My Experience at Putnam County Youth Bureau

For the past six weeks, I have had the amazing opportunity to intern at Putnam County Youth Bureau. Through the Putnam County PILOT Program high school, college and graduate school students are able to apply to intern with county departments to gain a hands-on experience in the field that they hope to one day work for. In the fall I will be starting my last year as a Social Work Master’s student at Fordham University. I wanted to spend my last summer as a student gaining experience before I graduate next May. The Youth Bureau was the perfect department for me to gain that experience. Over the past six weeks I have been able to attend the Putnam County Health Summit, Youth Program Directors Meetings, and multiple county coalition meetings that the Youth Bureau is a part of. I have also been involved in specific Youth Bureau programs, such as Youth Board, SIDNE, Youth Court and Adventure Camp. Youth Board is comprised of youth and adult members that live, attend school, or work in Putnam. The Board focuses on needs and programs for the youth in Putnam. SIDNE, is a simulated safe driving course that uses our Simulated Impaired Driving Experience go-cart, simulated distracted driving game Distract-A-Match, and a simulated field sobriety test. The Youth Bureau offers the course for upcoming high school seniors that will be driving to schools in the county. Youth Court, is a peer court for youth to gain court experience and community service, through a ten week judicial system training. Youth Court members hold hearings for first time defendants 7-16 years old who committed violations or misdemeanors in the county. Adventure Camp is a new program this summer that offers a free four day summer camp experience to youth ages 9-15 in the county at Camp Herrlich. One of my most successful experiences here has been the Teen Resource Guide that I had the opportunity to work on for the Reproductive Health Coalition through Planned Parenthood, which I was able to research and gather agencies that offer services to youth in Putnam County. My summer at the Youth Bureau has given me many opportunities that will help me with my career as a social worker, such as community outreach experience, education through trainings, and knowledge on resources and services available in the community.