National Able Network and SSA partner to provide internship opportunities

Release Date: 
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Newsletter Article, National Able Network, Fall 2011
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Able and the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) have partnered together to provide internship opportunities to four students as part of their Masters of Arts program. The four students are working with various programs at Able to expand upon the social work skills learned in the classroom. Kim Vander Griend, SSA Field Consultant, praises Able for its unique “hybrid placement” with diverse programs which provides rich learning experiences for students to develop their clinical and administrative social work skills. “At Able, students have a broad overview of social work, instead of a specialized practice, which is ideal for students who are still seeking information regarding their career goals,” she said.
Students are provided with onsite supervision through their Task Supervisors who manage their day-to-day responsibilities and their Field Supervisor who ensures their overall experiences are aligned with social work competencies. Erin Rapoport, a current SSA intern at Able, said “Everyone at Able has made me feel really welcome. My intake experiences are teaching me a lot about how to communicate effectively in both English and Spanish and how to take general ideas and break them down into more defined goals with manageable steps. I am looking forward to learning more about the kind of information funders are interested in and the best way to prioritize and organize this information so we can make the most out of it.”
Valerie Taing said, “I’ve appreciated being a part of an organization that is at the forefront of addressing the challenges of training and developing a diverse sectors of the workforce during such economically uncertain times. Likewise, I’ve admired the level of engagement and support given by staff to participants to meet their training and career goals. I hope to develop a broader understanding of the workforce development sector.”
Able and SSA work in a collaborative effort to address both micro- and macro-level social work skills through their duties at Able. Able provides students with client contact opportunities to meet the competencies needed to fulfill their academic and career objectives. At the same time, students assist with service development to build upon and contribute to successful programs. Through this partnership, Able can continue to deliver quality workforce development services to individuals in need and students gain invaluable experiences which will shape and drive their career ambitions.
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