part of it all was still being able to see my kiddos and adult clients via telehealth and provide them with a space in which they can continue working on their mental health needs and process the constant changes happening around them daily. I remind myself of what I can control within the circumstance. I created a routine that allowed me to set boundaries at home but also with work. I adapted my pre-COVID schedule to a new COVID schedule as much as I could to continue taking care of myself mentally and physically. Most importantly I reflected on the positive things that I do have as opposed to what I don’t.”
~ Yessenia Arevalo, ASW
“Culture and social justice have always been important pillars in my social work practice. However, in 2020 I was driven to expand my application of these two areas to drive change on a mezzo and macro level. This also pushed me to use my voice and leadership in more BRAVE and bold ways that I am very proud of. I really try to practice being in the present moment as much as possible. Seeing and being apart of action feels purposeful and encouraging. I also trust that collective action for good has no choice but to have positive outcomes.”
~Angelina Palma-Williams, LCSW
“I think the challenges that came with 2020 gave social workers a unique opportunity to step up and use the skills we learned in graduate school— everything from providing food and rent resources, to addressing and discussing social injustice, to navigating various systems (i.e. increased reporting to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and navigating virtual learning). Moving to telehealth, in particular, offered an opportunity to involve caregivers and family members into treatment more easily, which has made a big impact for some of my clients. My clients make it pretty easy for me to stay positive. They inspire me and make me laugh every day. Even though we often discuss hard and heavy things, they are so resilient and make me feel honored to be part of their lives.”
Megan Bunting, ASW
“2020 showed me that social work and advocating for social justice is needed now more than ever. It humbled me to know that social work can be just as impactful through telehealth as it can be in person. I continue to be thankful for the career I chose and am excited to see all the social work TGC accomplishes in 2021. I try to stay in the moment and also see the world through the eyes of my kids. They are fearless, kind and curious.”
~ Jessica Price, LCSW