I was asked to review a social work book written by Jill A. Sanders, MSW, For the Love of Carrie. I have been fortunate to be asked to review books for a few different social workers and it is a role I personally enjoy fulfilling. I love to read and I have read books that I would not have come across otherwise. This is a book definitely worth reading, particularly if one is a social work student or professional thinking of entering the field of child welfare.
What struck me most about this book was its rawness, the intertwining stories between the character of Carrie, her personal life and her professional life from chapter to chapter. This is a character with heart, that chose the social work profession as her ‘calling.’ When she first started out, she was shocked and dismayed by the level of poverty, “She realized she genuinely didn’t understand the reality of surviving poverty. They didn’t teach us this in school.” This is a comment that many social workers would still make today.
A few quotes that stood out for me: “I wake each morning knowing I will never be able to predict what gifts each day will bring me. It makes life more interesting. The experience (near drowning) did strengthen my belief, my hope and I don’t think you can be an effective social worker without hope.” And “…never a dull moment. Each day brings new surprises and situations. If you tried to make them up you couldn’t. Real life is far more creative than what we can imagine.” Also, ” Treat people with dignity and care and give them human respect and they will respond in kind.” The last two which were good reminders: “Did you do everything you could?” and “Could you have done better?” Both are good reminders and questions that a social worker should ask themselves each time they work with a client.
The book was hard to read at times, the description of abuse that the children lived with. As a parent you wonder how can someone treat their own child that way and as a social worker your first instinct is to rescue the child(ren).
Kudos to Jill A. Sanders for writing this book.
By Victoria Brewster, MSW