Tomorrow is my first day working for the state doing child welfare social work. I am not sure what to expect, but I want to document my experiences in this blog. We’ll see how I do.

A couple of introductory things about this new venture:

  • I have a master’s degree in social work (MSW) and all of my education has focused on children and families, including an internship working for another state doing similar work. I love foster kids. They are so damn resilient, they restore my faith in humanity. Anyway, while I have studied lots about this population, I have not worked for the state before.
  • I have moved to this state within the last week so I am unfamiliar with the systems and resources and standards they have here. I am curious to see how different it is here and what surprises me.
  • I just left my first post-master’s degree job, which I had for 6 months. I worked for a non-profit in an inner-city and got exposed to lots of interesting clients, cases, and collaterals. I was, however, glad to leave that job because of what I viewed as being poor (maybe even incompetent?) management. I am hopeful that my supervisor this time will be better (so far she has impressed me).

I go into the office tomorrow, which is not what I was expecting. My understanding after my interview was that I would start out doing 2 weeks of state-wide, classroom training. I thought this was great for two reasons. One, it would allow me to ease into returning to work by learning in a classroom with scenarios instead of actual cases. Second, I think it would have made me a better social worker by giving me a solid knowledge base to work from instead of guessing and learning as I go. So I am disappointed by that, but am trying to look at the benefits, such as getting to know my colleagues better sooner.

So will my orientation tomorrow be me sitting at a desk reading case files and trying to figure out what to do (this was my orientation at my last job)? Or will there be some structure to it and people be eager to show me around and get me involved? I hope it is the latter, but time will tell.


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