Social Work is Essential: Impact of the pandemic
- March 01, 2021
Julie Blythe, R.N., MSW, LSW, CCTP
I got into social work because as a former R.N. and an Ordained Presbyterian Minister, I realized that my passion and that which I exceed in is counseling. I was diagnosed with PTSD 6 ½ years ago. I was unable to work and could barely function. But with hard work and lots of excellent counseling, I got to the point where I was able to do an online Master’s in Social Work degree. This led me to my work at LCFS, counseling children with trauma, parents and foster families, female domestic violence offenders and community clients.
My work changed dramatically during the pandemic. I was no longer able to see my clients in person and instead had to work with them on video or by phone. I’ve been able to get permission to see a few clients in person because of acuity or inability to engage on video. My work also changed because everyone – children and adults – are much more stressed. I’ve had many more appointments with foster parents about their children and have had more crisis calls. The pandemic has affected our work significantly.
One of the clients I have is a little boy, 7-8 years old. I’ve walked with his family through his grandfather’s death from COVID, working with the child, his mother, and now the grandmother, who has become the foster mom. They’re all dealing with the death in their own ways – the child is doing pretty well, but will admit to missing his grandfather and that he cries sometimes. The child’s mother has remained sober during her father’s death and this time after. The grandmother struggles, but she is getting better. This family has had to deal with COVID in a very real and painful way. I’m honored that I can support them through it.
Social work is essential to helping children and families thrive. Click here to make a donation to LCFS’ Emergency Fund to provide for immediate needs of our children and families.