National Social Worker Month is celebrated each year during the month of March. Those with Mesa County Department of Human Services are taking the time to honor some of our own social workers right here in our community.

“The first thing that comes to mind is super hero,” said Kari Daggett, Director of Child Welfare at Mesa County Department of Human Services.

This is how Daggett described the role of a social worker.

“We ask these folks to go out into some of the most scariest and saddest situations to help families,” said Daggett.

Daggett has been working in the field of social work for almost 19 years.

“This has been my calling. This is something I’ve always wanted to do and work with families,” she said.

Her division holds around 350 cases per month. With such a high demand, it’s no wonder why social work is one of the largest growing professions in the United States.

“There’s social workers in so many different venues. From hospitals, to schools, correctional facilities, the military and non-profit organizations,” Daggett said.

sot: a lot of days we spend a lot of days in court. a lot of court reports, prepping for that kind of thing, spending time with kids and families.

Amanda Pennington, Senior Case Manager with MCDPH explained that no matter what you think your day will look like, that could change in almost an instant.

“Some things are very last minute for emergency type of situations so you really just don’t know what you’re walking into,” Pennington said.

While social workers go into these situations hoping for the best, they said it’s important to always prepare for the worst.

“You get really invested in families. When it’s not going well, I think you really take that on yourself,” said Pennington.

“Social workers can see so many horrible things that happen to children and families. It’s important to know how to take care of yourself and to rely on your support system,” said Daggett.

Despite the hard times, they said there’s one thing that makes it all worth it.

“It’s so much bigger than yourself. You’re a part of something that’s so much bigger than you,” said Daggett.