An Open Letter to Social Workers Everywhere

Note:  The second annual National HELP Week for Child Welfare professionals is coming up May 8-15. Visit to learn some easy and practical ways your church can rally around the workers in your community to Honor, Encourage, Love and Pray for them.  Also, be sure to check out our H.E.L.P. Notecards specifically created to help your church encourage workers in your county.


To every social worker,

We heard about you.

You were the one whose been staying with that seventeen-year-old girl after work every day this week because no placement could be found for her.

And you . . . we know about the funeral you had to help plan a few weeks ago for a child who died from their injuries.

And you . . . We know about the rude messages you get from families sometimes because you haven’t returned their call. But, we know that you hadn’t gotten to it yet because you’ve been dealing with 4 different kids in significant crisis this week.

We also know another colleague of yours at the department resigned yesterday and, yes, we know how many that’s been this year already.

We see you trying to juggle more cases than is humanly possible for a single person to manage.

And we know you’ve got a family at home. We know you had a hard time finding someone who could stay late last night so you could get to your 10-year-old’s concert at school.

And you . . .we know that last night, because of that one case, you came home and talked to your spouse seriously about quitting. But we also know you woke up this morning reminded of the 4 little faces you were going to see at visits today and they are the reason you got into this work in the first place. You know you’re not walking away. Not today.

And we see you over there. We know you were up late last night. You couldn’t sleep because you had to move two kids away from everything they knew. But you know it’s best for them and you are desperately hoping it’s only for a little while.

And you too – we know you also were up late last night. You returned a little boy to his biological family based on court order and you are praying it is the right decision.

Oh . . .and you also were up late last night. You were at the hospital yesterday and saw the injuries to that baby girl and you just can’t sleep now.

You all must be exhausted.

We also saw you in court. You’re a fighter. That sibling group needed to stay together and you knew it. We saw you go to the mat for them.

We saw you with that teen mom during that visit. You were amazing with her. She is going to be a great parent someday and you see that in her. Your words of encouragement to her . . . do you know that is the first time an adult has ever talked to her that way?

We heard about you taking those three kids to ice cream so that their foster mom could get a break for a couple of hours.

We honestly don’t know how you do it all and you don’t hear from us nearly enough. But, you need to know something. We see you . . . we’ve heard about you. You are amazing and what you put up with to keep kids safe and to give kids permanent families is beautiful.

We just need you to know that we admire you and are grateful for you. Yes, we admit we get frustrated sometimes, but we know it’s often because we forget to see all of the things you are bearing. Please forgive us for that. And know that while we can’t take all that weight away, we want to be there to help lift.

Thank you . . .each of you . . . for everything you do.



Your friends in the fight


This post originally appeared in our Foster Roster e-newsletter which is delivered each Friday. We try to keep it short and sweet and fill it with practical articles, videos, blog posts and other tools for leaders like you working to help kids and families in foster care.  To sign up, go to