November 2108: “I work at New Alternatives for Children (NAC), a child welfare agency that provides comprehensive care and support to medically complex children and their families, birth, foster, and adoptive alike. Through my position in Foster Care and Adoption, I’m grateful to have grown in my abilities to intentionally engage and empathetically respond to persons in challenging circumstances. Each day I’m reminded of how the work my agency does goes beyond any individual person, or single job.
Recently, following a supervised visit with her child, a birth mother asked me, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, right?” When I didn’t respond immediately, she gestured towards the NAC logo on the wall. My eyes traced the symbol, a person with outstretched arms beneath a beaming sun. As I shared with this mother, if I’ve learned anything, the work done at NAC is a process. Comparable to a tower I built with a child, in social work there are many layers at play, the circumstances complex. That said, I’m inspired by the strength and resilience of the children and families. And, I’m impressed by my agency’s ability to serve, understanding that each family is more than a case in the system. I understand there is no perfect equation of support. Still, I’m encouraged by how NAC works with our families, building together, envisioning together, and when necessary reassembling and re-approaching the many moving pieces.”
Learn more about Grace and the rest of her Project 55 Fellowship cohort by reading their bios in On the Path, the Fellowship directory.