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March is National Social Work Month: Jennifer Geno

Mar Thu, 2023, See more: Staff Spotlight

Jennifer is from Paducah, Kentucky and graduated from Murray State University. She planned to study Engineering because she has always enjoyed learning how things work and would often take things apart just to put them back together. Jennifer remembers sitting at her grandma’s kitchen table reading a newspaper article about a local child abuse case. “I can’t explain it in any other way, except that something woke up in me that day. I knew nothing about social work or child welfare, but I went the next day to change my major and I have never regretted that decision. I am a social worker to my bones and I love and believe  in what we do. I still enjoy knowing how things work by taking them apart and putting them back together, but now I use my natural curiosity to get a better understanding of the how and why a is family functioning in the hopes of putting them back together whole and healed.” 

Jennifer has spent her entire career as a social worker in child welfare and had the opportunity to work in case management, adoptions and now in training. She is grateful for each position leading into the next because it has given her a “big picture” view point of how each one of her roles impacts the other and how we impact those we serve.

“My advice to a new social worker is to hold on to the good stuff: awards/recognition, emails from ANYONE saying  “thank you” or “you did a great job on…”. Find a way to remind yourself of the good you have done. Put a star up in  your office each time you reunify a family, close an in home case successfully, finalize an adoption, or complete a licensing or adoption home study. My point is, being a social worker in child welfare is hard. You are going to have very difficult days. I want you to hold on to the good stuff for those moments. Look at everything you have done. That is why you are here.”

In her spare time, you can usually Jennifer on the sidelines of a soccer field, driving her kids all over the panhandle, working on some project at her house or walking her two huge doodles. Jennifer loves to travel and experience new places.  

We see all the good you do and we appreciate your hard work! Thank you for being part of our NWF team!