Training, Self-Doubt & Fatal Flaws: What Social Work Taught Me about Police Work

Current Events, Reflections, Social Work, StoriesLeave a Comment

Have you ever restrained someone the size of Eric Garner? I have, and it was one of the easiest, most quickly resolved crises in which I’ve ever intervened. It was 2009 and I was working with severely emotionally disturbed teens in a locked residential facility. A young woman, weighing in at 300 lbs, had just tried to punch someone, so … Read More

SorenTraining, Self-Doubt & Fatal Flaws: What Social Work Taught Me about Police Work

The Republicans Fired Me

Current Events, Reflections, Social WorkLeave a Comment

You may have heard about the unaccompanied minor crisis: thousands of children fleeing across the Mexican border from terrifying situations in places like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. I have a friend who works with these kids at a temporary shelter and, if you want to know why they’re coming, take it from a teenage girl she works with who … Read More

SorenThe Republicans Fired Me

Two white guys walk into a lunch meeting…

Reflections, Social Work, Things I Take For Granted3 Comments

It didn’t seem like only two white guys in the room. I had happily volunteered to share my experiences with strengths-based assessment working with homeless teens during the first group question, and the facilitator had asked several follow-up questions. After that, the other white male in the room introduced an interesting ethical dilemma. I had what I thought was an … Read More

SorenTwo white guys walk into a lunch meeting…

Policy versus discretion in direct service

Social WorkLeave a Comment

If you work in social services like me, you know that we dwell in the land of grey areas. Every agency has policies in place to address probable scenarios, and every day there are scenarios where the policies just don’t quite address what’s actually going on. For example, you might work in a residential facility where policy limits clients in … Read More

SorenPolicy versus discretion in direct service