Why We Do This Work: Foster Care Licensing

Recently our chief clinical officer, Tim Grove, challenged us all to stay connected to why we do this work. Well Tim, challenge accepted! I supervise five of the foster care licensing specialists, who work directly with the foster parents of SaintA. At our most recent team meeting, we gathered around some delicious ice cream sundaes (our idea of brain food), and within a short timeframe rattled off so many reasons why:

Nichole Ostrowski-Grasset
Nichole Ostrowski-Grasset
  1. Because 1 person CAN make a difference.
  2. Social work is a unique profession – rich with meaning, action, and the power to make a difference. We are lucky to be a part of it.
  3. Because NO two days are exactly the same!
  4. Because getting paid to help people improve their lives is like getting paid twice.
  5. Because children have the right to be protected and feel safe.
  6. SaintA is known for the quality care we provide to children and families, and being a part of that high-quality service delivery makes us proud.
  7. Because our community needs people who care enough to stand up and be a part of positive change.
  8. Because who else besides a social worker can find a strength in just about any horrible situation.
  9. Because even when it feels like an extremely hard fight – it’s a worthy one.
  10. Because at 2 a.m. on placement coverage/after hours, you call and wake up a complete stranger who agrees to get up and take placement of a child they know almost nothing about – amazing!
  11. Because although we get daily reminders of what a cruel world it can be, we get an equal amount of reminders of how many really good, selfless people there are in the world.
  12. Because up close and personal, we get to see kids beating the odds. We witness progress and improvements that can literally move you to tears.
  13. Because foster children bring so many unexpected blessings to the families that love them.
  14. When you see true co-parenting between a birth family and foster family in action – there is nothing else like it. It’s one of the most inspirational, important, beautiful, moving journeys to be a part of. Imagine having two families who love you that much.
  15. Because my foster parent is the only healthy support person that the birth mother (of the child placed in the foster home) has – she is the reason this birth mother has stayed sober. My foster mom has chosen to foster this whole family; it’s a beautiful thing.
  16. Because our whole SaintA team comes together in times of crisis and also in times of joy. We are a work family that cares deeply for one another, and we have each other’s backs through thick and thin.
  17. Because we get to work with people who are willing to open their hearts to children who need them while leaving their hearts raw and exposed, having no control over the outcome of that child’s case/future. Yet, they keep at it because children deserve a safe place to heal.
  18. Because after a long struggle, an adoption party invitation arrives in my inbox and I can take a deep breath and smile.
  19. Because our jobs allow us to truly connect to other people.
  20. Because this work keeps us on our toes – there is NEVER a dull, boring moment!

Twenty reasons why we do this work – it took us no time at all! This can be such a challenging field! Some days feel like such a struggle, but when you stop to think about all the reasons you choose to come back for more the next day, it helps put back into perspective the privilege we have to be a part of this bigger picture.

Up next, Team Ostrowski-Grasset would like to challenge the other foster care licensing/placement teams to come up with their own list of reasons why they chose the work they do. Have fun!


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