This social work month, I have chosen to honor my favorite social worker ever: Cobra Bubbles, BAMFSW*
[Editor’s note: If you haven’t seen Lilo and Stitch, stop everything you’re doing and do it before you read any further. That movie is so awesome and it’s on Netflix. Also: Spoiler Alert.]
Cobra is a Bold Awesome Model For Social Workers – a BAMFSW*. He demonstrates good boundaries, dignity, and fairness when intervening with Lilo, Stitch, and their caregiver, Nani.
Disney Animators cast made the character a person of color that I could relate to.
There were several instances in Lilo and Stitch where Cobra keeps his cool and where I would have terminated services as a result of countertransference. When Nani called him a “Stupidhead”, he did not retaliate or hold it against her.
I love that he literally (physically) got down to Lilo’s level to talk to her. He doesn’t question her use of Voodoo and I think understands the bio-psycho-social context of Lilo’s predicament.
In spite of being a “special kind of social worker”, Cobra dresses the part. He is quite dapper, wearing a nice suit and sunglasses. Standing erect, he exudes confidence.
And then there was the time that Lilo’s “dog” attacked Cobra.
Makes me long for the day when social workers with tattoos no longer have to cover them up.
When Lilo asks Cobra if he’s ever killed anybody, he is firm as he returns to the topic of conversation, completely diffusing and uncomfortable conversation.
Several times in the movie, we see that Cobra has told Nani exactly what needs to happen for the sake of Lilo’s safety. This includes the ultimate decision he makes towards the end of the movie. (Also he did lose his cool at the end, but what social worker hasn’t?)
The best advice ever is that relationships are important to have with people. At the end of the movie, we see that Cobra negotiates with another organization to come to a favorable conclusion for both parties.
*If you need the actual translation of this, please tweet me.