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News – A day in the life of a social worker

December 2008 | by Alison Heyworth

A day in the life of a social worker

 

Jenny is a social worker for Christian Compassion Ministry (CCM), an arm of the Cubao Baptist Church in Metro Manila, Philippines. She is responsible for about 70 children from the Educational Assistance Program, which provides uniforms, shoes, books and an allowance to enable children from the slums to go to school.

 

During a typical day Jenny will visit one of the families for whom CCM is providing support. She crosses wooden bridges over dirty rivers, squeezing down dark wet alleyways and climbing wobbly ladders into elevated rooms made of corrugated iron and wood.

     She needs to talk with the family, follow up any absences from school, check if anyone in the family is ill, and pray with them about their difficulties. Jenny will also give them the monthly allowance for school fees, provided the child can produce its monthly attendance sheet and report card.

     This allowance also covers transportation to the school, which is often by tricycle. If further money is required for notebooks and textbooks it can be provided from the reimbursement fund.

 

Sponsors

 

Returning to the CCM office, Jenny might write a report for an existing sponsor, detailing the progress of a child, or an initial report for a new sponsor, introducing a child and its family circumstances.

     After school, children often drop in to the office, where Jenny may help them write letters to their sponsors – translating them into English and sending both copies to the sponsor. If a letter has been received from a sponsor, Jenny will help the child translate and understand it.

     As Christmas approaches, whole groups of children will come into the office and make cards for their sponsors. This is a busy time of year for the staff, as there are many Christmas activities to arrange for the children and staff.

     The beginning of the school year is also busy as the social workers distribute uniforms, shoes, books and stationery to each child for the year.

     The end of 2007 saw the loss of some staff creating an increased workload for the remaining personnel. We thank the Lord, however, that he has added another social worker, Cezanne Panay, to the staff.

     Pray that the social workers will be given enthusiasm, patience and strength for the work they are doing so faithfully – for the children and for God.

Alison Heyworth

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