March is National Social Work Month. It is a time set aside to recognize and celebrate child welfare professionals who have dedicated their lives and careers to serving others. Child welfare is a rewarding and challenging field, one that often tests those serving at the deepest core. At times it may feel like a thankless job, where those who sacrifice so much, receive little gratitude for their efforts.

Those who are called to the field of child welfare share a common thread that binds them together, a deep desire to help those in need and to make a lasting and meaningful difference in the lives of those in need in our community. Oft times at the expense of their own families and personal lives.

Child welfare professionals meet families in their greatest time of need with a wide range of problems anywhere from stress, addiction, mental health issues, poverty, lack of support, domestic violence, and a host of many other complex issues.

In Brevard, we are fortunate to have the most dedicated child welfare professionals serving in our System of Care. These are individuals who have chosen a field that demands much. They are dedicated, committed and make many personal sacrifices to support and strengthen children, youth, and families in need.

On Thursday March 16, BFP hosted a luncheon at each of our Care Centers as a small token of appreciation to celebrate Brevard’s child welfare professionals who do so much to make a lasting difference in the lives of Brevard’s vulnerable children and families. During the gathering, I asked those present to share why they chose child welfare as their profession and what our community needs to know about the work they do? I’d like to share their responses with you today.

The recurring theme of our dialogue centered on the strong desire to make a difference and empower others. We discussed how it is a calling and that it is the passion to serve and to impact those lives that are transformed that drives human service professionals to remain in the field.

When asked what the community needs to know about the work they do, many responded, “to know that we are here to help families and we are not the bad guys”. “We’re human, we care, we feel, we cry. And “we put our heart and soul into our work that oft times never ends.”

When asked how the community could be a support, many shared that it would be a great support and help for more community members to come alongside and join us in the effort to strengthen Brevard’s vulnerable children and families.

I would like personally thank all of Brevard’s amazing child welfare professionals for all they do each and every day to impart hope to those in need. During National Social Work Month please take a moment to share your gratitude for all social workers do to, “Protect Brevard’s Children, Strengthen Brevard’s Families and Change Lives.” In closing, I would like to leave you with this quote that so aptly depicts what it means to be a social worker