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.