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In Appreciation of Social Workers

"I won't lie, at first I hated DSS but now I love you guys. I wouldn't be here without you." "I want to thank my social worker. I put you through hell and you were always there for me." "Thank you to my worker for helping me apply to college and get financial aid." These were just a few of many words of sentiments spoken at a dinner held Monday night honoring about 80 foster children (including mine) who had graduated from high school or earned a GED. These children had faced adversity and with the support of others were able to overcome difficult challenges.

In a system filled with flaws, social workers go to their job every day and often deal with dangerous and unpleasant situations. We usually hear the negative stories surrounding DSS but this night was filled with countless success stories. As we drove home from the Yankee Pedlar, I couldn't stop thinking about all the wonderful words that these young adults had to say about their specific workers.

As a teacher and as a foster parent, I have had the opportunity to work with many DSS workers on all different levels. I have always admired their dedication, compassion and professionalism and have thanked them for each personal phone call or visit they have made. But as a regular citizen, I also want to thank them. The support and guidance they gave to these kids undoubtedly has made a difference in their lives, helping them to become positive, hard-working members of our society.

Carrie-Anne Monroe

East Longmeadow