This week marks Social Work Week for Saskatchewan, a time when we celebrate people who work within the human service field. This year’s theme is “the power to empower.”
Every day, the dedicated staff members of the YWCA Crisis Shelter & Residence are present and supportive towards the women and children who access the shelter. The main goal during a residents stay is empowering them to accomplish their goals. These goals include securing and maintaining sustainable housing, as a basic need. We also focus on providing tools for holistic health to acknowledge the need for emotional, mental and physical well-being.
It is incredible the strength and resiliency that the women we work with have. Sometimes strength and drive take a bit of nurturing to develop but is part of us. Staff members work with the women to help them see what they already have!
Social Work Week reminds those in the profession to take a step back and reflect on the incredible work they do and the incredible women and children we are lucky to meet. A few of our valuable staff members took a moment to reflect on how their position allows them to empower women:
Our Family Outreach Worker (FOW) works closely with women who have children staying at the shelter, with a focus on assistance in securing housing, navigating neighborhoods and rentals to find the best fit for sustainable housing. Our FOW believes our staff’s strength lies in “a team approach  to support the goal of clients to live a healthy successful life.” From the shelter floor to the Turning Points program to the youth program; the goals of residents are unique to each individual. Being a strong team of staff members creates a strong support system to empower the women.
One Crisis Counsellor shares, “we empower women by connecting them with agencies in the community that can provide support in a variety of areas, such as counselling, addictions, mental health, financial, education, employment” to name a few. Through referrals, women are given the resources and choice of how to proceed. The connection the YWCA has with community agencies is valuable in creating a ‘web’ of supports.
Crisis Counsellor, Krysta, reflected on her position, noting “no other profession allows you to be privy to someone’s successes and their struggles. We get to share in these moments with the women we work with and empower them with tools that they can carry forward in their everyday lives.”
Kirsten B, a Crisis Counsellor, shared that at the YWCA we are “empowering women by meeting them where they are at on their journey; through encouraging them to reach their full potential.” This supportive and non-judgmental approach helps build healthy working relationships with the residents. Healthy working relationships are created daily at the YWCA, and this is rewarding as a worker and great to see our fantastic residents as they evolve throughout their stay.
At the end of the day, our ability to empower the women we work with is one of the many rewards of working within a social work profession! Hats off to the amazing work!