This internship has been so much more than I ever expected! I first heard about Gladney after I started the MSW program at the University of Texas at Arlington. When the opportunity presented itself to apply for an internship here I jumped at it, but I was not holding my breath on being one of the few lucky ones to be selected. Then, the much-anticipated e-mail came in…” you have been accepted as an intern at the Gladney Center for Adoption”. Intern at Gladney?! Me?! I felt like my eyes were deceiving me! I remember calling my mom to tell her and then quickly assuring both of us that it was too good to be true. I am so glad that statement was wrong!
When I got here I was blown away by the sheer busyness of the New Beginnings department. This department assists families adopting children who have been in state foster care. As you can probably imagine, there are a lot of crisis that can come up with that. My first week here all of the case managers were running around like blurs and I kept hearing the word PAT being thrown around. PAT, I quickly found out, is a quarterly training for interested families to teach them about things such as attachment, parenting styles, trauma-informed care, CPR, and many other things. This training is a very big deal in the New Beginnings department and often causes a lot of…well stress! I remember thinking that first week, “This is going to be…fun”. And that is exactly what is has been. As soon as PAT was over I hit the ground running. Going with whichever case manager was leaving the office to experience whatever I could be a part of.
Additionally, I have learned so much from my wonderful supervisor, Joy Barnes Majors, in the few short months that I have been able to work with her. She has provided an amazing example for building relationships and interacting with families. She has shown me how to obtain the information needed for the reports that have to be written, and ultimately, how to be the best case worker I can be. She has challenged me to learn and grow, and offered positive criticism along the way to show me how to be even better. She has made this experience a truly remarkable one and I am excited to take the knowledge that I have learned from her, New Beginnings, and Gladney with me in my future!
Thank you Gladney for everything!