As you may know, March is National Social Work Month. We appreciate the hard work our social workers do across Buckner, whether in foster care and adoption, family transition programs for single-parent families or in senior living communities.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Phoebe Hawkins. Phoebe has been in social work since 2006 and has worked at Parkway Place, a Buckner senior living community in Houston, Texas, for almost five years.
Tell me about one of the most meaningful experiences you’ve had on the job.
There are too many to count! One difficult but rewarding experience is providing support during difficult transitions such as a change in physical functioning or issues related to death and dying. Sometimes families just need a listening ear and reassurance. Knowing that my presence can help in those difficult times makes the job worthwhile.
What does your average day look like?
A day in social work varies! You come in with a plan but usually that plan is derailed by whatever needs arise with residents and families. Your number one priority is being available to the ones you serve. The rest… is just paperwork.
Are there any misconceptions about social work you’d like to clear up?
Many people believe that the social work role can be easily filled by anyone, but it takes specific skills –learned and unlearned – to be a successful one. The breadth of social work allows for many unexpected challenges, and you have to be ready or know how to access the tools to meet the moment.
What does it take to be good at your job?
You must be open and flexible. A good listener! A quick learner. A great researcher. Also, intuition and critical thinking skills are a must.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I just had the opportunity to transition to the administrator role at Parkway Place. I truly believe that the skills and experiences in my social work career prepared me for this shift. In addition to having the administrative skills to meet the needs of my new position, I have the interpersonal abilities to meet the needs of my residents, families, and staff.