#SocialWorkStories with Caseworker Robert Hinton

ASCI: Why did you become a social worker/caseworker? 
Robert Hinton: I was always intrigued with the “mind” as a youngster. Therefore, I majored in psychology at Duquesne University and still continue to be intrigued to this day.

ASCI: What are some challenges you’ve experienced as a child welfare caseworker?
RH: Challenges sometimes have been having high caseloads to manage.

ASCI: What are the benefits you’ve experienced?
RH: Developing longtime relationships with colleagues at other agencies.

ASCI: In what ways has social work/casework changed since you first began? 
RH: By having the technology get involved, by gathering demographic information from children and families instead of the social worker/caseworker gathering the information during the initial home visit. 

ASCI: How has social work changed within ASCI since you first began working here? 
RH: Social work has not changed that much since I have been working at ASCI, other than new/updated amendments and mandates pertaining to children and families.  

ASCI: How do you keep yourself from getting burned out?
RH: I was taught by my mother and father at a young age to do your best 100% every day. Therefore, to this day, I give 100% in everything I do, and then I can go home, relax and lay my head down and get a restful night.

ASCI: Can you recall any specific cases that were particularly fulfilling for you?
RH: Every case is fulfilling to me! I attempt to treat every case as if it is the only case that I have/carry. This allows me to make the children and families know they have a social worker who unconditionally advocates for them.

ASCI: Have you ever found it difficult to perform your job while adhering to policy/government mandates? 
RH: I have not found it difficult. I believe highly in policies and mandates, which allows me to always perform my job responsibilities and keep boundaries between myself and the children and families that I serve.

ASCI: What skills should students of social work focus on developing?
RH: Students today should understand the meaning of developing unconditional relationships with children and families, and colleagues of the same. This will allow their work relationships to flourish unconditionally, as well.

ASCI: What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you first entered social work?
RH: I was fortunate, because I did receive words of wisdom when I started my social-work career, by my parents and mentor: “Develop positive rapport with others,” and, “you cannot save everyone.” 

ASCI: What ways can/should employers support their social workers?
RH: Make sure they give their employees a positive life/work balance.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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