Interview with Grand Rapids Family Service Coordinator, Karen Ketterer, LLMSW

     As part of National Social Work Month, Ele's Place Family Service Coordinator, Karen Ketterer, LLMSW, shared some of her experiences in the social work profession and gave insight into what it means to be a social worker.

Q:  Where did you receive your social work degree?

      I received a B.A. at Hope College and an MSW at Michigan State University

Q:  How long have you been a social worker?

      My time spent practicing social work has been 4-5 years but I took time off in between my years of practice to raise my family.
 
Q:  Why did you choose to become a social worker?
 
      I became a teacher but I discovered I was more interested in helping my students with their emotions and problems and less interested in teaching. Many of my students could not focus on learning because of social/emotional issues or family issues and I was interested in helping children learn to cope with those issues.
 
Q:  What was your social work experience prior to coming to Ele's Place?
 
      Prior to Ele's Place I worked as a school social worker.
 
Q:  Why did you choose to work for Ele's Place?
 
      Through my previous work, volunteer, and personal experiences I was drawn to working with bereaved children. I am passionate about helping children cope with the death of someone close to them and educating the community about children's grief. The Ele's Place mission is that no child in the community should have to grieve alone and I am privileged to be a part of that mission.
 
Q:  Do you have any advice for those thinking about going into social work?
 
      If you enjoy helping others, social work is a wonderful and versatile profession. Social workers work in child protection, foster care and adoption, hospitals, hospice, schools, treatment facilities and non-profit agencies just to name a few. Although it can be emotional, social work is a very fulfilling profession.