Thursday, January 29, 2015

Casey Kelley, Intern at Richland County Children Services

Casey Kelley is an intern at Richland County Children Services. This agency provides care and protection for children in need, and support and assistance for their families. They have a full-time staff of over 100 people, all dedicated to protecting the children of Richland County.

Tell us a little bit about your internship placement.
Richland County Children Services (RCCS) works with both adults and children to ensure and promote the safety of the child and seeks to keep kids in a permanent setting. RCCS's main goal is to keep the child with the family; however, some circumstances call for RCCS to remove the child. If a child is removed from the home RCCS focuses on developing plans in hopes to reunite the child with the family. I am in the ongoing/kinship unit at Richland County Children Services. As of right now, I am working with all units within the agency to learn about their functions. After that, I will be primarily focused in the ongoing and kinship unit. My supervisor is Teresa Coll, who is the supervisor of the kinship unit.

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

Right now I am working with all units of the agency shadowing them on visits as well as helping with paperwork. I have shadowed home visits, hospital visits, jail visits and court hearings. I also assist other workers with typing up police reports and incident reports. Eventually, I will be getting my own cases. I am also involved in Core Training, which is a training that takes place in Columbus, OH, that anyone who works in the field of children services has to attend. This training is helping me gain valuable skills used daily in my internship.
How has Ashland University’s Social Work Program prepared your for your internship?
Ashland University's Social Work Program has prepared me for my internship in many different aspects. This program has prepared me for what my clients will be like, and what the different circumstances will be like. I also have a good background on laws that govern what Children Services has to do. Another facet that this program has taught me is cultural competency, which is important because I work with a diverse group of clients. AU’s program has also taught me how to write good case notes, how to be a professional, and how to deal with clients. These have all been important in helping me excel in my internship.  

What have you enjoyed most about your internship so far?
I have enjoyed the learning experience that I have already gained so far by having the opportunity to go out on case visits. I also enjoy the workers and my supervisors because they are so willing to help me and take the time to explain things to me. The environment of the agency is great, and everyone has been more than willing to assist me whenever needed and accept me as one of their own.

For more information about Richland County Children Services, click here. 
For more information about Ashland University's Social Work Program, click here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jennifer Lindsay, Experiencing Social Work Globally

AU Social Work Major, Jennifer Lindsay, traveled to South Africa this past summer, a trip which influenced her decision to become a social work major. While in South Africa, she was able to meet an alumna of the AU Social Work Program. She was astounded at the global impact Ashland University's social work program had and stated:

"I had the privilege of traveling to South Africa with Isaiah Project Mission Trips through Ashland University this past summer. For me, this was so much more than just a mission trip. Yes, I did get to grow in my faith and have some amazing spiritual experiences, but the trip was really eye-opening and life changing. I got to meet some amazing people in South Africa that have been through a lot of crazy life experiences. Some of these people have faced such hardships and loss, and it was really humbling to see how they have overcome those difficulties. Hearing their life stories was a big reason that I am pursuing a degree in Social Work here at AU. I got to meet Abby, who was an alumna of the Social Work program herself here at Ashland University, and she now lives in South Africa with her husband and children. It was so amazing to see how a degree at this university can prepare people for opportunities all over the world."

Jennifer Lindsay (middle) pictured with residents of South Africa

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Field Experience Internships Begin for Social Work Seniors

The spring semester has begun and, along with it, internships for each of our senior Social Work students!

This year, 15 students will work in organizations across three counties to apply the skills they've learned in class, gain new skills and experience, and serve various populations in Ashland, Richland and Wayne county communities.

Over the next 16 weeks, we'll highlight these students' experiences and accomplishments as they transition from students to young professionals in their internships.

For more information about Ashland University's Field Experience program, a list of partner agencies and more, check out our website.