Todo el mundo tienen familia

“Everyone in the world has family.” Today I met with Lily, Sairy’s old neighbor that is a social worker in the country. She introduced me to another woman who took me the Conani headquarters. I visited an orphanage a few years ago just blocks from the church by the same organization. I didn’t know it until today but Conani is much like our DCF. It is an government agency that works with children and their families to aid them in assistance. At the Conani regional headquarters I met with yet another social worker who is the only social worker for the entire region. It would be like saying that there is only one social worker in DCF for the entire Central Florida area. And we thought our client to worker ratio was high!!!
At Conani they described the various services available to children and families. I then got to sit in on a meeting with a gentleman about problems with his family and his children. After the session I was able to sit and talk with the social worker and different laws of the country, governmental services, and Conani’s place in it all.
One thing that I discuss with Lily and well as the social worker at Conani was orphans. There are very few orphanages in the country and there are no “homeless shelters.” When I asked about various services they both told me the same thing. Todo el mundo tienen familia. Everyone in the world has family. It is such an amazing concept to not need shelters because in a sense, the community is responsible. They explained that everyone has a relative, somewhere, no matter how distant, that should take them in. This is Sairy’s response to Luis and Lily’s response to a 15 year old girl she has living with her. If everyone takes in one child…. who needs an orphanage??
The social worker at Conani said something a little different. “Todo el mundo tienen familia y un plato de comida.” Everyone in the world has family and a plate of food. It seems so simple. It is a US social workers dream!!! The job of Conani is to help the child remain with their parents or extended family. In our session today we more or less created a genogram….on steroids. She started with the grandparents (including address and phone number). Then listed the 6 paternal aunts (including address and phone number) and their families. It was so neat to see my genogram practices be used.
I am excited to go back and learn about their services and work more closely with the woman. I felt honored by their immediate acceptance and be referred to a colleague.

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