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A Social Worker Named Dale

Mike Stouffer with grandson Aiden Comfort. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Catherine Crisp PhD, MSW at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock wanted to share “A social worker named Dale,” an article she ran across on CNNiReport.

CNNiReport lets everyday folks report on news and issues that interest them. Regular contributor Mike Stouffer (WasauFamily) recently wrote about Dale Herrick, a social worker who guided him through some rough years beginning when he was a foster child. Stouffer continued to get into trouble well into adulthood but Herrick never gave up on him.

Here’s part of his moving tribute to Herrick:

“Social workers, the next time you are questioning whether your work matters believe that it does. (Dale)  never judged me or was mean. His voice was the only compassionate sound I heard, during some of my darkest and confusing hours of my young life. We did not always get along and agree on things either. When I became an adult he helped guide me as a friend.”

Besides being in foster care, Stouffer was a teen runaway, served time in juvenile jail, and as an adult was sentenced to prison, escaped and became a fugitive. He also battled alcoholism. Despite Stouffer’s poor choices Herrick never abandoned him.

“Everybody else has given up on these kids,” Herrick said. “I want to be the one who says, ‘I won’t give up on you.'”

To read more on Mike Stouffer and Dale Herrick click here. And to find out more about how social workers help children, teenagers and families in crisis visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Kids and Families Web page.

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1 Comment

  1. What a beautiful story! It is nice to know that social workers leave a legacy.

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