This year Sept. 14-18 is Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week. It can be hard to appreciate someone when you do not fully know or understand what they do. It is difficult to know what exactly a child welfare worker does, because they do not do it to be recognized, and often times can’t talk about what they see or do in order to uphold the confidentiality of those they are working with.

Child welfare caseworkers have many different tasks and roles to complete, often within one day. Caseworkers are responsible for responding to a situation involving child abuse or neglect and must assess the situation and remain in contact with others to make decisions to ensure everyone is safe. Caseworkers work with families in order to connect them to community resources, follow up with those referrals and continue to ensure families have the resources they need. Caseworkers work with families to identify their natural supports and work with families to pull those supports together. Caseworkers visit families and children in their homes, at the hospital, at school, in foster homes, at doctor’s offices, in the park or wherever they need to. Caseworkers have to attend and testify in court hearings. Child welfare caseworkers have to document their interactions with others and complete many different types of paperwork.

Clarissa Kiessling is a casework supervisor for Adams County Children and Youth Service.

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