Life Reflects Effort
November 14 2023

Life Reflects Effort

Delving in social work in an organization that cares for children you have to immerse yourself in their lives to help them, and building trust with children takes time and being up close and personal. 

For Uncle Matt, one of the social workers for SOS Children’s Villages in Lipa, he knows that you will have to cross your own boundaries to help children. He has helped around 50 children in his 12 years of working with us, and 24 of them are already living their lives. 

Uncle Matt’s work primarily revolves around case management, specifically crafting intervention plans around their needs. Mothers and fellow social workers refer to these intervention plans to aid in the children’s personal development. 

“The hardest part of case management is identifying the children’s needs because every child is different.” Intervention plans always take an individualized approach, and Uncle Matt finds this one of the hardest parts of intervention when a child starts living in SOS Children’s Villages. 

A child’s development is a long process, especially when children are healing from deeper traumas and concerns from their history. Many children who live with SOS Children’s Villages have histories of abuse, neglect and abandonment, and children from more difficult backgrounds will find it harder to trust. Different kids have different histories and needs. 

Uncle Matt always takes the time to talk to the children every time he checks up on them.

Over time, Uncle Matt and the other social workers learned to understand the children by observing their behavior patterns, among many other ways. After all, a child’s development is a team effort. The mama cares for the children in their house and watches over their children’s development. In turn, Uncle Matt will plan activities the children can do that will help them.  

The most important thing is that the children are actively a part of their own development. And that requires a level of vulnerability from both parties. “You won’t be able to work well if you won’t go down to a personal level.” To get to know a child, you must befriend them and treat them as family, or they wouldn’t open up to you. Of course, developing a plan for their well-being should not be the sole purpose of befriending them. At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure that every child grows up with love and care. 

All in all, you sometimes must cross some boundaries to help the children in your care. In the long run, once you see how the children heal and grow, you’d know it’s worth it in the end, and Uncle Matt has seen that growth in the 50 children he has cared for in the past 12 years. 

“The most fulfilling part of my work is seeing the changes in the children we help. For example, I tell them that if they were this and that when they first arrived here, they are now this and that.” Making bonds with the children and watching them succeed will always be the most memorable experience of Uncle Matt’s work as a social worker in SOS Children’s Villages.  

“The behavior of the children is a reflection of not just them, but that of the village too.” Sayings about how it takes a village to raise a child may be cliché, but they always hold water. When children are raised with love and the values they need to thrive, it will always show. 


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