March is National Social Work month, as we mentioned last week, and we want to take some time out to thank the women who keep our social services running! Our case workers, Jeri and Verna, serve the impoverished, homeless, and down on their luck each and every day. They work hard, love well, and give of themselves daily.
So “cheers!” to our case workers- and thank you for what you do!
She is our caseworker in Fayetteville and Springdale and has been serving with The Salvation Army for a year. She has worked in social services for 17 years in diverse disciplines, such as children with disabilities and corrections.
I was an education major and switched to Social Work because I realized I like working with the whole family and not just the child. What I want (in a job) and what I have here is coming to work and it not feeling like work.
Why do you do what you do day in and day out?
Because I have been on both sides (of social services). As a recovering addict myself, I can relate. I have been a single mother, and I have been on that side of the window many times. I know how it feels to be in that situation.
How has does being on “both sides of the window” inform your work each day?
I don’t want people to feel judged by their caseworker, or like they are less than. Everyone has their time of need. Maybe not this year, but you never know when that might happen: when it could be you. I’ve needed utility help, I have needed social services. I have needed rehab services. I have had all of those, and it makes me able to relate to my clients in a deeper way and with respect.
What do you want people to know about social services that they may not know or expect?
Caseloads are overwhelming. And people may think that social workers see their clients as a number or a stack of papers. But that’s not the case. It is hard to keep up sometimes, but they are not a number to me. They are a person, a family, a life. I listen to what they have to say to me… I hear it.
I don’t think the job is hard, because at the end of the day, I feel fulfilled. I try to steer [my clients] in the right direction to get services [they need]. Understanding them, having been in their shoes- that is what makes it easy for me.
and Meet Verna
Verna, our caseworker in Bentonville and Siloam Springs, is going on her 7th year with The Salvation Army. She began as a part-time caseworker and has since become full-time.
Why do you do what you do?
I love to help people and hear their stories. I meet all kinds of people coming through our social service office, and I really do love to do what I can to meet their needs.
I didn’t even really know about the great needs here in Northwest Arkansas until I started working here. And I’ve lived here!
So thank you from the bottom of our hearts to these two amazing women who make a difference in our community each day! Social Work would not be the same without you! Happy National Social Workers Month!
Are you in need of assistance?
- Call 479-521-2151
- Ask for social services in the city where you LIVE
- You will be transferred our relayed the direct line number for our offices across the region
- Make an appointment
We help with…
- Electricity bills
- Prescription Med Assistance
- Furniture for house fires
- Coats in the winter
- Box fans in the summer
To see all of our Social Service Locations and numbers, read >>>> here.