In our series, Behind the Desk, we’re catching up with some of the incredibly talented, dedicated, and caring individuals who help make everything our organization does possible. This month we’re featuring Amy Fogel, a supervisor within the Foster Care/Adoption program based out of our St. Paul office.
Amy has long known that she wanted to be a part of helping kids either reunify with their birth family or find permanency with an adoptive family—something she is able to do every day as part of her role with CH/LSS! Outside of work, Amy loves to be with people who make her smile and laugh, and she looks forward to one day being able to travel and explore new places again. Read more about Amy below!
What is your current role with CH/LSS and what are some of your primary responsibilities?
I am currently a supervisor within the Foster Care/Adoption program at CHLSS. I supervise adoption workers that work with families who are coming through our program to either adopt or provide foster care as well as Child Specific Recruiters who work directly with youth in foster care and help them find permanency.
What originally drew you to the field of foster care and adoption?
There is adoption within my extended family and growing up I was able to see the impact that adoption has on everyone in the adoption triad (adoptee, birth family, adoptive family). As I learned more, I knew that I wanted to be a part of helping kids either reunify with their birth family or find permanency with an adoptive family.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the kids and teenagers who have been through a lot of hurt in their lives, find a home where they can start to feel safe, comfortable and begin to trust people again. For some kids that might look like moving back in with their birth parents, or a relative while for others it might be finding an adoptive family.
What is something you wish people knew about foster care and adoption that they might not?
I think adoption is often looked at as strictly joy and happiness, and don’t get me wrong there is a lot of happiness that can come out of adoption, but there is also hurt and pain involved and it is important to recognize that.
What advice do you have to folks thinking about going into the field of social work?
One of the things I enjoy the most about the field of social work is that there are so many different areas of social work and so many different jobs a person could have with a social work degree. With so many different areas within social work, I would encourage someone to discover where their passions lie and pursue that. I think it would be difficult to be a social worker if someone doesn’t have a passion for the work.
I love the team that I work with! Some of my favorite things are how supportive everyone is of one another, how we always make each other laugh, and how insightful everyone is!
What are some qualities that make someone a great social worker?
I think many people get into social work because they have a passion for helping others and I believe it’s important to have that passion. I also think it’s important to know how to listen to the individuals you are working with and have compassion for people.
What are three of your favorite things about the team you work with?
Just picking three is hard! I love the team that I work with! Some of my favorite things are how supportive everyone is of one another, how we always make each other laugh, and how insightful everyone is!
What are some of your favorite hobbies or interests outside of work?
Outside of work, I love to travel, which has been hard this past year, but I look forward to being able to travel again! I also enjoy doing a little bit of photography on the side and getting outside and enjoying the weather when it is nice out!
Have you read any books in the past few months that you’d recommend?
I recently read Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad which is a book that I would recommend all white people read.
Do you have a favorite quote that gives you peace, or provides you with wisdom?
This is probably very “social worker” of me, but one of my favorite quotes is “We rise by lifting others.” To me, it’s a reminder to try and be someone who is loving, encouraging, understanding, and kind.
What’s something that always brings a smile to your face?
Spending time with people that I love, and people who can make me laugh, and the warm weather!