Briana has been interning with us here at the Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County for the last three months. During her time here, she has experienced a wide range of opportunities that we hope will help prepare and guide her throughout her future career. Briana shares her experience below:
My name is Briana, and I am a Criminal Justice major at Oakland University. I am currently interning here at the Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County. Being able to help children who may have been traumatized from an event that happened, is what brought me to the Center.
As a Criminal Justice major, the Advocacy Center and the Criminal Justice field correlate together. In the Criminal Justice field not many agencies are big on asking for help nor working cohesively with other agencies. However, by law enforcement officials and other agencies coming together as one team (multi-disciplinary team) at the Advocacy Center, it shows how working cohesively can apprehend suspects and provide support to victims and families.
Throughout my internship here at The Child Advocacy Center, I have had the privilege to be a part of the Lapeer Community. Within these past three months, The Child Advocacy Center has provided me with many experiences. I have worked with families by creating a sense of comfort to the families by talking with them before and after forensic interviews. Another experience I have been provided with, is participating in the prevention classes at the schools. I have worked with The Child Advocacy Center's Prevention Coordinator by presenting the Body Safety Awareness Program to elementary schools. Throughout this presentation, we discuss body safety, bully awareness, and the internet. These opportunities provided to me by The Child Advocacy Center have taught me two important lessons. The first lesson is to let the child guide the conversation. Everyday conversation topics such as school or sports, can be a great opportunity for parents and children to freely communicate with each other. The second lesson is that children can know, learn, and understand body safety in a friendly way. The Child Advocacy Center's Prevention Program allows children to know that it is okay to say no to an adult if they are telling children to keep secrets that make them feel uncomfortable. It is important to listen to adults and give them respect, however it is important for children to know that saying no to an adult or telling on an adult who is making them uncomfortable is okay.
Interning at the Advocacy Center provided me with the ability to interact with families throughout the grieving process which in return is a reward in and of itself. These interactions included, sitting and talking with families before the forensic interviews, providing them with a sense of comfort and safety, and making follow up phone calls to check in on families. The Child Advocacy Center is a way to keep children from never losing the spark inside of them. These children can still be who they want to be and do the things they want to do. The experiences and lessons I've learned while interning at The Child Advocacy Center have provided me with knowledge that I can use not only in my career field but also in my everyday life.