Five short days ago, I moved the final boxes into my new apartment, and began settling in. Less than 24 hours later, I was sitting in a conference room exchanging equally awkward and exciting hellos with the other Children’s Corps members. The whole first day of training felt especially surreal as I attempted to process the fact that I now reside in New York City and will soon be a salaried, full-time employee for the first time in my life. Regardless of the slight shock of these drastic changes, I am thrilled to be part of the Children’s Corps.
The past four days of training have included a considerable amount of information. Fortunately, Barry has been intentional about consistently encouraging us to review our learning as he leads each session. In discussing topics such as self-awareness, social work ethics, engagement, and assessment, I have been realizing how valuable my undergraduate education really is. I entered college knowing that I wanted to study social work, and although I had my doubts at times, I managed to stick it through and graduated with my BSW. That being said, BSWs are geared toward generalist social work practice as opposed to a specific type of social work. I never had any experience working in foster care or adoption, so I began the CC training knowing little about the child welfare system. My knowledge has already increased exponentially, and I am looking forward to gaining more specific knowledge and skills that directly relate to my future work in foster care.
The best part about the first week of training has been getting to know the other CC members who all come from different families, places, and educational backgrounds (a close second is the mini chocolate bars in the back of the training room). Today we broke into small groups and completed genograms with each other, charting out the relationships that we have with our family members. In discussion, Barry reminded us that the parents and children we will be working with are really not that different from ourselves. I hope that we do not lose sight of this perspective as we begin our jobs.