I held my book in my hand. There isn’t much in social work that is tangible. Finally it felt real.
In human services, we so rarely have outward evidence of our accomplishments. If I help a woman with a crippling addiction stay clean and sober, the proof is in her steady job and clear thinking. Exciting, but certainly nothing I can hold in my hand.
As child protection social workers, we struggle to make our work into something that can be observed. We need to write outcomes-based caseplans with concrete results. We can’t just say that a parent is going to attend therapy as part of his case plan—we need to try to measure progress in therapy. The glow of more stable mental health isn’t easy to quantify.
With all this abstractness, there are times when I wish I were a professional baker. I could work with my hands, mixing and blending and folding, and at the end of the day I could point to neat rows of cookies or cupcakes as proof of my efforts. Many times at the end of a day of social working, I can point to hours of phone calls, documentation and frustration, and I don’t want to hold any of that in my hand.
But my book—that I could hold in my hand. Is this accomplishment more valuable or notable than the 18 years I have worked as a child protection social worker? I have to say that it can’t be. My book is a work of fiction. My efforts as a social worker, at the risk of sounding dramatic, can be life changing.
So in a job full of (yep I’m going to say it) fifty shades of gray, I’m pretty dang excited to announce that my very tangible book is here! Please check out unprotected on amazon.com. And if you like what you read, please “like” it on amazon, recommend it on facebook or pass it on to your friends. Thank you for your support, and happy reading!