Monday, April 14, 2014

Alexandra Higgins, Intern at Richland County Children Services

What are your job duties at your internship?  What kinds of activities have you been involved in at your agency?

During my time at Richland County Children Services, I have had the opportunity to be a part of a variety of experiences. I have been fortunate enough to be able to shadow and observe the work that intake and ongoing caseworkers do on a daily basis. I have also been able to get my feet wet with the agency’s kinship care program, which provides services to family members that have taken in a younger relative like a grandchild or a niece or nephew who was not able to stay in their home. After looking at a variety of previous surveys, I developed my own survey to deliver to kinship caregivers in Richland County to identify gaps in services in order to help develop new or improved services in the future. I have also had the opportunity to attend both community and state-wide meetings such as the Ohio Grandparent Kinship Coalition.
Alexandra Higgins and her internship supervisor
from Richland County Children Services

I couldn’t imagine a better placement for myself and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to do my internship here!
How has Ashland University's Social Work program prepared you for your internship?
First and foremost, AU’s Social Work program prepared me for my internship with professors who care. I don’t know what I would have done without such great mentors that have helped me over the past four years.

The program has also really brought me out of my shell. It has helped me to learn how to engage others and brought out interpersonal skills that I didn’t know I had. Of course, the program has also helped me in terms of classes and giving me a firm knowledge base that I am positive will help me in my career after graduation.

What has been most enjoyable or valuable about your internship experience so far?

The most enjoyable AND valuable experience of my internship so far is the opportunity to meet so many new people. The people I have worked with at the agency have really opened up to me and made me feel so comfortable in a place that I was initially nervous about interning. Not only am I appreciative of my colleagues, but I am also appreciative of the clients that I have worked with through the agency. I have learned even more from engaging with them and the children that I have met have really inspired me to make a career out of child welfare.


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