Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Nearing the finish line!


I’m happy to say that I will be graduating in just a couple of weeks. The last day of my senior field practicum (400 hours in one semester!) is August 24th. This was preceded by my junior field practicum of 100 hours. My junior was completed at our county Developmental Disabilities agency and my senior was at the Ohio Masonic Community where I floated between the memory care facility and the skilled nursing/rehab floor. I have learned a lot, including where I’ll end up when I grow up!

One of the things I’ve learned is that as soon as you graduate, everyone expects you to get a job. Now, I’ve been out of the work force, except for a brief part time stint, for 16 1/2 years! I really don’t need to go back to work right away, I’m rare in that I have zero student debt and we could continue to scrape by on our survivor benefits. However, I have a job and that begins on August 27th. I will be the new Director of Social Services at a nursing facility about a half an hour from me. I was also offered a position as a Performance Coach at a charter school but I know nothing about working in a school so I opted for the nursing facility.

There are many benefits to taking the nursing home position – one of which is that they didn’t mind giving me time off for our trip to Disney in September. We will likely be losing Medicaid, which is both a good thing and a bad thing – I’m not used to paying co-pays anymore but we’ll be off the government dole. I know it has been awhile since I’ve written and I would like to see my blog evolve into something for moms, especially widowed moms who are trying to hold it all together and work.

Some may be wondering – yes, I’m still homeschooling.

Our schooling is going to look different – way different than it did when we started 11 years ago and I was home all the time. My 16 year old graduates high school this fall, my almost 14 year old will be working independently except for maybe me helping with science experiments, and my 12 year old son well he’ll still need help to stay on task. We’re also still dealing with his reading, which has improved, but with APD it’s still rough going. School may happen in the evenings or even on the weekends. We’ll see.

I take my Licensed Social Worker exam on Thursday morning – there is no way to really study so I’m praying I do well. I did get an 81 on my comprehensive exam which I only needed a 71 to graduate – so I’m fairly certain with the Lord on my side I’ll walk out with a passing grade. A lot is riding on this exam – I have to pass so I can begin my job, if I pass the only thing I’ll be waiting on is Liberty to confer my degree on my transcripts and submit that to the Ohio CSWMFT Board. Then every two years I have to renew said license and accrue CEU’s as well. One thing is that social workers never stop learning.

I’m not sure if I want to stay in the nursing home arena as my heart is still in trauma and trafficking but I’ve also learned not to limit myself to what I can do. I’m praying for the least amount of stress and upset for our family and that this job will lead to good things for us. Namely a second vehicle so my oldest can get her and her siblings to their activities during the day. Then less worry about finances – it will be so nice not to have to decide between food in the house or gas in the car.

I’m not sure what this blog will look like in the next few months. A social work mom blog? Who knows but I’d like to start something new with this and see where the Lord takes it.



(c) 2018, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


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Going back to school

I graduate high school in 1997, went into the United States Navy, and then graduated college with my Associates in Social Work in 2001 – the same morning I found out I was expecting our 2nd baby but the first to be born. I tried to go to an online college after that but it proved disastrous with a newborn baby – so I decided I didn’t need anymore college. I love to read, I love to learn – so studying was never hard and most subjects, excluding math, came easy for me, but my husband and I had decided I’d stay home and we’d be homeschooling so really a BSW (Bachelor’s in Social Work) wasn’t really a need. The online college I was pursuing a paralegal degree.

That said – now that I’m widow I know I have to start planning for the future, both my children’s and my own – the survivor benefits will decrease once my children are no longer eligible, even though I’ll continue to get mine for the rest of my life – there may be some rules about that but I can’t remember them all. However, once my children’s go away I’ll be living on next to nothing so I need to plan. With that said I’m going back to college to earn my BSW.

I applied to a well known, at least in my area, Christian university however they had absolutely no help for widows, which struck me as ironic for being a Christian university. They also weren’t real happy with me refusing to take loans or wanting to do the majority of my general ed classes online. One woman told me I should just focus on “being the best mom I could be”, yes, that is what I’m doing, why do you think I want to take online classes. So after much prayer and discussions with trusted advisers I decided that University wasn’t the one.

It used to be that the state of Ohio, or at least that is what I was told, would not recognize a social work degree that was completed online but on the off chance I contacted Liberty University Online (LUO). I spoke with several people who assured me of their regional accreditation and that they did indeed have a BSW program. Okay Lord? Well then things really started falling in place – they were actually excited that I didn’t want to use student loans and then I was told I qualify for the military discount pricing! Okay Lord I’m getting it. I can do the whole program online, from the comfort of my home except for my practicum which I knew before hand.

I’m already registered for my first four classes, which makes me a full time student right away but I’m so excited! My goal is to become a Path Coordinator (although I’m sure the title will change as it often did for my husband) with our local Board of DD. There are many things to consider though such as I would need to work 30 years more to receive retirement through our state’s system – they don’t pay into SS – which means I could be in my 70’s when I would retire and I want to enjoy my grand-babies so I may have to look into whether I pursue private employment, but I have time to wait on that. I may even pursue my Masters in Counseling after my BSW, I’ll see where the Lord leads.

Right now I’m waiting on my financial aid to be received and processed so I can find out exactly what I’ll be getting, but the estimate seems like it would pay for almost all my classes each semester. I know I’ll still have some out of pocket expenses, which is fine but not what it would have been like had I gone to the other University where my financial aid wouldn’t have covered even 1 full semester. My desire is to do this debt free, to honor the Lord and also to stay out of debt that my husband got us out of and having paid off my ASW earlier this year with the life insurance.

I want to note if you feel led to donate to my educational expenses donations can be made to the Bailey Family Fund at any Huntington National Bank (100% will come to me), there is also a GoFundMe page (they do take a percent), and my friend is hosting a fundraiser for anyone who purchases from her site or her Currclick page – search Shari Crooks (you don’t have to be a homeschooler to use her products). Any helps is immensely appreciated and will go towards my education – books, supplies, gas once I begin my practicum (internship in other fields), etc.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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