Top Nine Moments as a Social Worker

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Jaime Wainscott worked in child protective services and medical social work before joining the UK College of Social Work’s advising team. Below she shares highlights from her time in direct practice.

  1. Seeing the light return to an elderly woman’s eyes when she realized I was truly listening to her and wanted to know what SHE wanted.
  2. Receiving a hug and a whispered “thank you” from a small five-year-old girl when she learned she wouldn’t have to return to her abusive mother’s home, followed by the relief on her younger brothers face when she told him of the news and hugged him protectively.
  3. Reuniting with a teenage girl three years after I had removed her from her home where she was repeatedly sexually abused. She had found a permanent loving home with her aunt and she looked and acted like a completely different person.  She had so much hope for the future where she previously had none.
  4. Helping a dying man get permission for his dog to visit the hospital to say goodbye.  The dog brought happiness and comfort to the man’s last day of life.
  5. Giving a quadriplegic man information about a program to help him get a no interest extended term loan so that he could purchase a wheelchair accessible van.  He was able to purchase a van through the program 6 months later and it gave him freedom and a new lease on life. Before the van he had been stuck at home as it was too difficult to manage transfers into his family’s vehicle.
  6. Playing basketball with a mentally ill teenage girl and observing the sense of accomplishment she felt when she made the basket.  She had so many struggles in her life.  The small success of making the basketball goal was a big deal.
  7. Helping an overwhelmed caregiver find respite care for her elderly mother. After years of providing 24-hour care for her mother, the caregiver was finally able to take her dream vacation to Florida.
  8. Giving the news to a woman in the hospital that she had been selected by the local Utility Company as the recipient of a new heating system. The woman had been without heat for over a year and had no money to replace the unit.  We both cried.
  9. Receiving a call from the ER nurse that a young homeless woman was discharging from the emergency room that night and had no shoes.  The hospital did not typically have donated shoes to provide. When I asked what size the patient needed and heard size 8 ½ I knew it was fate that I had brought a pair of my old runners in that day. I later saw her walking downtown with the shoes.
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Jaime Wainscott worked in child protective services and medical social work before joining the UK College of Social Work’s advising team.