Earlier this month, in honor of March being Social Work Month, Kinship Center trainer Lynne White Dixon received the award of Social Worker of the Year from the NASW Monterey County Unit (National Association of Social Workers). I have had the honor of seeing the positive impact of my work for over 40 years. I have witnessed children, teens, adults and families heal from the negative experiences in their lives… Social work chose me more than me choosing it. I always knew I wanted to work with and help people.” Lynne’s commitment to helping people in our community is an inspiration to all of us at Kinship Center and we are so grateful to have her as part of our team. Thank you Lynne! Read below for a brief interview with Lynne.
How would you describe the impact of your work/social work?
As a social worker I have had the honor of seeing the positive impact of my work for over 40 years. I have witnessed children, teens, adults and families heal from the negative experiences in their lives. I have helped organizations grow and be responsive to their community. I have had the joy of witnessing a new social work professional grow in their skills, knowledge and confidence, due to the training and supervision I have provided. I have been fortunate to observe clients use the information I have shared or helped them gain insight about to make the necessary changes in their lives and in their families and become happier and healthier. Being part of that experience is incredible.
Why did you choose the social work field/to be a social worker?
Social work chose me more than me choosing it. I always knew I wanted to work with and help people. I was a psychology major in college, thinking I was going to become a psychologist. However, as I was ending my college career, I didn’t want to spend another 4 years in school and get a PhD. I learned about the Masters in Social Work program at my university and how it was a 2-year program and that meant I could work with people sooner. So, I applied to the program, got in, and I believe it was the best decision I ever made. I loved my classes, I loved doing field work as part of my course work and I did very well in the program. Social Work felt like the right fit for me.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I currently have more than one job. I have a clinical private practice where I work with families, children and adults experiencing many issues, usually surrounding loss, grief, trauma and adoption. I coordinate and supervise the MSW Trainee program and provide therapy at the Personal Growth & Counseling Center at CSUMB. And I supervise and provide consultation and training for Kinship Center’s Clinic, Placement Program and Education Institute. I love doing all of these jobs. Being a professional social worker has allowed me to always have variety and diversity in my work. I feel fortunate that over the past 40+ years I have had numerous and diverse experiences and have learned so much from all of them.
What does receiving the award of social worker of the year mean to you?
Receiving the Social Worker of the Year award from the Monterey County Unit of NASW leaves me humbled, appreciative and honored. To get recognized by your professional colleagues is wonderful. When you start out in a career, you are focused on doing the work and not getting awards. Being recognized in this way causes me to reflect on my career and acknowledge that my work over the years has been worthwhile and impactful, and for that I am truly thankful.