Interview with Dan Greaser
Social Service Administration
GC Graduation Year
Why or how did you choose your field? Were there specific experiences that influenced you?
The career path I chose in social work was as a clinical social worker. Most of my career has been in children’s mental health. I started my career as a BA social worker in child welfare, providing protective services to abused and neglected children. That experience helped me understand early on that the effects of abuse can be profound in the emotional and intellectual development of children and that psychological treatment was often needed to bring health to these children. The interest in clinical work required additional training and led me to acquire a Masters in Social Work with a mental health emphasis.
What’s exciting about your job or this field?
Every week there is evidence in the stories that youth and families tell about the freedom and emotional healing they are experiencing because of the relationship they had with a care provider. They have felt empathy and learned new ways of thinking and behaving through the counseling process. That is where the joy and excitement in the job comes from.
What has been a challenge in your career journey?
The challenge and the opportunity in the field is always the funding. Social work, by its nature, is performed in the main in the public sector. Clinical work is no exception. The present national mood makes it challenging to deliver services that are vital to the emotional health of our children and families. The opportunity, not unlike that which our foreparents encountered after WWII, is to find new ideas, new tools and a new resolve to address the “needs of my neighbor as myself.”
How did your liberal arts education assist you in your journey? Are there specific examples you can offer?
The notion that Culture and Service go hand in glove was foundational for me
in my career and in my life. A service provider is only as good as their quality
and integrity. The liberal arts training I received at Goshen (and Hesston) helped
my formation into a person with interests in transcultural experiences, the
arts, faith, the church, and lasting relationships—that’s where I met my wife,
Thelma—in addition to competence in social work.
Did anyone offer you some memorable advice that you’d like to pass on? Or…what advice would you give to a young person just starting out?
As for advice, a quote I have on my wall: “I slept and dreamt that life was happiness. I awoke and saw that life was service. I served and saw that service was happiness.”- Tagore