The Words I Wish I Could Say

The worst part of my job, and perhaps one of the most important parts, is removing children from the care of their parents. 

It is the part of the job that I hate. Seeing the anguish on the face of parents, who love their kids despite the danger the children are in. The confusion on the face of the children who don’t understand what is happening to them or why. The anger that always inevitably comes out. The blame that always finds a way in my direction. 

For the last month this has been my life. And through it all there are words I wish I could say, things I wish parents knew. 

Here it is:

Contrary to what you may believe, I don’t want to take your children from you. I wanted to avoid this just as much as you wanted me too. But sometimes that choice is out of my hands. 

It is the worst part of my job. And in moments like this, I wish beyond all things that my job wasn’t required. But it is. Because better or worse, there will always be children at risk. And I will always be needed. 

I can promise you I anguished over the decision. I went back and forth. I looked for safety factors where there were none. I looked for other options knowing there were none. I advocated for you even though everyone else was against me. Sometimes I went against my better judgement to give you a chance. But sometimes it’s not enough. 

I don’t take pleasure from this moment. I don’t relish in it.  It doesn’t make me feel bigger or stronger. It is not an excercise of my power. It is a necessary part of my job though. 

I know this moment is traumatic for you. It is for me too, in a different way. In this moment my trauma doesn’t matter. You will never forget this moment, and neither will I. This is a moment that has irrevocably change you. I know that. It will stay with me too. 

I know you love your children. I know you want to keep them safe and healthy and you want to keep loving them. I know that this feels like your heart is being ripped out of you. 

I don’t want to take your children from you. I don’t want to keep them from you. But here we are and there is no going back. 

I’m sorry. Not sorry that I’ve done it, because I believe it is the best for your children. But sorry that it got to this point. Sorry that we had no other choices. Sorry that your children had to leave you for now. Sorry for the hurt that you are feeling now. 

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