Concurrent MSSW/VSW Graduate
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with minors in Social Work and Criminal Justice from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 2013. I took two years off to serve as an AmeriCorps volunteer and knew that when I went back to school I wanted to somehow combine working with animals and people. I wasn’t finding what I was looking for, then one night I got extremely lucky stumbled across the VSW Certificate in a last ditch Google search and knew I had found what I was looking for- a very mindful and thorough program that would help me achieve my goal working with animals and people. I completed both my foundation and concentration field placements at Partners with Families and Children, a non-profit in Spokane, WA that serves as a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder treatment facility catering to families and parenting individuals, as well as a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC). The Partners team actively supported my goal of bringing a Courthouse Facility Dog to the CAC team and we achieved this in December of 2016. I had been hired on as a staff member halfway through my foundation year field placement and will stay here as a Mental Health Therapist and Courthouse Facility Dog Handler to our wonderful Skipper. As Skipper’s handler, I sit in on Forensic Interviews and Medical Exams, work on his ongoing training, and eventually will go to court with him to be with children while they testify. We’re currently working on the process of having him allowed in the courtroom. I also get to bring Skipper home where I manage his grooming, healthcare, and fun activities. He’s potentially the laziest dog I will ever meet and we spend plenty of time snuggling with Teddy, his fur-brother. Skipper has a working life of 10 years so this will be my main focus for that time. I also plan on getting involved with our local animal control, humane society, and pet protective services to work on changing laws in Spokane County around the welfare and treatment of animals.