Monday, April 22, 2013


There are a lot of good things about adoption work. And there are some not so good things. Just a few. But of them is the ethics that come with changing jobs.

In the world of social work, when a person switches from one agency to another, it is time to move on. Those people are no longer clients, and they were never really supposed to be friends, so they aren't supposed to be in the future. This is all well and good, and I understand why it has to happen, but it really isn't fun... because I have been a part of people's lives -- their very personal lives (because adoption is a very personal thing) -- and then suddenly I'm supposed to be gone.

This particular move from my former job to Bethany has been especially hard for two reasons. One of them I absolutely cannot blog about -- the other is just the new role at Bethany -- being in leadership at the largest adoption agency in the world and carrying their reputation on my back and really not wanting to do anything to damage it.

Bethany is an amazing organization and I am being very careful not to do anything that would reflect poorly on them.

But I can't help but feel as though I have abandoned "my" families and I don't like it. The families that I worked with ocassionally still want my advice and I am not allowed to give it. And kids I place have already been left behind by so many that walking away from them seems even more cruel.

As I have said many times, the reason the system is hard to navigate is that it is full of people -- flawed humans. And we make mistakes. So I feel responsible to attempt to fix all kinds of things that I personally can't fix -- and now I'm not supposed to be involved at all.

Not sure why I am feeling a need to share all this -- other than that maybe you have had a social worker "disappear" from your life and wonder why ... and now maybe you'll understand that it isn't fun for them either.

Or maybe I just want people to know that though they are out of my professional site, that they as people, and the children I have helped them to claim, are never out of my mind or heart completely... no matter how many years it's been.


Melissa said...

You know, I had never really considered the whole "closing off" of connections when people leave the agency/department they are connected to, as here all our adoption stuff is done through DSS.

One difference between SK and the rest of the world I guess!

Anonymous said...

I think being a social worker in this field has got to be incredibly emotional...
Bless everyone in this work!