Name: Chrissy Wong
Job Title: Assistant Director, Family Services
Years Working at Mother’s Choice: 5
(1) Why did you first decide to go into social work/counselling?
Rather than making this specific decision, I was naturally led to doing social work when I was looking for a vocation that reflected my personal experience and history. My mother was very involved in serving the community’s needs, and she always involved me. Whether it was navigating the map as she drove to support someone struggling with her children, or sitting with boredom while she attended to an elderly person at a hospital, my mother was shaping my values this whole time.
As I began to consider careers, I knew I was interested in working with people, the complexities of human beings, and doing my part for society. Pragmatically, I saw that a degree in social work combined the academic topics I was interested in (psychology, sociology, law), included placements (so I’d at least gain experience, even if it only helped me discover what I did not want to do), and would be a professional qualification within the field of social work. After that, I got a job as a child protection social worker.
My work experience helped me to see that my heart lies in work with children and families to hopefully change the trajectory of a child’s life at an early stage. It’s a job that rips your heart and soul to shreds, but it is also a job that shows you the strength and beauty of what humans can do and become in the face of adversity. It’s a privilege to be able to support and bear witness to the journeys of the clients we serve.
(2) Why did I decide to work for Mother’s Choice?
I believed there was good work being done here, and was interested in working as an adoption caseworker. Having worked to have children and their families of origin remain together, I saw that so much had to have happened before a child would need an adoptive family. So we, as adults, professionals, adoptive parents, and people who are part of the community, must do right by the children who are unable to remain with their biological family. I hoped my previous experience could contribute to connecting families through Mother’s Choice.
(3) What are the things I love best about working at Mother’s Choice?
Mother’s Choice is open to learning and exploring as an organization, all the while with each other’s support among the staff. Individually, I’ve been able to access a range of training and development opportunities. Moreover, as a team, we apply our learnings and continue to make changes in order for us to always be improving our services for our clients.
My colleagues from all of our teams are deeply dedicated and committed to the welfare of the children, and that humbles me. It’s not easy, but we keep moving forward together.
(4) Why would you recommend another social worker to work here?
With such interconnected services, we value time for our social workers to learn from our different services as part of their orientation, seeing the whole potential journey of a child from a crisis pregnancy, to residential care, to adoption. Our culture of learning and development gives social workers opportunities to work more closely with different services, join programs from different services, and also access internal and external training. The breadth of needs and issues is a great learning curve. Our values in striving for excellence mean that it’s a place to keep practicing and refining your social work skills, especially in case management, and assessments. Your managers will support you, but also push you to keep improving, for your own development, and for our clients.
So many colleagues have told me that they really appreciate the teams with whom they work. That’s because of great individuals, and also the working culture that is built within our frontline teams. Our teams support each other, and work hard together for our shared vision.