I thought I had the best job in the world. As the Safe Babies Coordinator, my life is constantly on the go, surrounded with like-minded, service-oriented people who are passionate about uplifting and empowering those in time of need. I work with therapists, CPS caseworkers, foster parents, attorneys and judges, child placing agencies, CASA’s, Early Childhood Intervention, front line staff and specialists from all over the country. To be concise, there is never a shortage of interesting conversation with my colleagues.
But I was wrong. I didn’t have the best job in the world.
When I entered the very first visit between a birth parent and their infant, I was poised, energetic, and ready to hit my talking points. I was slightly nervous, very excited, and wanted to make sure I showed my support of them in their role as parent. I breezed through the introduction to the program and gave them all the requisite documents to review before making a decision to get on board. That’s when I realized they hadn’t looked at me once, not even a fleeting glance. It was immediately apparent why.
Their eyes were locked on their baby.
The genuine depth of emotion on this parent’s face as they held this tiny child, the softness in their voice and the way they smiled and delighted in this baby was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. It was not until that moment that I realized my role is to support these moments between parents and children — moments that can become lasting attachment bonds and shape the family’s life from this point forward for the better. Safe Babies is not just a better way of navigating child welfare, it is a shift in culture that supports families during this time pain and loss. It is about providing the opportunity to build the foundation necessary to support a lifetime of those beautiful moments.
I didn’t have the best job in the world, but I certainly do now.