• Charles Loeffler: Saving kids by helping parents recovering from addiction
    Updated On: Feb 17, 2017

    Charles Loeffler is a social worker in the Children’s Administration branch of the state Department of Social and Health Services. He works out of DSHS office on Harrison Street near the Seattle Center.

    Charles is one of the state employees we may never see but whose work we couldn’t live without.

    He works with families in Family Treatment Court. The parents are all in various stages of recovery from addiction. Social workers like Charles provide “intensive” services to the families.

    Some days Charles may be on the road five to eight hours – and may sees things none of us could ever handle. “You see the worst and the best all at the same time,” Charles says. But he also sees hope.

    “The No. 1 thing is the resilience,” Charles says. “It can be really hard to hear the stories that these kids have gone through...sharing the difficulty that they have seen. But it is so gratifying to see how well the kids can bounce back when they get the care that they need when they have people who are looking out for them. It’s incredible.”

    Sometimes there are setbacks. Parents relapse, for instance. But Charles stays on the job because he makes a difference.

    “The most rewarding part of my job would be seeing parents make real, substantive changes in their lives, seeing someone go from the deepest throes of addiction into a life of recovery -- and from a place where they could not take care of themselves let alone their kids -- to becoming fierce advocates for their families and gaining skills that they never thought they would have,” Charles says.

    Washington state employees like Charles Loeffler are the public servants who work for us everyday.

    Call your legislators at 1-800-562-6000 and tell them to support our dedicated state employees. Fund their negotiated collective bargaining agreements – competitive pay will keep our state public servants from fleeing to higher-paying jobs elsewhere.

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