Solid IV-E Foundation Prepares Aaron Cadore for Both Child and Adult Protective Services

Aaron Cadore was born in Los Angeles County to a mother from Trinidad and Tobago and a father from Grenada. His parents had met in England and immigrated to the U.S.. in the 1970s. His experience wasn’t atypical; “I just thought of my blended family history as simply ‘American’,” Aaron says.

It wasn’t until he was in the Title IV-E Stipend Program, at Berkeley Social Welfare, he recalls, did he view his life with a new perspective. “Personally, Title IV-E imbued me with an acute sense of social awareness,” he says. "I never realized that I was a first-generation American until I entered the Title IV-E program and started meeting client children and parents who were first-generation Americans.”

Similarly, Aaron says, “I never realized that I was a first-generation college graduate until I entered the Title IV-E program and started meeting classmates who were first-generation college students.” Until then, he says, he hadn’t thought of his family’s limited exposure to higher education as unusual. His mother encouraged college, although, he observes, “it's hard to thoroughly encourage something that has never been experienced.” 

Today, with a social worker’s keen eye, Aaron says, “These experiences helped me to recognize the intricacies of people’s life experiences, and the importance of those intricacies in people’s successes and struggles—which I believe often accompany one another.”

Pursuing the MSW

Aaron’s decision to pursue an MSW and apply to IV-E made sense to the young man who had earned a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley and whose employment experience included a number of public service positions, from an Oakland-based legal clinic to a national disability legal firm in Los Angeles. Berkeley Social Welfare IV-E Project Coordinator Catherine Ralph was also a persuasive force who saw Aaron’s well-rounded experiences as a plus for the field.

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The summer Aaron spent after his first year at Berkeley Social Welfare working with the nonprofit Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools exposed him to the power of outreach and direct interaction with families of the youth in the program. That experience, as well as coordinating the summer program for fellow Berkeley participants, influenced Aaron’s decision to combine his love of social work with his skills in administration so he could make the greatest impact.

Experiencing IV-E’s Impact

“Professionally, I cannot imagine my career without the Title IV-E program,” says Aaron, who attributes his professional development to the solid foundation he acquired in graduate school.

Upon graduation in 2012, Aaron started out as a Family Reunification/Family Maintenance/Permanent Placement social worker in Sacramento County Child Protective Services. In 2014, he became an Emergency Response worker.

“I can see how Title IV-E's strong practical and educational foundation prepared me to enter Child Protective Services, allowed me to thrive in Child Protective Services, and granted me access to further professional development to continue my growth as a social worker,” says Aaron.

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Transitioning to Adult Protective Services 

In 2015, Aaron joined Sacramento County Adult Protective Services. Of his transition, he says, “I wanted to see the other side of protective services.Title IV-E prepared me for Child Protective Services, which gave me a firm foundation in case management and investigation, and I wanted to utilize that foundation with a new population—older adults and dependent adults.”

From Aaron’s standpoint, “Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services operate similarly, yet differently, and have some of the same challenges, yet different ones.” 

For example, he explains, “In Adult Protective Services, one of the primary operational standards is cognitive capacity, one of the chief factors in deciding which services and supports are most appropriate for a client. In Child Protective Services, one of the primary operational standards is child safety, which is one of the chief factors in deciding which services and supports are most appropriate for a client. 

“However, for both services, strong social support has the ability to significantly make up for the client’s inability to meet his/her respective operational standard. In terms of challenges, for example, housing affects both service populations, but the resources to address housing issues are different for each population, and there is variation within each population as well.”

New Year, New Position

Effective in January, Aaron became the Sacramento Police Department liaison for Sacramento County Adult Protective Services.“To put it generally, I am the glue between the two agencies,” he says. 

“For Adult Protective Services, I make sure that the agency is supported in its investigatory efforts that do or may involve Sacramento Police Department.  For Sacramento Police Department, I make sure that the agency is aided in its supportive service efforts that do or may involve Sacramento County Adult Protective Services,” he explains. “Although the two agencies have different primary responsibilities, it is understood that, for the older and dependent adult populations that the two agencies both serve, a joint effort will bring about the best results.”

Of the career that he loves, Aaron says, “I appreciate the humility that comes along with being a social worker. I believe that the best social workers know that they do not know everything,” he says. “Furthermore, I also believe that the best social workers enlist the expertise of the collaterals that know a lot about the specific matter at hand, whether those collaterals are professional or personal. I appreciate that as I become a better social worker, I speak less, and listen more.”