Masters of social work student, Holt-Sunny Ridge adoptee and Holt-Sunny Ridge intern!
My name is Olivia Bus and I am a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in social work. In order to graduate, all students must participate in an internship at a social services agency, so I am excited to be completing my internship at Holt-Sunny Ridge. I have been talking about wanting an internship at Holt Sunny Ridge since August 2016, so this has been a long time in the making. I am very happy to be at Holt-Sunny Ridge and have been learning so much about all of the programs offered by our branch.
These first few months I have been learning about the domestic adoption program. From building relationships with birth parents to providing hope and encouraging adoptive families, our domestic adoption staff works tirelessly to ensure that everyone has the support and information that they need. I have been able to assist this program by helping locate birth parents and adoptees through the search and reunion program. I have also had the privilege of shadowing our post-adoption services program. Our therapist partners with families and provides them with ways to build attachment and trust with their adopted child. It has been fascinating to see TBRI® in action. I have assisted with our outreach program by participating in educational presentations to outside professionals to give them further education on topics such as the Safe Haven law, ethical considerations in adoption, etc. I have also helped with preparations for our new Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program. In the second half of my internship, I am looking forward to learning about the international adoption program and continuing to learn about homestudies and how to provide them.
What has been your favorite part so far of your internship, and what have you learned in your time here?
I have enjoyed assisting directly in search and reunion cases. It has been a good learning experience in knowing how to interact with each person involved (birth parent, adoptee and adoptive parent). I have also enjoyed participating in the preparation and creative aspects of our new program in these beginning stages. It has been fascinating to take part in determining the details that need to be worked out prior to the start of the program. Additionally, I have enjoyed watching our therapist help adoptive parents implement the TBRI® tools they have learned.
As a Holt-Sunny Ridge adoptee yourself, what is it like to intern here?
Holt-Sunny Ridge has a family-like atmosphere and I have been welcomed as an intern and an adoptee which has felt great. It has been special to be at a place where adoption is celebrated. I feel I offer a unique perspective as an international adoptee, which I believe will continue to enhance my internship experience and benefit the agency. Through my own journey, I recognize that every adoption story is unique, and I look forward to continuing to be a part of that story for many families to come.
What is your primary motivation for working as a social worker/in the adoption field?
From early on, I knew that I wanted to find a place where I could serve and support families and children. After earning my bachelor’s degree in social work, I started in a position where I had the privilege of working with young expectant mothers who decided to parent. It was in this position where I discovered I wanted to be a part of creating healthy and supportive families. I believe these healthy and supportive families can come in all different shapes and sizes. From biological to adoptive to blended, families can be a beautiful and nurturing place for the family members to grow. This is why I was so excited to begin my internship at Holt-Sunny Ridge and I am looking forward to the rest of my time here.