Friday, April 9, 2010

My last day in my private adoption internship.

Today was very eventful, to say the least. I went out with bang, as they say.

Firstly, I saw a horrific motorcycle accident on the interstate. I saw the guy laid out on the concrete. He was bloodied up from road rash, and his body was contorted to hell. He was trying to get up, and the policeman ran over to him and told him to lie still. I finally saw his beat up motorcycle about 200 feet away. I was in shock and on the verge of jumping out of the car to go help, somehow. I hope he makes it. (I HATE MOTORCYCLES!)


Supervisor and I visited a birth mom in the morning. She is in her early 20's and on her 4th pregnancy. She has 2 babies who are only 5 months apart, had an abortion in December and is 3 months pregnant. Needless to say, this young lady really needs to be educated on how to prevent pregnancy. We talked about those options. She said she was on the pill but always forgot. We discussed the IUD, which might be a good choice for her. We asked about the father, who she said is the father to all her children. They had a "bad break up" in December and doesn't know how to reach him now. I find that hard to believe, but at least we got a name. C. will have to perform a diligent search.

Supervisor went through the intake paperwork and explained the process to her. She seemed very apathetic, disinterested. Kinda sad, actually. She does not work and collects food stamps. She only finished the 11th grade but she's interested in obtaining her GED/college degree and becoming a Dental Hygienist. At least she has some goals for herself, and I hope she follows through on them. Birth mom lives with her 2 children and 7 other relatives. The house was not big enough, and was in terrible condition. Hopefully she can secure a better life for herself and her 2 children in the near future.

After lunch, I went to a match staffing for a 2 year old healthy boy. Two amazing, very comparable families were presented. In the end, the family with his same cultural heritage was selected. The lil boy hit the jackpot, I think. :)


The end of the day was spent doing a home visit for a couple who adopted a baby boy. He is SO dang cute, and has the cutest, chubbiest cheeks. He is 2 months old and has grown a hell of a lot since I saw him right after birth in the hospital. He smiles a lot too, and has the cutest dimples. He is definitely happy and thriving. It was a great way to end my internship.

I gave Supervisor her card, and we hugged and reminisced. I told her that if my next placement is close, I will stop in for lunch. Either way, we will still remain in touch. She was a mentor for me, and I will never forget all she taught me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My next field placement

On the bus ride back from Tallahassee, I got a call from one of our field placement staff. She wanted to speak with me about a possible match for my next placement. I mentioned to her that I was interested in working with victims of domestic violence and/or their children (play therapy, etc). She told me about an agency that provides group counseling to victims of family violence, and also provides childcare for the children during meeting times (play therapy). This service provides:

  • Crisis Intervention, safety planning and assessment of family needs
  • Linkages with shelters, relocation and/or other community resources
  • Therapeutic support groups for adult victims, their teens and young children
  • Childcare available for children under six during group sessions
  • Meals for children prior to group and limited transportation available
  • Individual therapy for adult victims and their children
  • Support and advocacy in dealing with the criminal justice system - court appearances, restraining orders, etc.
  • Assist with Victims’ Compensation claims and Address Confidentiality Program
  • A program that provides therapeutic art activities to children & teens. The program is working on a film project to promote healthy relationships and keeping kids gang-free.
  • A program that allows teens to enhance self esteem, team building skills and to promote healthy lifestyles through gardening
  • Collaboration with other agencies to promote healthy teen relationships to prevent intimate partner violence.

I would definitely love to work with teens. They hold group sessions on Tues/Weed evenings, so I would definitely be working those nights. Thankfully, my classes are Mon nights and Thursday afternoons. At this time, that is all I know. I am supposed to talk with another field placement staff member early next week, since she works very closely with the agency and knows a lot more about it.

While I am not afraid of learning, I feel completely unprepared to do any sort of group counseling, or individual therapy, for that matter! I feel at a disadvantage because 1) I don't have any therapeutic experience, and 2) My field placement this past year was not clinical in the same way that these types of programs are, and 2) I only had one group experience. I may try to see if I can attend some groups in the community this summer, and do some reading myself...

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.”

This powerful quote by Margaret Mead directly applies to Social Work Lobby Day. April 6, 2010, was a day full of exposure, experience and excellence. I have never been more proud of my profession as I was this day. More than 630 social workers and social work students gathered in the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee to advocate for social justice; to speak for those with no voice. The School of Social Work gathered outside the capital and sang a song for the rest of the Social Work Lobby Day attendees. Amanda Evans, NASW-FL President, stood on the steps and presented us with empowering message: We are the change, we are the future.

During the training provided by NASW-FL, we learned more about the bills being advocated for by the agency and the impact the budget cuts will have on the services. The high-profile bills focused on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (HB 107/SB 214), Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Crime Reduction (HB 1189/SB 1140), Crimes against Homeless Persons (HB 11/SB 506), Juvenile Justice-Offenders 9 years and younger (HB 7181/SB 1072) and Transitional Services for Youth (HB 627/SB 1356). We also learned about how to build relationships with our representatives, as building human relationships is a core value for social workers. While I was not able to make an appointment with my representatives to voice my support for Adoption Equality (HB 3/ SB 102), other attendees were able to speak up about this concern with their representatives. I attended a meeting with classmates who were advocating for Medicaid money for Disabled persons. I was also able to sit in the Criminal & Civil Policy Council as they passed or denied bills on the agenda. Some of my classmates were able to attend meeting and advocate for Foster Kids Transitioning out of the system, as well as changing the statute language to better protect "vulnerable" adults, just like they protect children.

Unfortunately, about 9 AM I spoke with my mom and received a serious blow of a message regarding a family member. It kinda had my mind wandering around for the next few hours and I wasn't really concentrating on why I was there. That being said, it was still an invigorating experience and I will go next year and prepare myself more. Aside from the lengthy bus ride, the trip and experience were memorable and proud moments for all of us.