March provides such a wonderful opportunity to feature the commitment and passion of women in social work. TSSW's Field Education Department reached out to a few of these amazing individuals to ask them some questions, and we are elated to highlight Jennifer Baudy, DSW, MSW, LCSW, Director of Mental Health at Harriet Tubman Charter School. Dr. Baudy was recently honored in Gambit's Frontline People Awards.
After all of these years why social work?
I continue to practice social work because I am still in awe of the profession and its impact. Social work offers practitioners multiple avenues to support individuals and to transform communities. It encompasses my varying interests in administration, clinical practice, and education, as well as grants me endless opportunities to learn and challenge myself to meet the needs of others. There’s something incredibly satisfying about that for me, and that continues to foster my commitment to the field.
Why social work administration?
The need for services in our community is great and it is critical that they are provided. Direct care is essential and social work administration plays a vital role in providing those needed supports. My practice contributes to the development, funding, and evaluation of programs that are aligned with the needs of a community. I enjoy laying the foundation for responsive programming that has micro-, as well as macro-level, benefits. It is important to me to help create platforms and policies that give access, support, and voice to others.
Why did you choose social work for your profession?
I have always wanted to help people and be of service to my community. My interest in the intersection between social work, youth development and education was cemented as I worked in camps, afterschool programs, and schools during college. I witnessed the powerful impact of social workers in those settings and aspired to be one. I remember one social worker who seemed to always know how to support students and families, as well as how to help staff members implement needed interventions. I remember wanting to help people the way she did and still use her as a model for my practice.
Who is a social work professional that you look up to in the field?
I am lucky to have so many great social workers to look up to over the years. I definitely would not be the social worker I am today without the guidance of Deena Gerber, the former Executive Director at Jewish Family Service, who provided my clinical supervision. She explored the tenets of our profession with me and shaped my understand of how to apply social work principles to practice. Deena was a model of grace under pressure, and I learned so much from her experiences and the knowledge that she shared with me. Her leadership, mentorship, and unwavering support furthered my passion for the work that we do.