I knew that social workers have extremely stressful jobs, but I wasn’t expecting to hear the type of stories I heard from Emily Russell ’15.
In one, Emily worked with a mother who was her own age, 24. She had 2 young daughters and another one on the way. The mom was guarded and stayed calm whenever Russell met with her.
“It was almost like she was carrying this armor about her that when she spoke, she was very guarded as well,” said Russell.
The mother had been abused, experienced trauma growing up, and was exposed to poverty for much of her life. Russell was a safe place where the mother trusted her and was able to talk to her for over an hour for each session.
“I was trained in domestic violence during my time at the job and I knew the importance of creating safety plans for the family,” said Russell.
One evening, after a long day, Emily was about to head toward home after an in-home visit, but she received multiple calls from her client. When Emily answered the FaceTime call she was shocked to see the mother’s face bruised and bleeding; she had been beaten.
As I was listening, I wondered how someone could possibly hurt another person in this way and how difficult it would be, as a social worker, to handle this situation like this on.
As Russell’s story closes, I learned about how she has learned how to handle her own health in order to continue helping clients to the best of her abilities.
Emily’s story is just one of many already available for listeners in seasons 1 and 2 of the Day After Graduation podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the show because season 3 is coming beginning on March 11.