Term Paper ~ Shadow and Interview a Social Worker
Fundamentals of the Helping Process ~ SWK 2150
April 19, 2013
I choose to shadow and interview Jean Rizzolo, Lead Social Caseworker, at the Department of Human Services in the Division of Child Welfare Service. I have a huge interest in working with children and this seemed like a great fit for me. During the interview Mrs. Rizzolo informed me that she received her Bachelor Degree at Metro State University with a Major in Criminal Justice and a Minor is Psychology. She attended the University of Colorado Denver for her Masters in Counseling. She was drawn to social work because she always liked helping people and knew that it would be rewarding for her to pursue a career in social work. Mrs. Rizzolo volunteered her time for many years in group homes and with the developmentally disabled, along with time volunteering at the Denver Victim Center. She spent almost two years working at a drug and alcohol clinic for in-patient and out-patient’s processing paperwork and giving UA’s. After she received her Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice she took a job with the Denver District Divorce Courts but knew that she wanted to do more than just work an office job, which is why she continued her education towards a Master’s Degree in Counseling and was soon after hired on to work with Arapahoe County. She was with Arapahoe County for over five years before leaving to go work for Jefferson County where she has been for over 15 years now. In May of 2012 Jean Rizzolo received a pin in honor of her 20 years of service in Social Work in the State of Colorado. She received this pin from the City of Denver’s Mayor Hancock, who treated her to lunch along with her entire team. The Denver Human Services Department is a public agency for the City of Denver. They receive their funding through the city, state and federal government. This is a primary social work setting with an objective to preserve families and keep children safe while working within the community. Mrs. Rizzolo works specifically in the Family and Child Welfare Division where she has a team of eight caseworkers and social workers. Adoption and foster care services are done within this department and are served with the primary goal of keeping kids with a parent and if that is not possible then with a family member. Kids need permanency and keeping them with relatives or with someone they are close to and familiar with is most beneficial to the child. This agency does it’s best to recruit foster parents and adoptive parents within the child’s community to make the move as least dramatic as possible for the child. If it is determined that a child must go to an adoptive family then that family must go through extensive training and evaluation before being allowed to have a child placed in their home. All training and legal fees and are paid by the state, so there is no cost to adopt a child. The child is also provided with Medicaid health insurance until the age of 18. Home studies are part of the evaluations done to ensure that children are safe and are not at risk in their homes or in their adoptive homes. A home study is a very widespread report that is done with each person that will be living in the home with the child. It consists of an entire overview of each individual ranging from how their childhood was, how their relationships is/was with their parents, friends and current or past spouses, any abuse they have ever experienced and how they dealt with it, any history of violence and so much more. Then it assesses the home itself and if it is suitable for a child and to ensure it will be safe and have privacy for the child. Interviews and evaluations are also done on the child(ren) themselves; this allows the caseworker to get to know the child and their personality, how they are feeling and an assessment of what will be best for the child. The home study is done over several visits...
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