After graduating from Messiah, I made the decision to take a year off from school and gain work experience in the field of social work. I was able to secure a position with Bethany Christian Services as the Foster Care licensor for their Foster Care program. Through this position I worked to license foster care homes, train potential families who were looking to become foster parent(s), while keeping all licensed homes uptodate on their annual relicensing and state regulated training. I held this position for a little over a year and decide to transfer into the new role as Foster Care Family Profile Writer. This transition allowed me to remain working in Child Welfare while I pursued my MSW degree part time through Fordham University's online program. As a Profile Writer I worked with families who were in the approval process of becoming Foster Parents. Through the means of interviewing, completing psychosocial evaluations, and writing court appointed Home Studies, I assisted in their certification approval process and/or denial. It was after I completed my MSW degree that I began to look for work in New York. After 3 years of working Foster Care, I made the move and transition to work for YAI as their Volunteer & Internship Coordinator.
As the Volunteer & Internship Coordinator for YAI, I work with all of YAI departments and affiliate agencies’ (Manhattan Star Academy, International School of Hope, The National Institute for People with Disabilities of New Jersey, and Premier HealthCare) staff to determine needs for volunteers and intern recruits. By collaborating with the staff and the people we support (those in the I/DD community) I work to establish opportunities for programing while creating educational opportunities for students and those interested in supporting our programs.
Messiah’s Social Work Department prepared me in many ways. My internships allowed me to have a real taste for what it would be like working in the Social Work field come graduation. My supervisors pushed me and finetuned the skills that were created through Messiah’s Social Work Program. It is because of Messiah that I have been able to be successful in this field while pursuing additional ways to educate myself and expand into the Macro Social Work world. All of the undergraduate courses assisted me throughout my Social Work career. I have relied on many of the skills (APA-based writing, motivational interviewing/evaluations, group work, research, etc..) to succeed in my roles.One of the many impactful experiences I have had from Messiah’s Social Work Department was my experience with my internships and the supervisors. I am very thankful that the placements I've had were each different from the next. My supervisors were supportive and worked to treat me as a staff with the expectations of professionalism, competency, and initiative. I was also greatly impacted my those who mentored me in the department. I am grateful for the ways they supported me and I know still reach out (and have) at any time.
Would you recommend Messiah's BSW program to future social workers? I do recommend the program to many as I believe that without my time at Messiah, my professional career would not be as extensive. The program prepares you for work in the field as well as continuing your education for those who do pursue their MSW.