Social Work Month recognizes essential workers keeping families together

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Adam and Amy Larck have fostered more than a dozen children in the past five years.

Right now they have four children, ages 5, 9, 10, and 12. Three of their kids receive services from the Children’s Home Association of Illinois, a 150+ year organization offering more than 50 programs for at-risk youth and families at six locations in the Peoria area.

“They have done a fantastic job with looking out for our kids’ best interests, and as a foster parent that’s really what you want,” said Mrs. Larck.

March is Social Work Month and is one of the fastest-growing professions in the U.S. There are approximately 700,000 social workers across the country, and projected to add more than 100,000 jobs in the next eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Every behavioral practice right now is bursting at the seams, with referrals and waitlists,” said Stephanie Seidl, associate director of behavioral services at Children’s Home Association of Illinois.

She said Children’s Home gets referrals from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, schools, doctors, and self-referrals.

Seidl said burnout is a huge issue for social workers, and it is important to practice self-care.

“In my office, I try to create a safe place for our staff, so they can come in here, and relax, and rejuvenate so that they can go back out to serve the families that they need to,” said Seidl.

Social workers that stand out “are the ones that make a connection with your child, that can really help make a difference in a life,” said Mrs. Larck. “Adam and I wouldn’t be able to have our family without them.”

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