To celebrate National Social Work Month (March), we sat down with a few of our 120+ social workers to talk about their unique experiences and paths that brought them to social work and then to COA.
A self-proclaimed helper, Bronwyn, LSW, once thought she might be a lawyer. But today she is a care manager in the PASSPORT program, where she helps older adults access services that can help them remain independent in their homes for as long as possible.
Years as a social worker: 22
Years at COA: 13
Other professional experience: Working in long-term care facilities
Why did you become a social worker? I have always been the “helper.” Whether it was my teachers in school, kids on the playground, or anyone trying to finish a project, I would interject myself to help them out. I honestly thought I would become a lawyer where I would be able to help the underdog win, over big corporations; however, as I investigated different professions, I was drawn to social work.
Why is social work rewarding? There are days when I have to assist with problems … however, each day I am able to find that sliver of happiness. It may be a call from an old client who is now in another program and they call just to let me know they are ok, but miss seeing me in their home… or it may be a family member who still has my phone number from years ago… and they will say how thankful they are for the past help.
Favorite things about the job: Getting to meet with individuals and their families and hearing their stories; helping other staff brainstorm different situations; and assisting with process development.
One of the challenges of social work? Social workers really are the “handymen” of the health profession… in order to stay relevant we need to know a little about everything and every age group: children, teens, middle age, pensions, Medicare, Medicaid, housing options, medications, behavioral health… and more.