Since March is National Professional Social Work Month, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight one of our social workers, Geoffrey Barron. Seabury’s Chief Executive Officer, Deborah Royster, sat down with the Lead Social Worker at our Ward 6 Lead Agency to discuss his work.
Deborah Royster: March is National Social Work Month and we are very happy to observe it. Can you tell me how you got into social work and what drew you to this field?
Geoffrey Barron: I’ve always cared deeply about people. And suffered when I saw people suffering. And community means a great deal to me. I believe we are at our happiest when we feel part of a group. Even happier when our group is working on projects to make life better for everyone.
I was excited to discover what social work is about caring for others and caring for the group. For me, personally, it is a way I can earn a living while doing what seems most important to me: helping others. And building a better community.
DR: What is your favorite part about being a social worker?
GB: Well, one thing I like is collaborating with my fellow social workers. People’s lives and challenges are often so complex. Each new person or family we work with is a new and different adventure. Even if we’ve been doing this work for quite a while, there are always new wrinkles, new things to figure out. I like putting my head together with my co-workers, and sometimes with others around the city, to brainstorm the best approach to address someone’s problem. We get to draw on each other’s knowledge and experience. It’s being in a community! Using the community’s strengths to help people.
It’s also very satisfying to really help someone. Perhaps to get a phone call out of the blue, maybe a caregiver trying to help an aging relative… and knowing and being able to share with them a variety of resources in the community… they hang up with a sense of hope, of where to get the help they need. They are so grateful. And I know I really helped someone.
Or sometimes we work with people over months or even years to overcome obstacles, maybe to get them a home health aide. And when the aide starts coming and their life is going so much better, what a great feeling. I helped make that happen!
DR: Thank you so much for all of your contributions to our community as a social worker. Social workers play such an important part in all of our lives, in meeting us where we are and helping us to figure out how we navigate all of the challenges that come with every phase of our lives, including as we get older. We’re so happy that you are part of the Seabury team, and thank you very much for sharing with us today.
The full video of the exchange can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPtSUKsELpo.