Baylee Sanderson is working toward her bachelor’s in social work on the Boise Campus; she expects to graduate in 2023.
Sanderson grew up around social work; her mother is a child welfare worker in Washington, so she had constant exposure to the field. That said, child welfare work wasn’t necessarily a no-brainer for her.
“When I heard about the stipend, I chatted with my mom and it made me realize that chilld welfare would be a good fit for me,” she said.
Within Title IV-E, she is working as a case manager intern in Child and Family Services, spending time with case plans under the guidance of a supervisor and observing and shadowing in court and with safety assessment specialists.
She has been surprised at the level to which she has been able to participate in meaningful work.
“I have really enjoyed how much I have been able to actually do,” she said. “I did not know how much I’d be able to be involved. I felt I’ve had more responsibility than I thought I would.”
Given her background and her more recent experience, she is clear-eyed about both the value and the limitations to the work.
“It is very challenging. I did expect it to be one of the more challenging careers,” she said, noting the skills that case managers call upon to communicate and calm often-agitated people in tense situations and that, while they can make suggestions, it’s up to the legal system often to resolve things.
“You can only do so much,” Sanderson notes.
She expects to build on her Title IV-E foundation by going on for a master’s degree; she’s glad she learned about the program and has taken part.
“This does teach skills for just about any area in social work that I would go into,” Sanderson said. “I think it has definitely been worth doing. I have learned so much in this time, and I’m not even halfway through my internship.
“It’s just been a very wonderful learning experience for me.”