My name is Zoe Green and I am a rising senior. I am a Social Work major with a Sociology minor. This summer I have an internship with the organization Children’s Aid in New York City. I am working with children in the foster care system, as well as their parents and foster parents. I did not know what to expect going into this summer, however it has been an invaluable experience that has opened my eyes to the opportunities I will have after Skidmore.
At Children’s Aid, I have many responsibilities. As an intern I don’t get my own caseload of clients, but instead assist the other social workers when they have too many things to do or need me to step in and help, for example with family or site visits. There are many visits at the office, mostly between birth parents and foster children, so a main part of my job is to supervise these visits and upload a detailed description of what occurred during the meeting. These visits can also take place in the community or at correctional facilities if a parent is incarcerated. I have accompanied children to prison to visit their parents, as well as restaurants and community centers.
I have also learned the process of making referrals for individuals for mental health evaluations, parenting classes, and other important steps in the reunification process. Learning how to navigate all of the resources available in New York City was difficult, but this knowledge and experience will certainly help in the future, especially if I return to a similar field. I have accompanied parents to court, getting a first-hand view of the ways in which the court makes life changing decisions for these families.
I am currently helping to plan an end of summer party for the families that we work with, and I think that it will be a great way to wrap up the summer internship. I have learned so much from this organization, and from the clients that I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with.
With this experience, I feel far more equipped to pursue a job in a social work field and it has made me excited about the opportunities that I know are waiting. Not only was I able to work with this incredible organization but I was also privileged enough to live in New York City, which was a huge adjustment but also a great opportunity to learn how to live in a completely different environment from what I am used to. I think that the complete change of pace had a positive impact on my work, and being able to use this funding to focus exclusively on the work the I was doing with Children’s Aid was something that I am so fortunate and grateful to have received!