Tag Archives: job

Four Weeks Down, Five to Go

The State of Michigan requires that any child welfare workers complete nine weeks of training through the Child Welfare Training Institute (CWTI) before they can begin managing cases on their own. I was enrolled in the CWTI on May 16 to begin this process. The first week was completing homework while working at my home office. I did online assignments and shadowed different workers. It allowed me to learn quite a bit more about the ins and outs of foster care.

The next two weeks consisted of classroom training with about 300 new hires. This included people with the state who were in CPS, foster care, and adoption. Also, there were private agencies there that were going to be doing foster care and adoption. There were some things that were helpful to learn, but some other stuff was just review to me. If you’re interested, you can check out our swearing-in ceremony here.

This past week was back in the office to do more homework. What was really nice about it was that I found out about a few cases I’ll be getting when I’m done in mid-July. This meant that I got to meet at least one of the families and talk to them. I also read up on some case files. It was very informative and it’s good to know about what I’ll be doing specifically.

The next three weeks I’ll be in Lansing for classroom learning on the specifics of doing foster care (namely the paperwork). Then another week in the office, and my final week will be a mock trial and a big test. As you can tell, my updates have been sparse, and probably will continue to be. Hopefully it’ll be a bit more regularly in July once training and class and interning are wrapping up.

Apartment Hunting

Okay, I know I haven’t written at all this week, but this is still going to be a quick update because I’m getting old (meaning it’s almost 11:00 pm and I’m exhausted).

Yesterday, I visited six apartments in an attempt to find one that I would occupy in September. It may seem ridiculous to try to make this decision in April, but I live in a college town (as in there are four colleges here), so September would be a major time to move. This means I’m trying to get an application done and on a reservation list ASAP. After visiting these apartments (which had been narrowed down after careful review on the internet), I realized that I have no idea what it means to apartment hunt.

Is it better to get the cheapest apartment that doesn’t seem that nice? Should I get the smaller, pricier apartment that I think is cuter? How important is it to have certain utilities included? How much of my income should be dedicated to rent?

In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve never rented an apartment. At eighteen, I went to undergrad, where I lived in dorms for four years. For one semester, I was in University apartments, but it isn’t really the same, since it was the same, basic housing price. When I graduated, I moved back home to save money while I got my MSW. Now that I know I have a full-time job soon, apartment hunting seems to be the logical step, and I will be living alone.

Does anyone have any good tips on apartment hunting? Just trying to pick the best place. I’d hate to regret this decision…

I’m Bi-Winning

A lot has happened in the last week (and two days, but the specific amount of time is not really the point). The last time I wrote to you, I was 22, and now I am 23, but frankly, that’s the lowest level of change. On my 23rd birthday, I was offered a full time position with the Department of Human Services as a foster care caseworker.

Those of you who keep up with my blog should know about the giant DHS recruitment that I went to a few weeks ago. At that recruitment, I was told it would be 4-6 weeks before I heard anything, which made me assume it wouldn’t be until the end of the semester. However, on March 16 I got a phone call offering me the position, which resulted in me jumping up and down, incredibly excited to know there was a job waiting for me in August.

However, as I called the county office to discuss getting a drug test, I found out that they would need me to start no later than the beginning of May. They were basically saying I could finish up this semester, but I’d need to figure something out about school for the Spring/Summer semester. Suddenly everything was different and I felt I needed to choose between the 12 credits left to get my MSW and a full-time, full benefits job. And I was panicked…

Now, for those of you who don’t know me, you may not know how much of a planner I am. I plan out my life and my days far in advance…I like knowing where I’m going and when. Throwing a kink in that chain is incredibly anxiety provoking for me, and none of this was in my plan. The goal was to get my MSW in August and have a job waiting for me, not to get a job and have to choose between that and my Masters, but alas, this was where I was. After a lot of thought, planning, and research, I chose to take the job and finish my MSW requirements by December instead of August.

So, the past week has been a lot of phone calls, emails, and paperwork, and it’s still not done. However, I think I’ve figured out what my classes will look like and my finishing my internship will look like. Basically, all that’s left is registration and financial aid, and the latter of those is basically out of my control (though I do have one last form to fill out and one more phone call to make). Slowly, carefully, things are falling into place, and the next six months are going to be crazy, but things will get done and I will be okay. I’m hoping to even move out of my parents’ house in early September and get my own apartment.

So, enjoy this crazy journey with me. Also, I received Rob Bell’s book on Monday and have begun to read it. Keep a look out for a full review sometime in the next few weeks.

*Note about the title: In case you don’t know, this is a Charlie Sheen reference. It is not supposed to mock anyone who is bi-sexual or bi-polar…just to mock Charlie Sheen…

The American Idol for Social Workers

It has definitely been a while since I wrote last, and for that I apologize. This week is my spring break and I have been constantly running around (first finishing up last-minute homework, then visiting my sister, then going to my job interview). Finally, I can write, and I can tell all of you about the recruitment I attended the past few days.

Tuesday was the first day of the recruitment for child welfare workers. We all gathered together in a room for an hour and a half presentation by a panel. Questions were asked about job specifics (and some even asked what child welfare really was, which was just sad) and they explained to us how the process was going to go. We then signed up for our first round of interviews based on whether you wanted to go in the morning or in the afternoon. I signed up for a 10 am slot and handed them my resume and transcripts. Then I gave another copy of my resume to a private agency that was there to get a few applicants (after all, it never hurts to apply).

Wednesday I arrived a bit early and was handed a writing exercise and a map of Michigan counties. We were to pick our top three counties to work in and complete the exercise and then we handed them in. After they were completed and turned in, I waited for my name to get called. Frankly, it felt like I waited far too long. Finally, I was called back and was asked two questions and sent back to the waiting room. She had to score my answers and review my writing exercise to see if I had a high enough score to come back the next day. It turns out I did and I signed up for a second interview at 10:30 today.

Today meant a lot of waiting in the waiting room. When I arrived, I was handed a sheet to fill out for a background check and then I waited for my name to be called. Eventually it was and I met with two people. I was asked eight questions and then asked them my own questions about specifics of the job. Now, I wait. Apparently, what happens first is they score my entire packet. If my score is high enough, they will notify me that I am in the applicant pool for my first three counties. Myself and any other applicants in the pool will be ranked and sent to those counties in order of ranking. We will then be notified as to whether or not we got a job. This could take four to six weeks…

In the meantime, I plan to join sites like Monster and Linked In to try to do some networking and apply to other jobs. I also receive fairly regular emails from the school of social work listing different job availabilities. Does anyone have any recommendations for job websites? Whether they’re broad or specifically for social work, I don’t mind…