Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Doing the right thing.

I have rarely had to be the deciding factor in important matters. I have made a lot of decisions in my life, but they mostly affected me. Now, in my job, I make decisions that affect families. It is an overwhelming realization that I hold a family's life in my hands. I pray a lot. I consider the facts. I try to keep my heart out of it. That is the hard part. It is said our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness. I have come to realize that compassion is both my strength and weakness. I care. Sometimes I care at a personal cost to myself. I grieve a lot for other people. It does take a toll. But it is worth it, if I can help the world to be a little safer, kinder, calmer.

This week I did an assessment regarding whether 3 children should return to their father. There were so many issues. So many concerns. I interviewed all the children, their guardians, the father. I laid out the facts. I tried to see all the "what ifs", the possibilities and the unintended consequences. In the end I said "No, not yet." First X, Y and Z must occur to ensure everyone's needs are met and the reunification is safe and successful. I had my supervisors guiding me, supporting me, but still the signature at the bottom of the court documents is mine.

I was able to come up with some interventions that the Cabinet had not thought of and will most likely implement to ensure success in the future.

But for the here and now, no. They are unable to reunite as a family. I know it was the right thing to do. I know that I was working for the greater good. But I also know there will be tears and disappointment. With my name on it.

4 comments:

Pennsy said...

And thank God you are there to make such judgements with love and compassion.

XOXO Dr. Kay Elizabeth said...

Oh my gosh, that is the hardest thing. I too am someone who is too compassionate and it can sometimes interfere with my life. But like you I have learned to put it to the side and be professional and do my job. Prayer helps a lot.

Tami said...

That would have to be a tough decision for anyone. The people involved (especially the kids) are lucky to have someone who does care about them.

The prerequisites necessary for the family to reunite will also have your name on it, won't they? A guideline to show them what they must to in order to be together again. If the parent(s) are serious enough about wanting to be together, they will do the right things (X,Y, and Z), and hopefully grow in the understanding of what you did to protect, and in the best interest of the kids, And the kids, in time , will also understand, and hopefully use these tools when then become adults instead of adopting their parent(s)' poor skills in parenting.
You may have just saved a whole family and their descendants.

Lee Cannon said...

MaryMartha: I enjoyed your blog. What a great vent to be able to push some of your stress out through. If you get needing a good read to make you smile, check out my blog http://leecannon.blogspot.com

thanks for writing,

lee