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Ia Lo, 2012 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award, interned at ARC Community Services.

Majors: Legal Studies, Sociology, and Social Welfare

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to intern at ARC Community Services. This agency is one of the few that specifically serves women and children. The agency has an outpatient treatment program for women who are substance abuse dependent, counseling services, residential housing programs and case management for those who are participants of TAP (Treatment Alternative Program) and DTC (Drug Treatment Court). I had to opportunity to work under case management for TAP and DTC.

Those who participate in the TAP and DTC program are towards the end of the criminal justice system. For TAP, instead of women serving their time in jail, they are given the opportunity to reintegrate back into the community and work on their substance abuses. If the TAP clients are successful in their program, they do not have to serve the rest of their time in jail.

For those who are in the DTC program, participants have a pending drug related charge that is deferred and if they successfully complete the program their charges are dismissed or reviewed again. The priorities for case management are to monitor and report the participant's compliance with the program. Therefore, I did many of the tasks that the case management did as well. This included conducting UA test for the participants, where I had to physically be in the same bathroom as the participant making sure she did not tamper with the UA cup. I sat in and observed individual meeting sessions with the case manager and the client. I also had the chance to do my own individual meetings with clients and develop a weekend safety plan. I was involved in writing up court reports for clients, along with confidentiality forms, and a contract for a client. I also had to opportunity to facilitate a cognitive intervention group and sit in and observe pre-treatment group for those who are in the outpatient program at ARC. Every Thursday, I would go to the court house and observe the status reviews for the DTC participants as well. In addition, I also went on tours that my site supervisor set. We went to a residential home and an inpatient treatment center.

I really enjoyed my time at ARC Community Services. This experience gave me hands on learning and taught me a lot more about myself. I found out what my strengths and weaknesses are, and what I still need to learn. I take with me hands on knowledge, life advice from mentors, supervisors and staff, and new friends from the criminal justice program.

Ia preparing to administer a UA test.