While ACU partners with over 60 agencies throughout Abilene and Texas, the brief list and links below provide a sample of the diversity within social work field practicum experience.
Abilene Behavioral Health
Abilene Behavioral Health is an inpatient psychiatric treatment facility that also offers aftercare and day treatment services. Interns gain experience in the treatment planning and discharge process as well as co-facilitated groups. Client populations include teens, elderly, and adults.
BCFS Health and Human Services Abilene Transition Center
BCFS is a “one-stop shop” for young adults, male and female, ages 15 – 25 living in Abilene and surrounding counties. Services provided include case management, counseling, life skills training, and other support services. The transition center provides youth assistance in seeking housing, education, and employment. The Abilene Transition Center works in conjunction with local government, non-profit agencies, schools, and other community organizations to ensure comprehensive, unduplicated services that help young adults become self-sufficient and productive citizens in the communities in which they live. (http://www.discoverbcfs.net/Abilene)
Betty Hardwick Center: A Community MH/IDD Resource
The Betty Hardwick Center provides outpatient mental health services to adults, children and teens, and/or those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Students can gain experience in crisis intervention, case management, and clinical therapeutic interventions. Depending on the current degree held and prior experience, interns may have the opportunity to be credentialed as a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP). (http://www.bhcmhmr.org/))
Betty Hardwick Center Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
The Betty Hardwick Center Early Childhood Intervention program serves babies birth to three years old with various disabilities and developmental delays. ECI offers families services following an evaluation, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, nutrition services, case management, and specialized skills training. All children and their families are served in their natural environment, such as the home or daycare. A service coordinator is assigned to every child and family to assist with obtaining services and resources in order to promote the child’s development. ECI works closely with the family to ensure that all services are individualized and family centered. ECI serves families that live in Callahan, Jones, Shackelford, Stephen, and Taylor Counties.
CitySquare (ACU at CitySquare in Dallas)
ACU has launched a partnership with Dallas nonprofit CitySquare that provides ACU master’s level social work practicum students extensive experience working with ‘neighbors’ identified as homeless and using their talents at the administrative level to fight poverty. Most practicum students work within the Neighbor Support Services Department at CitySquare providing intensive case management and wrap-around services for neighbors to gain self-sufficiency. Opportunities for macro-level practice experience are also readily available within the practicum. (http://www.citysquare.org)
Christian Homes & Family Services
Christian Homes & Family Services is a faith-based ministry that provides free maternity services including residential care to women with unplanned pregnancies. They simultaneously work with Christian couples anxious to adopt infants and also couples who train and prepare to be home-based foster parents. Social work students gain experience in case management with pregnant women as they prepare for delivery and the adoption process. Students may receive a small caseload of clients. (http://www.christianhomes.com/)
Communities In Schools of the Big Country (CIS)
The mission of CIS is to “surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.” CIS focuses on student achievement in academics, attendance and behavior with the goal of high school graduation. CIS staff are housed on each of the five campuses served and work directly with teachers, school administrators, and other staff. Interns obtain a caseload and work directly with campus coordinators as well as various school staff members to identify risk factors, with the goal of reducing student dropout. There are two primary risk areas that CIS interns target: homelessness and attendance. Interns may have the opportunity to facilitate groups, coordinate tutoring, and assist in the creation of new programs to help meet kids' basic needs. Interns also gain experience in areas related to case management, mentoring, and social services. (http://www.cisbigcountry.org/)
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
IRC provides emergency relief, care, and assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. Interns work directly with refugees who have just entered the country and assist them in locating basic needs including housing, food, transportation, and employment as well as helping refugees complete the immigration process. Students may note their specific interest and focus in case management, employment, immigration, or fundraising but there is no guarantee of placement in a specific area. (http://www.rescue.org/us-program/us-dallas-tx/programs)
Mesa Springs provides nursing and rehabilitative care to the elderly population. Students experience direct client interaction through treatment and discharge planning, case management, and resident activities. There is also an opportunity to assist in educational groups for families as well as therapeutic/clinical interventions with this population.
Regional Victims Crisis Center (RVCC)
RVCC is designated by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas as an emergency responder to support law enforcement by providing crisis intervention and on-going emotional support, counseling, and information to victims of violent crime. Individual professional counseling provided by licensed staff and Primary Prevention Education (anti-bullying) reduces violence in the community through public awareness and education. Interns are required to complete the 40-hour Victim Advocate training which includes the Office of Victims of Crime online training in addition to the in office experiential training. Interns, as Certified Victim Advocates, are then required to sign-up for a minimum of three on-call shifts per month. Students will be required to attend additional certifications through the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and our Primary Prevention Curriculums. Students will assist in School Groups, Nurturing Parenting Groups, PEACE groups, Professional Education Training, Community Awareness and Resource Groups and multiple collaborations. (http://www.regionalcrime.org/)