As a social worker, each day I have the honor, the privilege and the unique position to be a bright light in a dark place for grieving people. Social workers have an incredible opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the people they serve. The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. The core values reflect what is truly unique to the social work profession.
People who need social workers are hurting. It may be physically, mentally, emotionally, financially or socially. I am honored that I have the ability each day to do remarkable things for people suffering. No matter what they need when they encounter me, it is my privilege to walk alongside and let them teach me how I can best support them. It is my ethical duty to empower people, and give them the resources and tools they need, leading them toward a path to heal from whatever it is that is causing them to suffer.
Social work within donation is a niche focus. Donor families make up a unique subset of the grieving population. Donor families are solaced in some ways knowing their loved one lives on in the recipients who received their lifesaving gifts. Donation social workers and transplant social workers often work together to protect confidentiality, educate, support, empower and, when appropriate, connect donor families and transplant recipients. Words cannot describe how it feels to be a small part of such a life-changing experience for these grieving families and transplant recipients.
If you or a loved one need ongoing support, I am happy to connect you with personalized grief support resources. Please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or you may also call toll-free 888.275.4676.
Courtney is the Manager of Aftercare Support at Indiana Donor Network. She earned her Master’s degree from Indiana University in Medical Social Work and has supported donor families and transplant recipients for 14 years.
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