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Social worker uplifts foster children through her ‘Super Social Worker Visits’

KRON4 Heroes

Melissa Rryan

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif., (KRON) — A local social worker is help families and children lift their spirits despite coronavirus restrictions though her “Super Social Worker Visits.”

Melissa Ryan has been a social worker for 30 years and the last 20 as an Alameda County Adoption Child Welfare worker. With shelter-in-place orders still in full effect Ryan wanted to find a way she can visit her families while maintaining social distance.

“My families were tired of zoom meetings and have always experienced my visits to be very alive, animated and beginning and ending with sincere, heartfelt hugs,” Ryan said.

After attempting to visit some of her foster children amid shelter-in-place orders, Ryan tells KRON4 the visits didn’t go as planned and had to find a creative way she can continue to see her clients.

“After that I decided that I needed to keep my butt in my adorable, Infamous Volkswagen bug named Carma, and tell families I can’t get out of my car,” Ryan said. “Therefore I dug into my Burning Man costume trunk and decided that dressing up in costume would be much more fun for all involved.”

Despite shelter-in-place orders social workers continue to be mandated to have monthly contact with their clients. Over the last seven weeks social workers have seen their duties drastically change.

“I am learning how critical human contact is to my well-being and instead of feeling depressed I am trying to lean into it,” Ryan said.

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