Today on the blog, we have a special guest contributor. Janet Norris, the Case Manager at our Pathways program, reflects on the challenges and rewards of her unique role at Calvary Women’s Services…
My work as case manager at Pathways requires that I wear many hats, very much like I do in my role as mom: I’m a nurturer, caregiver, disciplinarian, counselor/advisor, referee, advocate, planner, cheer leader, worrier (way too much sometimes), house keeper/cleaner…gee, I’m tired just listing them! And like that of a mom, there’s no other role that’s more rewarding and important. There are many challenges, but the rewards are much greater than the frustrations. That’s how I feel about my work with the women at Pathways.
Sometimes there are feelings of helplessness that I experience when residents have had a challenging week marked with emotional and mental issues that they can’t shake, and I can’t make better. Or the disappointment, and even anger, that I feel sometimes when residents continuously miss case meetings or arrive late to the program.
But then after the smoke has lifted from that challenging week, I see the women grab onto the tools they’ve learned and worked on in therapy or in their support groups or through our talks in case meetings, using tools like meditating, engaging in inspirational groups, praying (if they believe), resting, talking with their sponsors, and taking their meds daily, to name a few. I see how much better they are looking and feeling – showing up on time for case meetings, following case plan goals, making appointments on their own, and most importantly feeling more hopeful about their lives and future. It’s all worth it!
Gradually you see an unfolding and growth in them. And you hope that in difficult times when they are struggling within themselves, or resisting your help and guidance, or being non-compliant with the rules, that some small part of your continuing support and guidance and commitment and love will help to get them through it. As a case manager, I wouldn’t trade anything right now for the work I do with and for the women I help everyday at Pathways. Could I find another job that pays more money? Perhaps! But there wouldn’t be enough money to replace the satisfaction I have in the work I do.
*If this sounds good to you, take a closer look at the job listing for the Case Manager position we are currently hiring for at Calvary Women’s Shelter!