A Week as Trafficking Specialist

Some of you may not know what social workers do. But I’m here to tell you, there are about 1,000,000 things done each day and all of them are different. Social workers are in most fields, although sometimes they are hidden. I work in an agency that is full of social workers, which is convenient for case consultation and chatting. I thought it might interest some of you to see what I have done in the past week, so here it is! Some setting: I work with folks who have experienced sex or labor trafficking, are men/women/transgendered, are youth, are seniors, are “adult age”, are foriegn-national or domestic. Here is what I’ve done in the past week:

  • Counseled multiple clients through anger issues
  • Worked on grounding techniques with a client who was experiencing hallucinations
  • Took client to a dentist
  • Provided crisis intervention
  • Set boundaries
  • Supported/encouraged volunteers
  • Discussed issues/ideas/feelings with my supervisor
  • Spoke Spanish
  • Made a doctor’s appointment for a client
  • Found unconventional methods of securing housing for a foreign national client in horrible conditions
  • Facilitated transportation for a client to a meeting with her attorney
  • Provided multiple meals
  • Caught up with co-workers who have been on vacation
  • Communicated with clients who are in the Chicago-land area, but who are from all over the world
  • Found information about foreign national degree transfer
  • Counseled someone through decision making about an unexpected pregnancy
  • Collaborated with other service providers to create therapeutic events for survivors,
  • Checked in with clients about the first week of school (high school, alternative school, and ESL)
  • Provided advice for client’s biometrics appointments,
  • Collaborated with law enforcement,
  • Collaborated with the state’s attorney’s office
  • Visited a client in a safe housing placement that I secured
  • Gave a client/her son a ride after an emergency blow out with her baby’s dad’s family
  • Took a client to the office of social security and provided advocacy
  • Played referee with a client and her grandmother
  • Went to a continuing education event on ethics
  • Advocated for a client throughout order of protection proceedings
  • Supported a client in their healthcare decisions
  • Made an appointment at DHS
  • Been on call on our 24 hour hotline
  • Encouraged clients to try new coping methods
  • Took a client grocery shopping
  • Wrote to an editor about an offensive opinion piece related to my client population
  • Taught a client how to use public transportation
  • Networked at a collaborative meeting
  • Have been told that someone no longer wants to work with me, but then was called back an hour later
  • Worked late
  • Have been frustrated with my clients
  • Have been in awe of the strength of my clients

This is a peak into the daily events in my career.



The End of Summer

It’s now September and it’s estimated to be in the 90s all week. Good thing I’m practicing self care and taking vacation! Woo! Even with nothing planned, it’s great to have a few days off. It’s been a busy but fun summer. I’m definitely in a better place this September than I was last. I’m grateful that Matt and I are both employed, that I’ve figured out how I grieve and have given myself space, and that I’m taking a step back from work when I need it.

July started with a trip to Connecticut to see a friend from college, John. Matt and I drove the entire way and slept at a truck stop. Seriously, we lasted 22 hours in a car on the way there together. There wasn’t any fighting!


It was a short trip, four days, but we were able to hike up Talcott Mountain on the Fourth of July and spend time with good people. It took our Midwestern selves a little while to get used to the change in altitude, but we had a good time!

After we got back, we decided to Geocache for the first time. There were a few cool caches, actually, that were pretty near our apartment. I know we’re late on this, but it’s been fun and cool to read the logs inside of each cache!


The ladies in my family took our annual trip to Shipshewana, IN to see the Amish, eat, and enjoy each other’s company:


We went to the Shipshewana flea market, as usual. Lots of interesting characters there:


We ate breakfast at Rise ‘n Roll Bakery, which has the BEST Cinnamon Carmel Donuts and a cute interior:


And we explored the shops and dressed up for dinner (because why not?):


Overall, a successful and relaxing annual trip! Then my sister adopted a cat, Snickers:


Isn’t she cute? Next, it was my birthday. My mom and sister made sure I had a cake for the actual day, which we ate at 9pm the day after:


The family celebrated my birthday and Aunt Nancy’s the next weekend with Texas Sheet Cake (our favorite!):

AuntNancyAmandaBirthday 2015

Then, my friends from Chicago came to my mom’s house so that we could create our own deep fried event (normal Deep Fried Saturday was cancelled this year). I set one little fire, but other than that things were great!


Luckily, I made sangria so no one was too worried:


Matt and I went on a winery tour with his brothers and their wives (always a blast!):


I went to Sara’s bachelorette party–her wedding is just about a month away! So exciting. Isha, Sara’s sister and maid of honor, hosted and had super cute ideas. It was a blast!

Bachelorette Party Sara 2015

But aside from these adventures, I’ve spent most of the summer going to Winnemac Park with Matt, doing yoga on the beach, and generally being outside as much as possible:


We saw Shakes in the Park:

ShakesinthePark2015 (1)

And I made it to a sunrise yoga class!


And that is my summer this year, mostly told in pictures. I hope you’ve enjoyed them! I’m hoping for a rejuvenating and productive autumn.