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The Truth of a Pebble

Or The supervisor went to Lorey's office. She told Lorey that she knew how hard it was to understand when clients fall backward despite our collaboration and hard work. The supervisor invited Lorey to talk about her feelings of disappointment and failure...and then listened. She normalized the feelings and recounted that she had experienced similar incidents as a worker. The supervisor validated the engagement, partnering and mentoring that she had observed from Lorey in Beth's case. She also told Lorey, that the seeds she planted with Beth remained with her and encouraged her not to give up on the child. Finally, the supervisor remarked to Lorey that she had other teens in her caseload that were responding very well to her interventions and sometimes it helped to remind herself of the good she was doing. It is important to remember that both supervisors had the pebble of truth. They just chose different ways to use it. In the first scenario, the supervisor did make an impact on Lorey. She returned to her office, resentful at being chastised, realizing that her supervisor had no idea how hard she worked or the committment she had to her clients. She knew she would keep going because this job was her calling. But, she was determined not to get so invested in her foster kids. In scenario 2...when the supervisor left her office, Lorey sat for a while thinking about her supervisors words. She still felt sad about Beth's decision, but realized it was not due to her intervention. Validated by the encouragement of her supervisor, Lorey felt satisfaction in the fact that her work was getting positive attention. While not the driving force of her dedication to clients...still nice to hear. Lorey resolved not to let Beth's decision effect her focus with her other foster children. And though she was afraid of what could happen to Beth on the street, she refused to give up hope. She created and sent out a Protective Service Alert to the state ( a " be on the look out report") and picked up another foster child,( Anna's) file to schedule a visit. Now which supervisor are you? You are standing on the banks of a mighty lake with a shiny pebble in your hand. The pebble is the "truth" of the situation and is often multi-faceted and complex. What do you do with this pebble of truth? The power is yours. The decision is yours. Do you skip it, making tiny brief impacts in the workers who look to you for guidance, support and leadership? Or do you chunk it purposefully, creating ripples of encouragement that will gain momentum and spread throughout your unit?. The choice can be empowering. The outcome can be amazing.

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