In case anyone was wondering, the fastest way to feel as though you and your same sex roommate are in a domestic partnership is to fill out a questionnaire about your lifestyle. As I was doing so last night, (for a number of various reasons), I realized the following: that Alison and I do indulge in an active weekend lifestyle, enjoy documentary television during the week (getting the lez vibe yet?) and have finally established a life here. Sure, it took a little over a year, but we have some roots down, and I can finally say here, are both gainfully employed.
Now that things have become official, I am happy to announce that I have found my first social work position and I am very excited to start! I have accepted an offer from the Children’s Aid Society, working in their early childhood/Head Start program. I will be enrolling families, performing intakes and home visits, offering individual counseling to families and parents as necessary, as well as supervising the small team of family workers at our agency. Head Start in NY state is moving towards a family immersed program, where the center is no longer on the child alone, but the entire family including parents and siblings. Parents are required to volunteer at our site, as well as attend workshops (which myself and the family workers put on), and engage readily with their children in order to receive the child care services. I am excited to be a part of these state-wide changes, and am one of the first Master’s social workers to be hired in the new supervisory role Children’s Aid has created (those of us hired are so new, that I am not even sure of what my formal title is!)
The commute to work will be somewhat lengthy, (although free, easy, and primo reading time) but there were too many positives for me to pay much attention to travel time. I have the honor of being included in the ground breaking changes happening with a national agency, and something that my mom was involved with too. In my initial interview, I was asked if I was familiar with Head Start, and I had to say yes. My mom spent many years advocating and researching for Head Start and child care programs around the country, and towards the end of her life, the Midwest. My first experience with low income families was sitting in the back seat of my mom’s Malibu (where I could spread out and sleep) and driving into the south side Chicago projects where children hung from fencing on the twentieth stories of their buildings. I’d never seen a world like that, and my mom ventured in bravely (and somewhat directionally challenged) to provide better child care for working mothers in these areas. To entice families to participate in her studies, my mom offered food and free child care (usually myself and a grad student.) I can still remember chasing a little boy with a caramel colored afro through a public library and into the elevator while he screamed. It’s a happy coincidence that I will be able to continue the legacy that my mom and her colleagues helped to create.
Hopefully I won’t have to run into any elevators with an afro.