Hannah’s Story

March is Social Work Awareness Month, so we would like to highlight our social worker, Hannah Robinson. Hannah started in September of 2018 as our Community Outreach Coordinator.

1. Why did you want to become a social worker?

As a stay-at-home mother of three for 20 years, building my social works skills began the day my first was born. A mother’s duty is to guide, protect, counsel, advocate and teach in hopes you are equipping your children to make their own decisions and be successful adults. Although, I cannot “mother” clients, these attributes used as a mother are also valuable as a social worker: empathy, compassion, knowledge, service, patience and understanding. Helping others, genuinely, brings me a sense of purpose, accomplishment and fulfillment. Going back to college as an unconventional student to complete my degree in Social Work was not easy, but being able to make a difference at RIFA has made all of the hard work worthwhile.

2. What is the best/most rewarding part of your job as a social worker?

Restoring hope, making others feel valued and important and knowing I am making a difference in others’ lives is the most rewarding part of my position as the Community Outreach Coordinator at RIFA.

3. What is your favorite story from your time at RIFA? 

There have been several amazing success stories in the time I have served at RIFA. Individuals making decisions to leave abusive relationships, surrender to rehabilitation for substance abuse and recognize their mental health as a priority are incredible to witness, but I find it just as gratifying to see the small successes. Assisting those looking for employment, providing outreach food for those in need, seeing individuals RIFA has helped come back and volunteer and building relationships with all who seek assistance from us.

4. What has it been like using your social work skills at RIFA? 

Challenging is one word I would use to describe what it is like to use my social work skills at RIFA. Understanding social workers cannot “fix” anything is difficult for me to accept in some situations. Example: Young homeless person comes to RIFA. “Perfect” outcome-Prepare and equip them for a job with clothes, resume and bus pass for work, set up affordable housing and provide them with furniture and household items. Clients have the right to self-determination, making their own decisions. The “best” outcome in this situation may be food and a blanket. Doing what I can and what the client wants is a balance I search for daily. So far during my time at RIFA, the rewards continue to outweigh the challenges!

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