Developmental disabilities

May 26, 2008

We as social workers are supposed to be versatile, knowing about lots of different issues and circumstances. I believe the term we learned in Intro to Social Work is that we are “generalists”. For the most part, I think this is a good thing. For me, I have not known exactly what I want to do or who I want to work with. Granted, over time I have narrowed it down – trauma and foster kids – but, also struggled. I enjoy (and dislike) different elements of latency aged kids and adolescents.

With all that said, there has been one population of kids that I have always known that I do not want to work with and am not good at working with: kids with severe disabilities. I know that I should not, but I usually find myself feeling uncomfortable and awkward, not knowing what to do. Not a good way to be professional. Anyway, I was reminded of this on Friday. I helped transport a 10 year-old with severe cerebral palsy. And immediately, I was a fish out of water.

And this is an interesting reminder of doing child welfare. We don’t choose our clients. We work with everyone. So what do I do? I don’t know. I guess read up and try to be better.