To me, it’s about the welfare of children, not just about
the system that delivers child welfare services. There is a
tendency to silo areas like child welfare vs. juvenile delinquency
vs. mental health issues in children. The truth is there are huge
overlaps in those three areas. As a clinician, understanding what
is traumatic to children is not the same as what is traumatic to
I teach my students to be careful about the diagnosis du jour,
to not only live in the moment of what we think is going on but to
make sure they look critically at how we come to think this way. My
passion as a faculty member is to get people to act like social
workers, which is to question authority, question the assumptions,
look at the literature and then assume the role of advocate.
That’s critical to being a good social worker.