A few weekends ago, I spoke to a clinical social worker. I asked a few basic questions about what Julia’s day might be like. I don’t remember the exact questions (I wasn’t being particularly diligent in my research since I only brought it up to take my mind off of whatever else was going on at the time), but I do remember being told that many people, especially young people, who work as social workers in places like DCFS have problems themselves. These problems often stem from traumatic childhoods or bad situations early in life. So what, I was asked, was Julia’s problem?
Well, nothing, really. She was a normal kid (yeah, yeah, I know nothing is normal) with a normal up bringing (yeah, yeah, ditto). She just wants to help kids. It doesn’t really stem from anything other than her being a nice person. There’s no repressed horror in her childhood that I’m planning on unearthing – so what to do?
My source said that probably no one, no regular reader anyway, would notice so to go ahead and keep it like it is. But that seems like cheating. Of course, so does manufacturing something bad in Julia’s past. In fact, a rather charmed childhood is needed for the story. That leaves me with changing her job or who she works for, and that makes my job of making the connections within the story a lot more difficult.
Any social workers out there want to dispute my source? To be fair, I’m doing a poor job of summing up her words.