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Department of Human Services, Enid, OK – Chloe Rogers

Chloe Rogers discusses her work at the DHS office in Enid, OK….

This intern experience was great, I am so glad I got the opportunity to do something so great. Having the opportunity to learn and watch. I have gotten a better understanding everything that goes on in this field. I have gained the ability to put new things into practice. With the interviews I helped with I have gained and built more confidence in myself.  

The department of human services is a national organization for human services. The field of human services uniquely approaches the objective of meeting human needs, also focusing on prevention as well as redressing problems and continuing the commitment to improve the overall quality of life of service populations.  The principal for the agency is to protect the health of all Americans and to provide necessary human services, especially for ones who cannot help them-selves. The mission of the program covers a wide spectrum of activities. This organization serves and protects Americans at every stage of life starting at conception.  

The job of a child welfare specialist is to prove social services, assessments, counseling, and case management to children and families. I chose this position of a child welfare specialist, because I wanted to see it from a different perspective not just the “DHS just takes kids away from their families”. Some of the daily job duties I had was to read case files and referrals. Often sometimes visiting homes to investigate living conditions or to just talk to parents about their children. We talk to parents about a number of things, one of the most common things we talked to the Marshallese families about was their kids’ not attending school. On some days I would go to the “Yellow House” which is where the forensic investigations would be held. On other days, I would go up to schools and interview children or women at hospitals who had just had a baby. Everything I’ve learned in class has helped me in this field, they are very much related. For example, I had to explain to a Waukomis police officer why the ladies at the yellow house were referring to a step dad putting his fingers in his step daughter as rape. At the time in class we were talking about rape historically vs todays rape. From the terms to just how investigations are set up they are the same.  

For me the pros of this internship would be making a difference. Although, you cannot help every child in need, being able to help a child is the best feeling. The diversity of the job makes every day different. Being here has showed me that every day is different, it is very rare that in this field one would do the same two days in a row. The worst part of this job to me is seeing kids suffer. With this job you also see the worst of humanity, for example, I’ve only been here four 4 weeks and I’ve seen a lot of things that are crazy and just break my heart.  Another thing is as a worker you are working a very large case load at a time. Once a case has been closed there is another on that is already opened or about to be opened up. Sometimes, this job can make you feel powerless, because you can only do so much to help a child.

My overall experience was great, I wish it was just a little longer. I would defiantly recommend this agency to other students. The staff here is amazing, super friendly and very welcoming.  Every staff member has their own way of doing things. There are lots of challenges throughout the investigations, for example if someone gives a false address it can be hard to locate that family or if they lie about prior convictions. This is where I came in, I would go and look up the people for whoever I was shadowing to tell them what that had done and if they pled guilty to it and stuff like that. The job of a child welfare specialist is very time consuming often leading to irregular work schedules, but if you have a passion for helping people it is defiantly worth it.