True Confessions: I’m (Not Quite) a Super Hero

Sometimes ya just gotta blow your own horn. Today is one of those times for me. I am a child abuse investigator. That’s not quite super-hero status, but my feats of skill and strength are no less amazing.

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In a 48-hour period, I was assigned 7 child abuse or neglect cases to investigate, three of which required an immediate response.

I put 200 miles on my car driving around town looking for these folks in order to make contact and assess for the children’s safety.

I interviewed numerous people, none of whom were happy to see me. I worked my magic to ensure everyone stayed calm and engaged. I’m performing social work, and social work works best when folks are talking with me openly and honestly.

I don’t even know how many phone calls I took during that time. I talked to police detectives, concerned family members, medical professionals, and of course, the people I am investigating.

In addition to all those meetings and conversations, I’ve had to keep up documentation on every encounter, because if it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.

Oh, and did I mention that one of those investigations required a removal? Yes, so I’ve also been dancing around with supervisors and administrators, legal staff, and medical staff. Each has needs that only I can fill. And of course, each feels his or her needs are the most important.

Heady stuff, isn’t it? But I’m not the only superhero in my league. There are many of us across the state and around the country, and we’re all pretty doggone amazing. We do the work that many of you can’t. We do it for low pay. And we do it with little or no recognition or praise, not from the public, not from the media, not even from our supervisors. Police officers? Firemen? People love ’em. Us? Not so much.

I do, however, get many thank-yous, and they always come from the families I work with. Those are what keep me going. Funny, isn’t it? I’m most appreciated by the people whom you’d think would like me the least.

Now while I’d love to sit and chat a bit longer, I need to hit the showers. It’s time to head back out and do my part to make the world a safer place.

28 thoughts on “True Confessions: I’m (Not Quite) a Super Hero

  1. You absolutely have to blow your own horn. I have been too close to a case like this myself in recent times and I am in awe of the social workers and detectives and legal people in these fields! Thank DOG for people like you. Superheroes indeed!

  2. Indeed a superhero as far as I am concerned and a multi tasking wiz..not so much the physical but also emotional multi tasking…so get the cape off hit the showers and remember you help nobody unless you look after yourself !

  3. Superhero isn’t a big enough noun! You’re a 200X Superhero peppered with Superhuman strength of dedication and love! If we can have National Puppy Day (yesterday) we absolutely should have National Child Abuse Investigator Day! Thank you for everything you do and don’t do!

  4. I started my professional life as a social worker, but could never have done child protection work. You are a super hero & super human. The stress overload & lack of appreciation Is not fair to you, the families & most especially the children. Thank you for doing this essential work. Xoxoxo

  5. I have a friend whose daughter has lead a less than fabulous life. Three kids from 2 dads, no marriages or proper support. She has been in and out of court with the dads fighting over custody. They all want custody because of the support payments but not one actually wants the kids. The kids were taken away from her more than once for getting slapped around. I’m not involved but I want to hit my head on the wall when I hear the stories. You have far more patience than I have. Right now her 18 year old daughter is living with her uncle (in a good stable home) and her 15 year old is almost living on the streets. So sad.

  6. Of course you’re s superhero! You do things most of us wouldn’t even dare to do! You change lives! Make sure you stop for ice cream somewhere at least!

  7. Jen, I salute you! What a precious life you have: saving animals, saving children…. I love you, Jen, Rumpy, June, all animals and all underprivileged children & people in the world.

    Keep going, Jen…. I support you with prayer with positive energy from now & here.

  8. I beg to differ. You ARE a super hero. I would’ve LOVED to have a caring person like you respond to some of the reports I was forced to make when I was a teacher. DYFS would have a workshop with us every year assuring us that it’s not our job to PROVE abuse or neglect, just to call if we SUSPECT it. But when we did, they’d ask what proof we had. “A kid said he was hit with a belt??? Well if he doesn’t have marks, we can’t just go by his sayso…” That was the usual exchange followed by a lot of begging, threatening to go further, and then a reluctant visit if we were lucky. It was scary. Nobody wants to be that teacher or neighbor on the 6:00 news who saw signs and didn’t call, so although we were allowed to be anonymous, I always gave my name.

  9. You’re quite a superhero, Jen. You do what the other people can’t do, your work must need very strong mentality though….

  10. You have incredible patience and help people by keeping them and you calm and safe.
    Whenever I read about child abuse and deaths i get so aggravated. Thank you for your work.
    Best of all you have Rumpy, June Buggie and the others to make you feel loved.

  11. Well super heroes have powers, so I guess that just makes you a regular ol’ hero ;p Amazing, thank you for all you do for the children!

  12. You’re right, you do the work that so many of us can’t. I’ve always admired that in child abuse investigators and so many other unsung heroes who, many times, put themselves in harm’s way for the good of others. I call your post “raising awareness” rather than blowing your own horn. Thank you for your good work.

  13. That’s a lot of cases to look at in a short space of time, when it’s so important to get it right for the sake of the kids.

  14. Thank you for doing the work many people need and others probably couldn’t do. Having worked a short time in with the county DA’s office, I fully understand the difficulty and obstacles you’re faced with every single day. Bravo for your efforts-well done! ❤

  15. I know I don’t visit this blog enough but I love it when I do and after reading this post I am determined to come back more and more I am so happy you are doing the work you do I work with special needs children and sadly have had to report cases and I so appreciate the work nd know how hard it is

    retro rover

  16. I know you’re a super hero. My friend is a foster parent who has provided safe, temporary homes for the kinds of children and teens you’re out there trying to protect. I see how hard everyone works to do really difficult work. And it’s good to hear that at least sometimes you get thanks from the families you work with.

    Parenting is hard. And it’s good to know that smart, capable people like you are trying to help families be just a little more successful.

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