Career Connections


Samara West

Major: Child, Adult, and Family Services


Minor/option/emphasis: CHFS-Child Programs

Company/Organization: Iowa Department of Human Services
Company/Organization website: http://dhs.iowa.gov/
Destination: Des Moines, and Ames, Iowa
Timeframe: Summer 2017

Advisor/Coordinator Email: enloe@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities consisted of shadowing social workers, attending court hearings, transport clients to appointments, visits, and/or to DHS offices. I attended family team meetings and pre/post removal conferences, home visits, supervised visits, and observed sexual abuse interviews with children at the Regional Child Protection Center.

I accomplished...
My greatest accomplishment would be being able to get the hands on experience of what it is like in the social work field. Also being able to interact and communicate with the clients, and so forth. Another great accomplishment from my experience was being able to apply everything that I learned in class to the field.

I learned...
One main lesson that I have learned from my experience, is that you can't always help everyone like you want to, most of the effort has to come from the clients, and if the clients aren't responding or acknowledging what you are trying to do for them, then it is not up to you to try to fight for them. The clients are the ones that are supposed to make these types of changes, and you have to be okay with whatever decision that they make.

Advice for others...
My advice for future students is, make sure that you have some type of background of the field that you are thinking about going into, and always have an open mind. The number one thing is to be passionate about what field you decide to go into, because that determines how well you will do in your field that you desire.

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