FULTON, NY – Karrie Damm, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County (CAC) has announced that Jennifer Delles and Jamie Butler have been accepted as interns at the CAC.
Delles, a graduate student at SUNY Oswego, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Nazareth College and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and certification in Play Therapy.
Butler, also a graduate student at SUNY Oswego, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from SUNY Brockport and is studying for her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and certification in trauma studies.
For Delles, her love of children made the CAC an easy choice for an internship.
“I always enjoyed working with children. I like everything about them; their energy, their enthusiasm, and the fact that they are so resilient. When my professor recommended the CAC for an internship I knew it would be a good fit for me,” said Delles.
While at Nazareth College Delles also served as an intern at the EquiCenter, a therapeutic horseback riding facility in Rochester.
At the EquiCenter she worked with children with developmental delays and physical disabilities through the use of horses in a therapeutic setting.
“It was interesting to see them interact with the horses. I worked with them on grooming the horses, basic riding and horsemanship skills, games and other activities. It was cool to watch their progress and to see them transition from the ground to the horse. Once they were on the horse they sat up straight and lit right up, they loved being with the horses!” said Delles.
For Butler, her love of art and her concern for children came together quite naturally. While working as an AmeriCorps member at a school in Arizona, Butler was involved in program planning and events for children and their families.
One of the experiences she had at the school had a significant impact on her.
“One young girl I worked with had several disabilities and found it difficult to connect with other people. When one of the other teachers realized that this girl and I both shared a love of art she began sending her to my room. She was very shy and had only drawn with pencils. I brought her some cool stuff to use and a sketchbook and we began spending time drawing together. She eventually warmed up to me and spoke to me about her family. I really enjoyed working with her and it inspired me to go into the mental health field. I hope to incorporate art into what I do and eventually be certified in art therapy,” explained Butler.
As interns at the CAC, Delles and Butler are involved with intakes and will be working closely with children, siblings and their parents as they assist in providing therapeutic intervention regarding all types of child abuse and their effects, safety and prevention education, and support to children during their recovery from the experience.
The opportunity to work with entire family unit is as an aspect of the CAC that greatly appealed both of them.
“The model used at the CAC, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is excellent. It teaches coping skills and realizing techniques that allow children and parents to help process their thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts and feelings; and enhance safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication. The flexibility of the model also allows us to incorporate our own unique styles. The CAC is a great organization and I am proud to be able to work with them,” said Butler.
Delles was happy to echo that sentiment.
“The CAC is awesome. It’s great that its services are offered free of charge and are accessible to people who would otherwise not be able to receive,” added Delles.
Delles and Butler began their practicum in January and will continue with their internships through the next 3 semesters.
Damm added that pair are a welcome addition as each brings with them their own unique strengths and talents.
“We are happy that Jennifer and Jamie will be serving their internship with us. Their past experiences, their willingness to learn, and the compassion they have for the children and families we work with will serve them well,” said Damm.
Located at 301 Beech St., the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County provides a wide range of free services to children who have been physically or sexually abused and provides a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse.
The agency also operates a satellite office at 4822 Salina St., Pulaski.
For more information on the CAC, contact them at 315-592-4453, visit www.oswegocac.org, or follow them on Facebook.