It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together, and that’s exactly what’s happened for new social worker, Jenna Roy.
“I didn’t go into social work and child protection for the income, I went in to it for the outcomes. It was a calling for me; something I had to pursue and something that I could do to give back. That’s important, especially in a rural community like Fort St. John,” explains Jenna.
In just three short years, Jenna has made a name for herself as a go-getter and is known for her contagious positivity and strong advocacy for fresh thinking and out-of-the-box ideas.
“Jenna doesn’t hear no,” jokes manager Chrystal Ragan. “She believes in people and she is unapologetic about challenging the standard way of doing things in order to get results. Just the other day, Jenna came up with an unconventional new plan for a young mom that has increased her access to supports and services and is already making a difference for that family.”
Jenna regularly motivates and challenges those who work alongside her to approach things with a ‘can-do’ attitude that focuses on the clients’ strengths and builds on them.
“I refuse to lump people into boxes, to make generalizations or to give in to negative thinking,” notes Jenna. “My job is not to judge. My job is not to figure out if someone deserves something. My job is to help the families I serve look forward to tomorrow.”
Jenna credits her positive approach to social work to the importance she places on self-care. She has even taken it upon herself to host training sessions for staff and to promote wellness activities that she explains are necessary to avoid burn out.
“The families I support need me to be at my best. They don’t need me to wear their stress or to take it home with me,” Jenna said. “I want to do this important work for the rest of my life, so I make it a priority – no matter how busy the day is – to stay committed to the things that recharge me and keep me healthy.”
For Jenna that is roller-derby, hockey and baseball.
“If Jenna is any indication of the type of talent we can expect from this next generation of social workers, I think we’ll be in good shape,” notes Chrystal. “She is a force. She puts her hand up first and she makes sure that her colleagues never question their ability to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Having spent the bulk of her life in the rural community of Fort St. John, Jenna is passionate about building connections and supporting others. Recently, Jenna volunteered her time to help an office in a neighbouring town complete a complicated home study and is regularly looking for ways to share and leverage resources.
“My favourite thing in the world is watching a family transform in front of my eyes and overcome challenges,” said Jenna. “It is a privilege to do our work and to be a part of so many people’s stories. I get to see miracles happen every day.”
Social Work Week (March 13-19, 2016) is an opportunity to honour outstanding social workers throughout the province and to thank those who make it their life’s work to truly make a difference in many British Columbians’ lives. To read the proclamation, please visit: http://goo.gl/C0CRZM