David Carranza Sr.
I chose to participate and earn certification via your program at California State University, Los Angeles for the following reasons. First, I believe that many of the negative issues associated with our social institutions such as an overcrowded prison system, teenage pregnancy, high inner-city school drop out rates, and the disproportionate allocation of resources, etc. are correlated with at risk populations. Although life skewing events associated with child maltreatment and family violence occur everywhere, high risk groups need more access to resources for recovery. Second, I believe that as an emerging counselor via the CSULA Charter College of Special Education and Counseling it is imperative that I gain knowledge, understanding, and contextual exposure to as many areas of human service as possible. And finally, with a background in private investigations, being bi-lingual/bi-cultural, and counseling students with disabilities at the Office of Students with Disabilities at CSULA, I have observed, first hand, some of the issues and cues associated with students. Some have indeed been at the point where their ability to function was diminished by child abuse and/or family violence. I believe I can make a difference with the proper training.
Often people are closed off to understanding the issue of child maltreatment and family violence. It is the best-kept secret that I know of. Although everyone knows it exists, people turn their heads and pretend they do not see--assuming that if they do not acknowledge it, it does not happen, that it is not real. I have come to think that a program such as this is the start for understanding and acceptance. This program has allowed me to learn about what child maltreatment and family violence means and how to react in such a situation. This program is more than a Certificate added to my diploma. Instead, it has opened a door for a lifelong search for understanding and appreciation.I owe it to the victims and perpetrators to understand, not judge. As I will be going to on to become a teacher, I feel I have been fully prepared to handle situations should they arise. Teachers are second line defense for children at home and the first line of defense when children are at school. Because I understand the dynamics of this epidemic of abuse and maltreatment, I know I will not hesitate to report an incident if I suspect one.I know can be sensitive and empathetic to the victim. It saddens me that victims of such abuse are often stigmatized and made to feel that they did something to receive the treatment. This is society's ignorance because we do not take the time to learn about something we fear. We fear what we do not understand. I hope to open the minds of people so they too can understand, as I have began to do. We must do our best to protect our children from a life of shame and guilt; one that could be imposed on them by someone else's lack of knowledge.
The Child Maltreatment and Family Violence Certificate helped me obtain a job. I was an intern at the Juvenile Dependency Court’s Children’s Law Center, and they hired me after I graduated. I am an investigator for the Children’s Law Center. I basically go out and visit CLC clients to assure they are okay and their needs are being met. I follow a standard interview format. When I was in the Certificate Program, I had a teacher and a book that focused on interviewing young children. I have gone back to the book to take a second look and see how I might improve my skills. The Certificate gave me a new focus on the Dependency Court System I never knew existed. I was Criminal Justice major and I am in the process of getting a Masters in the same subject. The Certificate Program helped me to think about future academic goals, including getting an MSW.
The Child Maltreatment Certificate has opened up so many doors for me. I am at St.Anne’s, as a residential counselor. My duties are assisting the girls who live there with everyday living. Our main goal is too help prepare the girls to be able to function and be productive members in society once they leave St.Anne’s. To that end, I assist in taking girls to their various appointments: doctors, children's court, narcotics anonymous meetings etc. We help the girls with parenting and teach them effective ways to parent, because many don't know. We assist in motivating the girls with going to school. The Certificate also helped me get into the MSW program at CSULA, so hopefully I will continue having contact with the Certificate Program. I am so excited; my concentration is Forensic Social Work which ties right in with the Children’s Law Center and what I did on my HHS495 Certificate internship there. I would not have had that opportunity without the Certificate Program.
I am presently employed as an Eligibility Supervisor with the Department of Public Social Services. Although I did not need the Certificate to obtain my present position, the experience has been tremendously insightful and has assisted me greatly with aiding clients. The knowledge that I gained earning the Certificate is priceless. It has given me a deeper understanding of children and families who are suffering from abuse, neglect and family violence. Recently I was accepted into the CalSWEC stipend program at the USC School of Social Work. I believe having the Certificated aided me in receiving this stipend. Getting the Certificate showed my dedication to public child welfare. The skills I have learned are timeless and will guide me on my career as a Children’s Social Worker.
I am presently working at a preschool as a lead teacher and aide. This is a part-time job. My responsibilities as a lead teacher include putting a curriculum together and providing different experiences to learn through play. As an aide, I help different teachers put the class in order by setting up snack, art, manipulative objects and areas for children to play.
What has been helpful in taking Certificate classes is the focus in the areas of child abuse. It has broadened my knowledge and perspective toward child development. These classes have helped me to understand the behaviors of abused children. Recently, I started my internship at Free Arts and this program has helped me have a foundation in child abuse. In some ways, it has prepared me to apply certain theories such as those of Bolby and Freud. Even though I am just starting my internship I look forward to using the new knowledge and skills in my career.
I am presently working at Free Arts at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Courthouse. I chose Free Arts because my major is Child Development and I like to interact with children to be able to understand them better. What I have learned at this field site is that children can express themselves through creativity. All children are different, yet loving. This experience will help me in my career by accepting all children for who they are as individuals.
I will be beginning the MSW program at USC this fall. The Certificate has been very helpful in obtaining my goals. It helped me get into three graduate schools; USC, CSULB, and CSULA. The Certificate showed that I am a qualified student who took it upon herself to gain more knowledge in the field of children and family violence. The coursework internship taught me many skills that will be helpful in my career as a Children’s Social Worker. Some of the most helpful skills are those from the Certificate’s interviewing classes, such as active listening, and using solution focused questions.
Working with children as a teacher's assistant had motivated me to work and learn more about child abuse. I knew that learning about this subject would definitely benefit me and help me in a future career in social work.
The certificate program has helped me in so many ways. Through my HHS 495 internship at the Children’s Law Center, I was hired as a permanent legal Secretary, which has provided me with the knowledge and experience that will be very useful to me as a social worker. Through my internship and classes, I have also been able to network with various professionals who have helped with my personal statement and references for admissions to a graduate school. Having a certificate has also helped my resume. Most importantly, the certificate has helped me to understand what child abuse is and how to help and inform other of this unfortunate situation.
I have learned so much from being a certificate student; I have learned appropriate techniques on how to interview children, learned to work with diverse groups, learned good communication skills and learned to cope with the emotional stress that is common in the demanding profession of social work. Most importantly, I was educated on the subject and I learned that helping others is very rewarding.
I would definitely do the program over again if I had the opportunity to because I believe it can open many doors, just as it did for me.
I would recommend this program to other students, especially students who are pursuing a degree in Psychology, Social Work, Child Development, Criminal Justice or a career that requires contact with children and families. I recommend it because it helps to understand warning signs, the importance of prevention, and how to go about helping those people who find themselves in a detrimental environment.