Today I came to the realization that I am not a social worker. Let me clarify. Having spent the better part of the last 10 years working in social services/human service field, I have been referred to as, and worked along side social workers. However, I have always clarified that I am a rehabilitation counselor, not a social worker. Today I realized that my core value is more in line with rehab - I want to help, but I want those I help to want the help. I also want them to participate in their own help/solution, as much as and to the extent they are able. I do not want to do for others what they can do for themselves. In this job this is often looked at as a cold-hearted.
Now, having said that, I also want to say that for the past couple of years I have felt that I am jaded and burned out, and have lost touch with just why I went into this field in the first place. I still am not sure this is what I want to do anymore. However, I still possess the ability to get very fired up on behalf of those I am supposed to be serving. Today the advocate in me raised her ugly head several times. And I am not sure I can ethically support what I am supposed to do anymore. So I am doing some hard thinking right now.
It looks like I will be embracing poverty again very soon. As much as I hate it, I think it is still the less evil alternative in my life at this point.
I hope I am wrong. But something has to give, if I am to live.